Illinois Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against City of Aurora on Planned Parenthood OK
by Steven Ertelt
November 6, 2009
Aurora, IL (LifeNews.com) — An Illinois judge has dismissed the lawsuit local pro-life advocates filed against city officials for voting to dismiss motions they filed to reverse permit decisions allowing the building of a new Planned Parenthood abortion business. The Aurora Zoning Appeals Board voted unanimously to dismiss the motions.
City officials disagreed with their contention that the approval of the building permit for Planned Parenthood’s new abortion center at 3051 E. New York Street violated zoning rules.
The zoning board dismissed the case saying the appeal didn’t fall within its jurisdiction. The board also claimed the appeal wasn’t filed in time.
A group of citizens teamed up with Fox Valley Families Against Planned Parenthood for a lawsuit filed for them by the Thomas More Society, a pro-life law firm.
Today, DuPage County Circuit Judge Neal Cerne dismissed all five counts of the lawsuit, according to the Suburban Chicago News, but gave pro-life advocates another chance to plead their case next month.
Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society said the judge did not dismiss the lawsuit based on the merits of the case but on its format and he welcomed the chance to update the arguments in the case and move ahead.
Alayne Weingartz, attorney for the city, disagreed, and told the newspaper that Judge Cerne’s decision allowed motions to dismiss filed by the city and Planned Parenthood and said there were not sufficient facts for the case to continue.
Breen says the case will be re-filed next month and Judge Cerne will hold another hearing on January 5.
Planned Parenthood, the City of Aurora, Illinois and the Aurora Zoning Board are named in the suit and accused of depriving the families of their right as citizens to voice their concerns about the impact of the abortion business.
The suit contends Planned Parenthood used a fictitious name, the Gemini Office Development corporation, to hide its identity during the zoning approval process.
"By concealing the true planned use of the property, Planned Parenthood evaded the process that would have provided local residents and city officials with the opportunity to question how their neighborhood and community would be changed," TMC chief counsel Tom Brejcha told LifeNews.com in February 2008 when it was originally filed.
Brejcha blamed the city for not rectifying the situation and accused Planned Parenthood of violating as many as 20 zoning ordinances during the process.
Democracy can’t work for people if they are denied an opportunity to impact even their own neighborhoods," he added. It simply isn’t fair to allow any entity, including Planned Parenthood, to operate outside the law.
The lawsuit asks that the court revoke Planned Parenthoods occupancy permit and that the land be returned to its original condition.
Thomas More filed the suit in the Circuit Court of the 18th Judicial Circuit of DuPage County located in Wheaton, Illinois.
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