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SKS & Associates, Inc. v. Dart

September 8, 2009

SKS & ASSOCIATES, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
THOMAS J. DART, ETC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Milton I. Shadur Senior United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

SKS & Associates, Inc. ("SKS") has sued Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart and Circuit Court of Cook County Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr., challenging this General Order 2008-04 entered by Judge Wright on November 24, 2008:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Sheriff of Cook County shall cease execution of eviction orders relating to residential real estate effective December 15, 2008. The Sheriff shall resume execution of said orders effective January 2, 2009.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Sheriff shall cease execution of said orders:

(a) whenever the outside temperature is 15 degrees Fahrenheit or colder; or

(b) whenever regardless of outside temperature, extreme weather conditions endanger the health and welfare of those to be evicted.

This memorandum opinion and order is issued sua sponte because of the problematic nature of this action, which has been asserted by SKS under 42 U.S.C. §1983 ("Section 1983") as a putative "class action on behalf of itself and all other similarly situated persons and entities who are landlords of residential real estate in Cook County, Illinois" and whose Orders of Possession or prospective Orders of Possession were impacted during the period between December 15, 2008 and April 17, 2009 (Complaint ¶2).

Complaint ¶¶13 and 14 define the claimed violations of the rights of SKS and other putative class members:

13. This Order violates Plaintiffs' rights as the Order as written prevents Plaintiffs from being able to obtain orders of Possession that are enforceable between December 15, 2008 and January 2, 2009, essentially allowing persons not paying rent to remain on the premises rent-free between December 15, 2008 and January 2, 2009.

14. This Order violates Plaintiffs' rights as the Order as written allows Defendant Sheriff to arbitrarily enforce Orders of Possession when Defendant Sheriff deems there is extreme weather conditions and that such would endanger the health and welfare of those to be evicted.

Then Complaint ¶¶15A through 15E set out five instances of delayed enforcement of orders of possession attributable to the General Order.*fn1 Finally, the Complaint seeks the entry of this order against defendants:

A. Rule that the General Order 2008-04 violates Plaintiffs' right to their property without due process.

B. The dates and weather conditions listed on General Order 2008-04 unfairly favor the tenants and violate Plaintiffs' 14th Amendment Constitutional ...


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