Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB1914
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Full Text of HB1914  102nd General Assembly

HB1914 102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  

 


 
102ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State of Illinois
2021 and 2022
HB1914

 

Introduced 2/17/2021, by Rep. Deanne M. Mazzochi

 

SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
 
745 ILCS 10/2-201  from Ch. 85, par. 2-201

    Amends the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act. Provides that, in counties with more than 3,000,000 inhabitants, any elected officer for a prosecutorial office or judge (1) who sets a policy of refusing to enforce an existing law, or (2) where the exercise of discretion is not individualized based on the merits of a particular case, but is exercised for the purpose of refusing to enforce an existing law, and (3) who does not have a written, good faith belief that the law in question is unenforceable as a matter of law, shall be personally liable to an injured party for legal or equitable relief or any other appropriate relief resulting from the refusal to enforce the existing law. Provides that no unit of county government is obligated to indemnify a prosecutorial officer absent specified findings. Provides that a court shall award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to the plaintiff who is a prevailing party. Provides that, in actions for injunctive relief, a court shall deem a plaintiff a prevailing party if the plaintiff's action was a substantial factor or significant catalyst in obtaining the results sought by the litigation. Provides that, if a judgment is entered in favor of a defendant, the court may award reasonable costs and attorney's fees to the defendant for defending claims the court finds frivolous. Provides that a civil action shall be commenced: (1) within one year after the cause of action accrues if the damages are less than $50,000; or (2) within 2 years if the damages involved equal or exceed $50,000. Provides that implementation of a policy of nonenforcement of an existing law, where the public employee does not have a good faith belief that the law in question is invalid, inapplicable, or unconstitutional, is presumptively willful. Makes other changes.


LRB102 13378 LNS 18722 b

 

 

A BILL FOR

 

HB1914LRB102 13378 LNS 18722 b

1    AN ACT concerning civil law.
 
2    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
 
4    Section 5. The Local Governmental and Governmental
5Employees Tort Immunity Act is amended by changing Section
62-201 as follows:
 
7    (745 ILCS 10/2-201)  (from Ch. 85, par. 2-201)
8    Sec. 2-201. Public employee liability.
9    (a) Except as otherwise provided by Statute or in this
10Section, a public employee serving in a position involving the
11determination of policy or the exercise of discretion is not
12liable for an injury resulting from his act or omission in
13determining policy when acting in the exercise of such
14discretion even though abused.
15    (b) In counties with more than 3,000,000 inhabitants, any
16elected officer for a prosecutorial office (1) who sets a
17policy of refusing to enforce an existing law duly passed by
18the General Assembly, or (2) where the exercise of discretion
19is not individualized based on the merits of a particular
20case, but is exercised for the purpose of refusing to enforce
21an existing law set by the General Assembly, and (3) who does
22not have a written, good faith belief that the law in question
23is unenforceable as a matter of law, shall be personally

 

 

HB1914- 2 -LRB102 13378 LNS 18722 b

1liable to an injured party for legal or equitable relief or any
2other appropriate relief resulting from the refusal to enforce
3the existing law.
4    (c) No unit of county government is obligated to indemnify
5an officer under subsection (b) absent a finding that the unit
6of county government:
7        (1) approved of the existing policy; or
8        (2) refused to provide the prosecutorial office with
9    budget resources to prosecute claims under the law in
10    question. Upon giving the county board notice of
11    nonenforcement, if within 60 days evidence is provided
12    that the county board approved funding for at least 250
13    full-time equivalent hours, or a funding level that is
14    objectively reasonable given the effort and time
15    associated with prosecuting offenses under the law in
16    question, shall presumptively preclude any requirement
17    that the unit of county government immunize the elected
18    officer in subsection (b).
19    (d) In counties with more than 3,000,000 inhabitants, a
20judge (1) who sets a policy of refusing to enforce an existing
21law duly passed by the General Assembly, or (2) where the
22exercise of judicial discretion is not individualized based on
23the merits of a particular case, but is exercised for the
24purpose of refusing to enforce an existing law set by the
25General Assembly, and (3) who does not have a written, good
26faith belief that the law in question is unenforceable as a

 

 

HB1914- 3 -LRB102 13378 LNS 18722 b

1matter of law, shall be personally liable to an injured party
2for legal or equitable relief or any other appropriate relief
3resulting from the refusal to enforce the existing law.
4    (e) In any action brought under this Section, a court
5shall award reasonable attorney's fees and costs to the
6plaintiff, including expert witness fees and other litigation
7expenses, if the plaintiff is a prevailing party as defined in
8subsection (d) of Section 5 of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of
92003. In an action for injunctive relief, a court shall deem a
10plaintiff a prevailing party if the plaintiff's action was a
11substantial factor or significant catalyst in obtaining the
12results sought by the litigation. If a judgment is entered in
13favor of a defendant, the court may award reasonable costs and
14attorney's fees to the defendant for defending claims the
15court finds frivolous.
16    (f) A civil action under this Section shall be commenced:
17        (1) within one year after the cause of action accrues
18    if the damages are less than $50,000; or
19        (2) within 2 years if the damages equal or exceed
20    $50,000.
21    Such civil actions shall become moot if the elected
22official responsible for the nonenforcement resigns from
23office.
24    (g) Implementation of a policy of nonenforcement of an
25existing law, if the public employee does not have a good faith
26belief that the law in question is invalid, inapplicable, or

 

 

HB1914- 4 -LRB102 13378 LNS 18722 b

1unconstitutional, is presumptively willful. Belief that the
2law in question passed by the General Assembly represents a
3bad public policy is not sufficient to create a good faith
4belief. Failure to mitigate the impact on the victims of a
5policy of nonenforcement, after having had notice of damage
6regarding the same, creates a presumption that the
7nonenforcement is being done wantonly, and in disregard of the
8life, limbs, health, safety, reputation, or property rights of
9the class of individuals impacted by the nonenforcement
10policy. A policy may be inferred if failure to comply by a
11subordinate employee would lead to termination, discipline, or
12other adverse employment consequences.
13(Source: Laws 1965, p. 2983.)