Satkar Hospitality, Inc. v. Rogers, No. 12-3116 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
In 2009, a political blog and a Chicago television station began reporting that Illinois State Rep. Froehlich offered his constituents reductions in county property taxes in exchange for political favors. The reports highlighted Satkar Hospitality, reporting that it and its owners donated hotel rooms worth thousands of dollars to Froehlich’s campaign. Satkar Hospitality and Capra appealed their tax assessments for 2007 and 2008 and won reductions, but after the publicity about Rep. Froehlich, both were called back before the Board of Review for new hearings. They claim that in these second hearings, the Board inquired not into the value of their properties but into their relationships with Rep. Froehlich. The Board rescinded the reductions. Satkar and Capra sued the Board and individual members under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The district courts concluded that the individual defendants were entitled to absolute quasi‐judicial immunity and the Board itself is not. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, but also held that the damages claims against the Board cannot proceed. They are not cognizable in federal courts, which must abstain in suits for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging state and local tax collection, at least if an adequate state remedy is available.