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Thomas v ISP - Processing Delays & Fund Sweeps


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#1 mauserme

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 03:09 PM

SAF, ISRA SUE ILLINOIS STATE POLICE
OVER FOID CARD INACTION
 
The Second Amendment Foundation and Illinois State Rifle Association have filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Illinois State Police, ISP Director Brendan Kelly and Jessica Trame in her official capacity as Bureau Chief of the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau, alleging they have allowed Firearm Owner Identification Card and Concealed Carry applications to languish for interminable periods, thus violating the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Illinois citizens.
 
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Illinois residents Ryan A. Thomas and Goran Lazic. Plaintiffs are represented by attorneys David G. Sigale of Wheaton and Gregory Bedell of Chicago. The lawsuit is known as Thomas, et.al. v. Illinois State Police, et.al.
 
The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division federal court, says ISP “has swept or transferred funds totaling more than $29,500,000.00 from the State Police Firearms Services Fund, the State Police Operations Assistance Fund, and the State Police Services Fund away from these funds and into other accounts.” According to the complaint, “The money was to be used for three purposes: administration of the Firearm Owners Identification Card (“FOID Card Act”), background checks for firearm-related services, and concealed carry licensing pursuant to the Firearms Concealed Carry Act (“FCCA”). Instead, the more than $29,500,000.00 has been subject to interfund transfers which are ostensibly to be repaid but which have not been, or swept into other accounts without an obligation to reimburse the funds at all.”
 
“The sweeping of funds has denied qualified Illinois citizens their rights and the ability to defend themselves and their families,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Because of this practice, ISP processing of FOID and concealed carry applications has slowed to a crawl, allowing paperwork to languish. That’s not just poor performance, it’s pathetic.”
 
“The citizens of Illinois have been delayed getting their FOID cards for months,” added ISRA Executive Director Richard Pearson. “It is evident that these fund sweeps have caused these delays.”
 
Thomas has been fighting the system for nearly three years. He had previously held a FOID card and carry license, but lost them simply because he moved out of state for a while. Since his return, to be closer to his children. Lazic had a FOID and CCL appeal pending since 2017 when a charge against him was dismissed and later expunged.
 
“It is inexcusable that the ISP has simply allowed these cases to gather dust,” Gottlieb said. “Denial of rights under color of law is an abomination to the Second and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and Illinois state law. ISP has had plenty of time to do the right thing, and didn’t. Now we’re asking the court to make them do it.”
 
 
 
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms.  Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.


#2 Illinois Sucks

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 04:12 PM

I see SAF and ISRA renewals in my near future.


"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no resource left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government... The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair."     Alexander Hamilton


#3 2A4Cook

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 05:20 PM

Except that they are intentionally under budgeted in order to provide funds for other purposes, and they are not performing the services for which these fees are mandated.

#4 TomKoz

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 05:24 PM

IL SUCKS !!
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#5 Euler

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 05:55 PM

Not when the IL Supreme Court has ruled fund sweeps are legal and there's a bill passed into law overwhelmingly by both houses allowing unused funds to be swept and used to pay bills.


The case is really about compelling the state to meet deadlines or otherwise fulfill its responsibilities in a timely manner, not the cessation or restoration of "swept" funds. The two named plaintiffs have been waiting since 2017 for their FOIDs and CCLs, although in this case they serve as representatives of everyone who has been waiting. Injunctive relief isn't sought only for them.

It's one thing to emphasize swept funds in the press release. Doing it in the case brief is a bad move IMO. It invites the judges to be confused or annoyed about the intent of the suit. I get that the SAF and ISRA want to make a political statement, but I'd rather they just try to win the case.
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#6 2A4Cook

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 08:28 PM

Not when the IL Supreme Court has ruled fund sweeps are legal and there's a bill passed into law overwhelmingly by both houses allowing unused funds to be swept and used to pay bills.

The case is really about compelling the state to meet deadlines or otherwise fulfill its responsibilities in a timely manner, not the cessation or restoration of "swept" funds. The two named plaintiffs have been waiting since 2017 for their FOIDs and CCLs, although in this case they serve as representatives of everyone who has been waiting. Injunctive relief isn't sought only for them.It's one thing to emphasize swept funds in the press release. Doing it in the case brief is a bad move IMO. It invites the judges to be confused or annoyed about the intent of the suit. I get that the SAF and ISRA want to make a political statement, but I'd rather they just try to win the case.

I disagree. The sweep is indicative of at best indifference, and at worst malice, in issuing licenses in an efficient manner when they had more than ample funding to do so. It's a good move!

#7 Talonap

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 08:51 AM

Shouldn't the main concern be the fact that the ISP states the reason for delay is that they don't have the money available. Gee, maybe they should sweep money from somewhere else? Didn't Willis have a bill saying the Cost of FOID needed to be raised because of the ISP's lie, err, "Reason", of no money?



#8 2A4Cook

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 09:06 AM

Shouldn't the main concern be the fact that the ISP states the reason for delay is that they don't have the money available. Gee, maybe they should sweep money from somewhere else? Didn't Willis have a bill saying the Cost of FOID needed to be raised because of the ISP's lie, err, "Reason", of no money?


