Although a federal law and a tool often used by citizens to “get in the know” about their government, the Freedom of Information Act can be extremely helpful when one is defending against an administrative complaint.
Administrative level complaints very rarely specify the evidence a municipality has built its case upon. Often times, these complaints include vague references to municipal code violations. Thus, litigants often show up to court ill-prepared and unable to properly defend against the violations brought against them. Many times, when this happens, litigants or a litigant’s attorney must continue the matter in hopes of gathering the evidence necessary to defend a position or even for time to consult with a client about settlement authority. Moreover, Administrative law judges often refuse to grant long continuances. Consequently, litigants may not have adequate time to prepare a defense in the event their case is continued.
A simple Freedom of Information Act request before an initial hearing can resolve many of these issues. By filing a request before a hearing, a litigant has the opportunity to observe the evidence being brought against it. This will allow a litigant the opportunity to attend an initial hearing prepared with any evidence it needs to defend against the allegations.
Moreover, prior to attending a hearing, the attorney for a litigant has the opportunity to analyze the evidence and discuss possible settlement authority. This may prevent the need for an attorney having to make multiple trips to court, which in turn will save their client time and money.
Our litigation attorneys are always working to find cost-effective solutions that help serve our clients’ best interests. We have found that a Freedom of Information Act request can help in more ways than one.
If we can assist you in a legal matter, do not hesitate to contact us at 855-537-0550 or visit the Contact page.
Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome associations. Additionally, we represent clients in real estate transactions, collections, landlord/tenant issues, and property tax appeals. We have four office locations, serving hundreds of clients and thousands of communities throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Our attorneys are also licensed in Arizona, Florida, and Missouri.