In Palm v. 2800 Lake Shore Drive Condo. Ass’n, 2013 IL 110505, Gary Palm sought production of his condo association’s financial records pursuant to section 13-72-080 of the Chicago Municipal Code. The Association refused, claiming the condo did not have to comply with the Chicago ordinance because it was superseded by a state statute – the Illinois Condominium Property Act. The state statute requires a unit owner to state a proper purpose for obtaining association financial records, which the plaintiff did not do. Requests made pursuant to the Chicago ordinance, however, do not require a proper purpose to be stated.
The unit owner filed suit and the trial court ordered the Condo Association to turn over its records because the ordinance is a valid exercise of the City’s home rule powers. The trial court also ordered the Condo Association to pay the plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees as the “prevailing party” under the ordinance dispute.
The Association appealed all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court, which also ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The Supreme Court found that the conflict between the City ordinance and the state statute did not render the ordinance invalid. The Supreme Court stated: “The legislature has not specifically denied the City’s exercise of home rule power or required its exercise of that power to be consistent with statutory provisions. If the General Assembly wishes to deny or restrict a City’s home rule authority, it may enact a statute expressly providing for that action at its next session.”
Condo owners and Condo associations in Chicago should be familiar with both local ordinances and state statutes and our attorneys can help. To speak with one of our attorneys, call us Toll Free at (877) 646-9245 or via our website at http://dd-lawfirm.com/contact.php. We are here to help.
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