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Meroni V 32 Candidates and Illinois State Board of Elections - Appellate Brief

Meroni V 32 Candidates and Illinois State Board of Elections - Appellate Brief

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Published by Defend the Vote
This brief was written by Steve Boulton who is representing this case before the 4th Appellate Court in Illinois. The brief was filed March 11th. The Attorney General has 35 days to respond, and then we will have 14 days to respond. Following that we expect oral arguments before the 4th Appellate Court in early summer 2011.
This brief was written by Steve Boulton who is representing this case before the 4th Appellate Court in Illinois. The brief was filed March 11th. The Attorney General has 35 days to respond, and then we will have 14 days to respond. Following that we expect oral arguments before the 4th Appellate Court in early summer 2011.

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Published by: Defend the Vote on Mar 16, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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09/29/2013

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IN THEILLINOIS APPELLATE COURTFOURTH DISTRICT
SHARON MERONI, )
Appeal No. 4-10-0850
 )Petitioner-Appellant, ) Appeal from Case No. 10-MR-501) Before the Circuit Court for the 7
th
 v. )
 
Judicial District, Sangamon County,
 
) the Hon. Peter Cavanagh, Judge
 
ILLINOIS STATE BOARD OF ) Presiding.ELECTIONS, ))Respondent-Appellee. )
BRIEF OF PETITIONER-APPELLANTSHARON MERONI
Stephen F. Boulton, Esq.
MCCARTHY DUFFY LLP180 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1400Chicago, IL 60601312-726-0355
 
2
NATURE OF THE ACTION
This action was brought for Administrative Review of the Order of the Illinois
State Board of Elections dismissing Petitioner‟s Complaints against a series of individua
lcandidates, both on Motions brought by Respondents and by Motion
sua sponte
of theBoard.
QUESTION PRESENTED
Whether the Illinois State Board of Elections, sitting as the State OfficersElectoral Board, committed reversible error by dismissing the case below, withoutpresentation of evidence, on the reasoning that Petitioner failed to adequately identify hergrounds of objection.
JURISDICTIONAL STATEMENT
Petition
er‟s
Objection was filed on. The Final Order of the Illinois State Board of Elections was issued on.
Petitioner‟s Petition for Judicial Review was filed
with theCircuit Court of Sangamon County on August 13, 2010. (C.1.) The final order of theCircuit Court denying review was filed on September 23, 2010 (C. 255.)
Petitioner‟s
Notice of Appeal to this Court was filed on October 22, 2010. (C. 251.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Given that the rulings of the Hearing Officer and the Board of Elections weremade on Motions to Strike and a request for dismissal
sua sponte
by the Hearing Officerbased upon the Objection and without any evidentiary findings, the standard of review is
de novo
.
Cook County Republican Party v. Illinois State Board of Elections
, 232 Ill. 2d
 
3231, 234, 902 N.E.2d 652 (2009).The principles of judicial review of an electoral boarddecision in Illinois are well known:We are required to review the Board's decision rather than the trial court'sdecision. We view an electoral board as an administrative agency and thestandards of review are essentially identical An electoral board's findingsof fact are deemed
 prima facie
true and correct and will not be overturnedon appeal unless they are against the manifest weight of the evidence.However, an electoral board's decisions on questions of law are notbinding on a reviewing court, and a reviewing court will review
de novo
 such questions An electoral board's rulings on mixed questions of law andfact-questions on which the historical facts are admitted, the rule of law isundisputed, and the only remaining issue is whether the facts satisfy astatutory standard-will not be disturbed on review unless clearlyerroneous.
Siegel v. Lake County Officers Electoral Board,
385 Ill. App. 3d 452,324 Ill. Dec. 69 (2
nd
 Dist. 2008). In the case at bar, no evidentiary determinations were made, in that the casenever even progressed to hearing. The cases were dismissed on Motions to Strike filedby two candidates, and a Motion
sua sponte
by the Board at the suggestion of the HearingOfficer, on ground that the contents of the Objection did not meet the standard of law.The standard of review is therefore
de novo
.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
Petitioner Sharon Meroni is a resident of McHenry County, Illinois. Theindividual Respondents
(hereinafter “Candidates”)
in proceedings before the Illinois State
Board of Elections (hereinafter the “Board”)
filed nomination petitions to be on the ballotfor Illinois and federal offices for the November 2, 2010 General Election in Illinois. (R.63). As part of the submission of nomination petitions, the Candidates were required by

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