A Cook County judge on Monday delayed making a preliminary injunction decision in a case brought by two activists who allege the Chicago City Council violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
The preliminary injunction request is from Chicago activists Andy Thayer and Rick Garcia. They sued the Chicago City Council in July over alleged Illinois Open Meetings Act violations from the May and June council meetings.
The plaintiffs, represented by Loevy & Loevy and the Uptown People's Law Center, allege the City Council violated the law "by barring the public from its meetings and not permitting public comment at them." The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to force the city's immediate compliance of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
The lawsuit was filed before a new seating policy was implemented for the Chicago City Council in July. The policy sets aside 30 non-reserved, general admission seats. Individuals or groups must register to sit in non-general admission seats in the council chambers.
In court on Monday, Cook County Judge Diane Larsen instructed the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint addressing the city's new policy. The next hearing in the case has been scheduled for November 21.
After court Monday, Thayer expressed concern over the council's new seating rules.
"They still have the control over who gets in beyond the 30 slots that are open to the general public," he told Progress Illinois. Thayer also claimed "you can't have reserved seating and have it compliant with the Open Meetings Act."
"Plus," he added, "there (is) still no provision at all for public comment at such meetings."
Attorneys for the city had no comment after court.