United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Peoria Division
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNSEL, RESPIRATORY HEALTH ASSOCIATION, and SIERRA CLUB, INC., Plaintiffs,
ILLINOIS POWER RESOURCES, LLC, and ILLINOIS POWER RESOURCES GENERATING, LCC, Defendants.
ORDER & OPINION
BILLY McDADE United States Senior District Judge.
matter before the Court is Defendants' demand for the
determination of civil penalties through a trial by jury
(Doc. 91). For the reasons explained below, this Court finds
that Defendants are not entitled to a jury trial for the
determination of civil penalties and therefore, the Court
strikes Defendants' jury demand.
30, 2015, Plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Complaint against
Defendants for violations under the Clean Air Act and
equivalent Illinois law. (Doc. 88). On August 17, 2015,
Defendants filed an Answer and demanded a “trial by
jury on all issues so triable.” (Doc. 91). On March 2,
2017, this Court directed the parties to file supplemental
briefing as to whether the determination of civil penalties
is an issue triable by jury. On March 17, 2017, both
Plaintiffs and Defendants concurrently filed their briefs on
this issue. (Docs. 136; 137). On March 24, 2017, both
Plaintiffs and Defendants filed their reply briefs. (Docs.
140; 141). Therefore, the matter is fully briefed and ready
Clean Air Act (“CAA”) provides that any citizen
may bring suit on their own behalf under the Act. The CAA
citizen-suit provisions state, in relevant part, that:
“The district courts shall have jurisdiction,
without regard to the amount in controversy or the
citizenship of the parties, to enforce such an emission
standard or limitation, or such an order, or to order the
Administrator to perform such act or duty, as the case may
be, and to apply any appropriate civil penalties
(except for actions under paragraph (2)).”
42 U.S.C. § 7604(a) (emphasis added).
the CAA provides factors for the Court to consider when
determining a penalty assessment under the Act. That
“In determining the amount of any penalty to be
assessed under this section or section 7604(a) of this title,
the Administrator or the court, as appropriate, shall
take into consideration (in addition to such other
factors as justice may require) the size of the business, the
economic impact of the penalty on the business, the
violator's full compliance history and good faith efforts
to comply, the duration of the violation as established by
any credible evidence (including evidence other than the
applicable test method), payment by the violator of penalties
previously assessed for the same violation, the economic
benefit of noncompliance, and the seriousness of the
42 U.S.C. § 7413(e)(1) (emphasis added).
are not entitled to a jury determination of the civil
penalties; therefore, Defendants' demand for a jury trial
on the remedies is stricken. Both parties concede that the
Court determines the amount of any civil penalty. (Doc. 140
at 1). However, Defendants argue that they are entitled to
have a “jury decide the facts on which any civil
penalty is based.” (Doc. 140 at 1).
Court finds that the Defendants are not entitled to have a
jury decide the facts upon which the judge will use to
determine the civil penalties for several reasons. First, the
plain language of the CAA does not provide for a jury right
to determine that facts upon which the civil penalties are
decided. Second, the United States Supreme Court has held
that the determination of civil penalties is not a
fundamental element of the jury trial. Third, several United
States Courts of ...