That is the point I was making. Not that funds couldn't be legally swept, but that they were available to be swept because the ISP isn't utilizing enough to properly perform the function for which they are mandated. If they didn't bring up the sweeps in the complaint, they would leave themselves open to a defense that ISP didn't have sufficient funds in the budget.

Kent doesn't seem to get the point.

#9 steveTA84

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 11:33 AM

One thing that’s being overlooked here

https://www.courthou...icense-program/

CHICAGO (CN) – Illinois violates residents’ Second Amendment rights by starving its Firearm Owners ID card program of the funds it needs to operate, gun-rights groups claim in court.

The Illinois State Rifle Association, Second Amendment Foundation and two men currently in the application process for Illinois Firearm Owner ID cards sued the state police force in Chicago federal court Friday.


How this goes can affect more than just Illinois

#10 Bubbacs

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 11:46 AM

Not when the IL Supreme Court has ruled fund sweeps are legal and there's a bill passed into law overwhelmingly by both houses allowing unused funds to be swept and used to pay bills.
 
Good luck.


Having seen this several times iirc now.
The law allows unused funds to be swept.......how can they sweep funds BEFORE they are considered as unused?
Seems they should somehow ask the question of do we sweep the left over funds each year or sweep out what we want and leave what we think they will need!

Just me, but it seems they again left a door open for corruption and pilfering of funds.
Unused funds would be in my mind those left over after operations.

#11 mauserme

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:31 PM

You seem to be suggesting that everyone who voted for the bill meant for this to happen.  That may be true for some, but unintended consequences are real. I welcome any attempt to correct those consequences.



#12 mauserme

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:49 PM

... 
So, anyone on our side saying.......oh, look at my shocked face when show all the money missing from the ISP funds is not being truthful.
...

 
 

I am not suggesting they intended for this to happen.
 
I am stating they can't act shocked that it did after they voted for the bill.
...


I think that's exactly what you're suggesting.



#13 Molly B.

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:49 PM

Maybe I'm wrong but I see this a bit differently. It's one thing to sweep funds that are apportioned through the budget process but it's entirely different when the funds are licensing fees meant to fund the licensing process. People pay those fees with the understanding it is used to process their FOID/CCL as the law says it will. If it is not needed or used for that purpose that fee should be discontinued until the courts rule the FOID/CCL requirement is unconstitutional.
"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." --Samuel Adams

#14 Molly B.

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:50 PM

And we should all get a refund!
"It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." --Samuel Adams

#15 heckler40

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:44 PM

Not when the IL Supreme Court has ruled fund sweeps are legal and there's a bill passed into law overwhelmingly by both houses allowing unused funds to be swept and used to pay bills.

 

Good luck.

 

Fund sweeps funded by taxpayer funds or voluntary fees paid to exercise Constitutional rights?  And, the denial of those rights?



#16 heckler40

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:45 PM

 

Maybe I'm wrong but I see this a bit differently. It's one thing to sweep funds that are apportioned through the budget process but it's entirely different when the funds are licensing fees meant to fund the licensing process. People pay those fees with the understanding it is used to process their FOID/CCL as the law says it will. If it is not needed or used for that purpose that fee should be discontinued until the courts rule the FOID/CCL requirement is unconstitutional.

 

I'm trying to stop, I really am.

 

That's exactly what the other organization fought for, got specific laws passed,  and got lower court rulings in their favor.

 

The state supreme court ruled otherwise and no funds are special.  The governor or the legislative bodies can use them as they see fit.

 

Now the new law actually exempted and made at least 3 funds "special", which goes against the court's ruling.  That's a different issue, but it does boggle the mind.

 

Please, i'm begging, go talk to that organization.  The last I knew, this organization included an ISRA membership form with their own membership renewals.

 

They keep 3 funds from being swept.  Ask them how they do that, please.

 

I think that's exactly what you're suggesting.

 

 

You're wrong, just stating the history and the facts. 

 

In 2011 the State Supreme Court issued their ruling.  The law was passed in 2018.  There's a 30 year history of fund sweeps.

 

Should I show my shocked face?

 

 

Can you cite the case?  Would like to read it.



#17 Euler

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 02:44 PM

Can you cite the case?  Would like to read it.


ABATE of Illinois v Quinn (2011) decided basically that special funds, like the motorcycle training fund, are not irrevocable trusts and can be swept into the general fund. Special funds are derived from sources other than income tax revenue. For the ABATE case, the funds were derived from motorcycle licensing fees.

Edited by Euler, 01 February 2020 - 02:46 PM.

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#18 borgranta

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 03:47 PM

The fund sweep may have been done with the intention of causing illegal delays which exposes the government officials to to deprivation of rights under color of law lawsuits as well as potentially being exposed the prosecution by the feds for the same.  Also if 2 or more individuals conspired to raid the funds with the intention to cause the illegal delays they also can be sued for conspiracy against rights as well as be prosecuted by the feds for the same.


Edited by borgranta, 01 February 2020 - 03:49 PM.

