A “John Doe” taxpayer lawsuit has been filed against the Community Unit School District (CUSD) #428 and its current Board of Education with the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois throught its attorney, Michael P. Coghlan, of DeKalb.
The complaint alleges taxpayers and lawfully-enrolled students were deprived of a fair hearing and notice prior to deprivations of private funds and school services caused by District 428’s failure to comply with school residency law. The suit alleges that property taxpayers were charged excessive property tax levies to pay $7,500,000 for 1,000 students who are not being schooled in the district of their lawful residence. According to the complaint, DeKalb taxpayers and students lawfully-enrolled in District 428 were deprived of equal protection when DeKalb property taxes and school resources unjustly enriched non-DeKalb jurisdictions by paying for school services of non-DeKalb students.
According to the petition any prejudice to District 428 arising from the anonymity of the Plaintiff is outweighed by the public good of this suit.
There is no public benefit at this time to disclosure of the identity of the Petitioner(s) who is/are asking for Federal Court intervention on behalf of interests which are common to all property tax payers and all lawfully-enrolled students in CUSD 428. See Doe v. Blue Cross, 112 F.3d 869 (7th Cir. 1997) allowing anonymity of Petitioners under these circumstances.
The Defendants are listed as members of The DeKalb School Board: Ms. Victoria Newport, Mr. Jeff Hallgren, Ms. Valerie Pena-Hernandez, Mr. Fred Davis, Mr. Kerry Mellott, Mr. Rick Smith, and Dr. Howard Solomon as well as unnamed “Handlers, Insiders, Mailers, and Driver” defined as a group of varying positions/roles acting with CUSD 428 employees and officials to facilitate the unlawful enrollment of non-resident students.
The lawsuit seeks:
1. Enjoin non-resident enrollment violations.
2. Declare that CUSD 428 must follow the Illinois law in 105 ILCS 5/10-20.12 when CUSD policy 7:60 is in conflict.
3. Order the appointment of a qualified and independent overseer selected by taxpayers and paid by public funds from the CUSD 428 School budget.
4. Order CUSD 428 employees and officials to report, in writing, all evidence of non-resident student enrollment violations to state and local police as well as the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office and the court-appointed overseer. For purposes of meeting this request for relief, anonymous reports by CUSD 428 employees and officials should be permitted.
5. Order injunctive relief requiring the preservation of all records relating to CUSD 428 student residency from 01/01/2007 to 10/06/2017.
6. Order meaningful and sustainable reform requiring taxpayer input, requiring input from representatives of lawfully-enrolled students, and requiring an independent overseer to implement reforms in the CUSD 428 prevention of violations and enforcement of state laws relating to non-resident student enrollment violations.
7. Plaintiff(s) does/do not herein request any monetary damages, payment of legal costs, or expenses incurred by Plaintiff(s) at this time. However, Plaintiff(s) does not/do not waive its rights to amend the complaint to request restitution, reimbursement or refund of excessive tax payments.
SEE VERIFIED COMPLAINT FILED OCT. 4, 2017:10-4-17 Verified Complaint