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Case Name Uptown Tent City Organizers v. City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings FA-IL-0016
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-04518 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Speech and Religious Freedom
Special Collection Fines/Fees/Bail Reform (Criminalization of poverty)
Attorney Organization Uptown People's Law Center
Case Summary
On March 30, 2017, an organization called Tent City Alternative to LSD Viaducts and a community resident activist submitted a Notification of Public Assembly to the City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings. They requested a permit to erect tents on behalf of the homeless population, ... read more >
On March 30, 2017, an organization called Tent City Alternative to LSD Viaducts and a community resident activist submitted a Notification of Public Assembly to the City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings. They requested a permit to erect tents on behalf of the homeless population, who would be displaced by construction. The City granted a permit as to the location for the duration sought, but without a provision that would allow the erection of tents. On May 17, the plaintiffs responded by filing a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

On June 15, 2017, the defendant City of Chicago removed the action to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case was assigned to Judge Sidney Schenkier. In September, the court granted a motion to change the name of the plaintiffs to The Uptown Tent City Organizers. The Uptown Tent City Organizers is an unincorporated association of community members, some of whom reside in tents under the viaducts near Lake Shore Drive.

On August 1, the plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201 and 2202 against the Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, Chicago Department of Transportation, and City of Chicago. The first amended complaint claimed that denial of the permit to erect tents violated the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights to public assembly, Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment, and rights under state law. The plaintiffs sought a reversal of the city's decision to deny the permit (granting the application for an assembly permit to run for a period of six months), declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and attorney's fees and costs.

On August 27, the plaintiffs requested a preliminary injunction to prevent the construction work from occurring that would displace the homeless community. On September 15, Judge Sidney I. Schenkier denied the motion on the basis that the government did not have the constitutional obligation to provide individuals with a place to live and the community did not have a contractual right to live under the viaducts.

On November 7, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint to add federal constitutional violations under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments and a state claim of violation of the Illinois Homeless Act. The amended complaint included details of events that precipitated in September between the plaintiffs and local law enforcement. The plaintiffs again sought a reversal of the administrative hearing decision to deny the permits, declaratory relief, a permanent injunction, and attorney's fees and costs.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on January 19, 2018. Judge Schenkier granted this motion and dismissed the case with prejudice on June 5, 2018. The court held that the organization lacked standing because it failed to allege that any of its members would be personally harmed by the City's conduct. And the court dismissed the individual plaintiff's First Amendment claim because the plaintiff had not alleged that the proposed conduct would be expressive. Finally, the court declined to exercise jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. 2018 WL 2709431.

The case is ongoing

Chelsea Rinnig - 01/30/2018
Alex Moody - 04/12/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Freedom of speech/association
Takings
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Transportation
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Poverty/homelessness
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) City of Chicago
City of Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings
City of Chicago Department of Transportation
Plaintiff Description The first plaintiff is an unincorporated community organization of both individuals residing in streets and housed community members in the Uptown neighborhood. The second plaintiff is a community activist and resident of Uptown.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Uptown People's Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 03/30/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
06/05/2018
1:17-cv-4518
FA-IL-0016-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
06/15/2017
Notice of Removal [ECF# 1]
FA-IL-0016-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
08/01/2017
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 23]
FA-IL-0016-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
08/27/2017
Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 25]
FA-IL-0016-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
11/07/2017
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 48]
FA-IL-0016-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
01/19/2018
Defendants' Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Counts II-VI of Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 56]
FA-IL-0016-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
01/19/2018
Defendants' Rule 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Counts II-VI of Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 56]
FA-IL-0016-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
06/05/2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 75] (2018 WL 2709431)
FA-IL-0016-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
06/05/2018
Judgment in a Civil Case [ECF# 76]
FA-IL-0016-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Schenkier, Sidney I. (N.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0007 | FA-IL-0016-0008 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Armour, Molly (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0002 | FA-IL-0016-0003 | FA-IL-0016-0004 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Frank, Jeffrey (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0002 | FA-IL-0016-0003 | FA-IL-0016-0004 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Mills, Alan S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0002 | FA-IL-0016-0003 | FA-IL-0016-0004 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Nicholas, Adele D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0002 | FA-IL-0016-0003 | FA-IL-0016-0004 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Ritacca, Susan Hathaway (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0002 | FA-IL-0016-0003 | FA-IL-0016-0004 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Schult, Nicole (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gandurski, Kelley A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0001 | FA-IL-0016-0005 | FA-IL-0016-0006 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Mine, Andrew S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0005 | FA-IL-0016-0006 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Siskel, Edward N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0005 | FA-IL-0016-0006
Sobota, Margaret (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0005 | FA-IL-0016-0006 | FA-IL-0016-9000
Worseck, Andrew W (Illinois) show/hide docs
FA-IL-0016-0005 | FA-IL-0016-0006 | FA-IL-0016-9000

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