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#19 ChicagoRonin70

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:54 AM

The fund sweep may have been done with the intention of causing illegal delays which exposes the government officials to to deprivation of rights under color of law lawsuits as well as potentially being exposed the prosecution by the feds for the same.  Also if 2 or more individuals conspired to raid the funds with the intention to cause the illegal delays they also can be sued for conspiracy against rights as well as be prosecuted by the feds for the same.

 

That's what I wrote here, pretty much dead on.


Edited by ChicagoRonin70, 06 February 2020 - 10:55 AM.

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#20 Gamma

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 02:13 PM

One small thing that folks can do to support SAF, is they are on the list for charitable contributions with the amazon smile. If you shop amazon anyway, might as well send that little bit to SAF.


Illinois' FCCA is a prime example of the maxim that sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

#21 ChicagoRonin70

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 11:08 AM

One small thing that folks can do to support SAF, is they are on the list for charitable contributions with the amazon smile. If you shop amazon anyway, might as well send that little bit to SAF.

 

Yep, I am doing that starting last month. I make about $20,000-$30,000 worth of purchases on Amazon for my home and business every year, according to my credit card company, so that's about $100-$150 per year going to the SAF.


"A well educated Media, being necessary for the preservation of free speech, the right of the people to keep and read books, shall not be infringed."
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
Who gets to keep and read books? The Media? Or is it the People?
 
"One can never underestimate the idiocy of those determined to be offended by things that don't affect their real lives in the slightest." —Me
 
"Hatred is the sharpest sword; the desire for peace is armor made of willow leaves in the face of an enemy who despises you, as neither alone will stop a strike that is aimed at your neck. —Samurai proverb
 
"An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life." —Robert Heinlein
 
"I reserve the right to take any action necessary to maintain the equilibrium in which I've chosen to exist." —Me
 
"It ain't braggin' if you done it." —Will Rogers
 
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#22 hceuterpe

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 04:46 PM

Seems like this one has been lost a bit on this forum.  As it is now, I feel this should be considered a very important case to watch.

 

I've been following this particular one quite closely as of late.  This should be considered significant to know:  It's a lawsuit specifically about denials and appeals for FOID/CCL.  At issue isn't renewals/new applications for FOID/CCL--that's already in a different lawsuit filed in late July.

The fund sweeps being mentioned seem more of a fact that was mentioned.  That's not the main issue at hand, and in fact is barely mentioned in the 20 pages of the filed case.  They also make it clear that this has been going on long before COVID-19.

 

 

Also there's been updates to this:  The two original individual plaintiffs both got their cards issued in less than 2 weeks after filing.  It's almost like the ISP did this deliberately to try and make this lawsuit go away...  Another individual plaintiff was added. It's no longer injunctive relief and was amended seeking class action relief.  So it's not just about 2-3 people anymore:  It's anyone in IL faced with a denial/appeal.

 

Amended filing:

https://www.courtlis...3136.16.0_1.pdf

 

ISP has a deadline of tomorrow (8/9/2020) to reply.  They have been filing for delay after delay.  So be interesting to see how they respond.

 

 

 

Also if you're wondering if ISRA is doing anything, I think you have your answer.  Also their LAC fund is 501©(3) status so tax deductible too.  https://www.isra.org...Make-a-Donation


Edited by hceuterpe, 08 August 2020 - 04:55 PM.


#23 Craigcr2

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 06:43 PM

I don’t see anything in the amended file about seeking class certification. Are you getting this from somewhere else?

#24 hceuterpe

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Posted 08 August 2020 - 08:16 PM

I don’t see anything in the amended file about seeking class certification. Are you getting this from somewhere else?

 

 

Check my PDF link. It's 20 pages, instead of the original 16. It has an updated date of 6/10/2020: "AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR CLASS ACTION RELIEF IN LAW AND EQUITY "

 

Again here: https://www.courtlis...3136.16.0_1.pdf


Edited by hceuterpe, 08 August 2020 - 08:17 PM.


#25 hceuterpe

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Posted 29 August 2020 - 11:36 AM

So after months of filing for extensions.  This week ISP filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction for this case.  Let's hope the court denies the motion.  But basically this buys them yet another near 2 months.

 

 

 

MOTION by Defendants Brendan F. Kelly, Jessica Trame, Illinois State Police to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction (Kozar, Amanda) (Entered: 08/24/2020)

 

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Mary M. Rowland: Plaintiffs' response to Defendants' motion to dismiss 26 is due 9/22/20. Defendants' reply due 10/13/20. The court will rule by mail. Mailed notice. (dm, ) (Entered: 08/25/2020)


Edited by hceuterpe, 29 August 2020 - 11:48 AM.


#26 Ranger

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Posted 08 September 2020 - 02:58 PM

Illinois has a long history of fund sweeps.  That fee you pay every time you get new tires that was passed with the pledge for it to fund vector related issues (used tires are major breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry West Nile).  Swept.  Lots of special funds routinely get swept.  Is it right?  Absolutely not.  Is it legal?  According to the courts so far.  Until the courts stop them, they'll continue to do it. 

 






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