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Knoob Enterprises, Inc., D/B/A Stix Bar v. the City of Carbondale

March 21, 2011

KNOOB ENTERPRISES, INC., D/B/A STIX BAR
AND BILLIARDS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE CITY OF CARBONDALE, THE CARBONDALE LOCAL LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION, AND THE CARBONDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT,
DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County. Honorable Kimberly L. Dahlen, Judge, presiding. No. 09-CH-51

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Goldenhersh

NOTICE

The text of this decision may be changed or corrected prior to the filing of a Peti tion for Rehearing or th e disposition of the same.

JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Justices Welch and Donovan concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

On July 2, 2009, plaintiff, Knoob Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Stix Bar and Billiards, filed a complaint against defendants--the City of Carbondale, the Carbondale Local Liquor Control Commission, and the Carbondale Police Department--in the circuit court of Jackson County. The requested relief included a temporary restraining order and damages incurred as a result of the closing of an establishment named Stix Bar and Billiards (Stix). The circuit court granted a temporary restraining order in favor of plaintiff in an order of July 2, 2009, but in an order of October 9, 2009, the court dismissed the complaint. On appeal, plaintiff raises the following issues: (1) whether the circuit court erred by finding that plaintiff was not entitled to an automatic stay pursuant to Illinois's Liquor Control Act of 1934 (Act) (235 ILCS 5/7-9 (West 2008)) and (2) whether the circuit court erred by dismissing the complaint in its entirety.

We reverse and remand.

FACTS

Plaintiff had two separate liquor licenses for two different establishments located in the City of Carbondale--one for Stix and one for Callahan's Irish Pub (Callahan's). Both licenses ran from June 30, 2008, to June 30, 2009. In April 2009, plaintiff applied for the renewal and transfer of both licenses.

Both licenses were placed on the agenda for the June 16, 2009, meeting of the Carbondale Local Liquor Control Commission (Local Commission). According to defendants' brief, the City of Carbondale had been notified that the State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission (State Commission) had placed a hold on any action on either license, and at the meeting plaintiff's counsel indicated he was attempting to have the hold lifted with regard to Stix. Plaintiff alleged in its complaint that the hold was lifted on June 17, 2009. In any event, no action was taken on the renewal applications at the meeting of June 16, 2009.

The record contains a petition of appeal from an order of the Local Commission signed by counsel for plaintiff on June 29, 2009, and stamped as received by the mayor's office of the City of Carbondale on June 30, 2009. The petition addressed the license for Stix, not Callahan's, and gave the following history: "Suspension History - The Licensee has not received any suspensions within the preceding 12 months." The petition asserted that the Local Commission had refused "to act on a timely submitted application for renewal and transfer of an existing license prior to it(s) expiration."

The license for Callahan's was suspended from June 18, 2009, through July 17, 2009. It was suspended at the time the petition of appeal was filed.

In the early morning hours of July 2, 2009, a police officer for the City of Carbondale closed Stix for the failure to have a valid license. Later that day, plaintiff filed suit against defendants. Plaintiff requested a temporary restraining order, a permanent injunction, punitive damages, and actual damages for lost profits, interference with the contract for the sale of the business, and damage to business reputation. On July 2, 2009, the court ...


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