Ordinance violation

Our business has operated for seventy years in pretty much the same fashion. The city removed us from a tow list last year for having cars needing repairs on our lot. We responded to their removing us with a letter listing all the grand fathered items which have been practiced for seventy years. We responded with a letter requesting an itemization as to what they needed done as we wished to comply with the thirty day wishes. We never received an answer detailing what needed to be done. The city then took us to court. We then retained a lawyer who discussed the matter with the city attorney. We were in compliance at the end of this discussion with the compliance officer.&nbsp; The city attorney after some five months has not taken us to court and not reinstated our tow status, even though she had told our lawyer she would. They had given us thirty days mandate to comply, after five months she still has not moved to any decision. This seems as if we have been penalized in several ways; one, penalized twice for the same unproved offense, two, penalized monetarily for lost income, three, penalized by the due process we deserved, four, the ordinance for which we were cited does not pertain to auto dealerships, which we are, five, I have taken the city to court once before and won. I have come to believe this is a deliberate continuation of court actions against our business as retaliation against our litigation. &nbsp; <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>My question is, are there any legal remedies for being penalized twice for the same non specific ordinance infraction? We were denied access to a city rotational tow list for approximately a year and again penalized as court action. I feel as if this is double jeopardy as we were not reinstated until a court action could resolve the legality of the ordinance violation in the first place. The city&rsquo;s actions to remove us from a tow list were in essence a fine which we could not contest. A second notice of ordinance violation should have been forthcoming from the city at this point. The city&rsquo;s initiation of court action against us at this point did not give us a second written notice that indeed we were still in violation. This in effect denied us the right to right the wrongs listed in the ordinance violation. The punishment had been prescribed and executed. This would have been acceptable however in the initiation of a second action without the due process of being served a second letter of violation we had no way of knowing that we were still in violation. We had ascertained that our fine or punishment had been served and that this fine or punishment would be revisited and lifted when another city inspection had been made. It was not our intentions to violate the ordinance in the first place we sought clarification as to specifically what the city wanted done and were awaiting their specific plan as requested in letter form when then took court action against us. I might mention we had removed 27 ton of product in our attempts to comply with the city&rsquo;s non specific ordinance violation during this time. &nbsp;It is &nbsp;my belief if our business was given just thirty days to comply and the city attorney has not rendered a decision in a five month and counting time span that a timely due process has been violated. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p>

Asked about 8 years ago in Illinois
Categories: Municipal Law

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