Gov. Rauner Signs into Law Breen Bill to Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits

home-2003068_640.pngState Representative Peter Breen's bill to prevent public funds from being spent on unnecessary lawyer costs and fees was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.  PA 100-0595 cleans up the Counties Code and Municipal Code to ensure that neighbors bringing lawsuits against a zoning or building code violator sue the correct parties, and avoid filing suits that will ultimately be dismissed. “When residents pursue legal action against their neighbors for violations of local codes, the unit of government setting zoning law is not supposed to be included in the suit,”  Breen said.  “But residents continue to mistakenly attempt to add the county or municipality to their suit. This new law clarifies the matter, so governments don’t waste taxpayer dollars defending these frivolous claims.”

The need for the bill was brought to Breen’s attention by DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, as a method of reducing the number of lawsuits improperly filed against the county, when the complaint concerns violations by another private property owner.

“At a time when the residents of the 48th District are desperate for tax relief, I want to ensure their tax dollars are not wasted on suits that will be tossed out of court,” Breen said.  “By eliminating some of these meritless suits that send taxpayer funds toward unnecessary lawyer costs, we can reduce the amount of money these governing bodies earmark for legal services and provide an opportunity for tax relief.”

The provisions of the new law take effect immediately.