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Veterans Assistance Commission of Grundy County v. County Board of Grundy County

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

April 2, 2013

The VETERANS ASSISTANCE COMMISSION OF GRUNDY COUNTY, ILLINOIS, and ELTON MONSON, Petitioners-Appellants,
v.
The COUNTY BOARD OF GRUNDY COUNTY, ILLINOIS; KENNETH BUCK, Commander of Morris American Legion Post No. 294; GLENN GAVRIL, Commander of Coal City American Legion Post No. 796; DOUGLAS MARTIN, Commander of Minooka American Legion Post No. 1188; ALAN LOVE, Commander of Grundy County Marine Corps League; RHODE BRONK, Commander/Officiant of Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 86; and GERALD BELT, Commander of Morris VFW Post No. 6049, Respondents-Appellees.

Rule 23 Order filed March 5, 2013

Motion to publish allowed April 2, 2013

Modified upon denial of rehearing May 15, 2013

Held [*]

In an action arising from a dispute between two veterans’ assistance commissions in a particular county, the trial court’s judgment granting relief in favor of the newly organized commission was reversed and the cause was remanded for further proceedings to determine whether either commission met the statutory requirements of the Military Veterans Assistance Act to be the county’s only central veterans assistance agency, including the requirement that the commission have a delegate and an alternate from each of the military veterans organizations in the county.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Grundy County, No. 11-MR-104; the Hon. Robert C. Marsaglia, Judge, presiding.

Brett R. Geiger (argued), of Malmquist & Geiger, of Morris, for Appeal appellants.

Johnathan M. Bates, State's Attorney, of Morris, and Michael A. Mattingly (argued), of Minooka, for appellee County Board of Grundy County.

Timothy J. Rathbun (argued), of Rathbun, Cservenyak & Kozol, LLC, of Joliet, for other appellees.

Justices Holdridge and McDade concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

WRIGHT PRESIDING JUSTICE

¶ 1 In 2002, the County Board of Grundy County (the County Board) passed a resolution recognizing the Veterans Assistance Commission (VAC) of Grundy County (the original VAC), which was formed in 1999. On December 13, 2011, the County Board passed a resolution that first repealed the 2002 resolution recognizing the original VAC and then recognized another, newly created Grundy County VAC (the second VAC).

¶ 2 The petitioners filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in the circuit court of Grundy County requesting the court to declare that the original VAC remained intact and the County Board's "reorganization" resolution was contrary to statute, an unlawful exercise of power, and "without legal effect." The respondents, the County Board and the six individuals who organized the second VAC, filed a counterclaim requesting an injunction restraining the superintendent of the original VAC from occupying the county-funded office of the VAC and having access to VAC files.

ΒΆ 3 On January 12, 2012, the court entered an order granting the injunction. The court also denied the petitioners' amended complaint seeking a declaratory judgment that the original VAC remained intact and that the County Board's 2011 resolution was without legal effect. The petitioners now appeal the trial court's January 12, 2012, order ...


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