Madigan v. Stateline Recycling, LLCAnnotate this Case
Reents obtained a tax deed to 10 locked and gated acres in Rockford. In 2017, the Attorney General, at the request of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, filed a civil enforcement action for violations of 415 ILCS 5/1, against Reents and Stateline Recycling, including allegations of open dumping of waste without a permit; disposal, storage, and abandonment of waste at an unpermitted facility; open dumping of waste resulting in litter and the deposition of construction and demolition debris; and failure to pay clean construction and demolition debris fill operation fees. Reents refused to permit an inspection of the property during pretrial discovery. The Winnebago County circuit court granted a motion to compel her to comply with the Rule 214(a) inspection request. After Reents asserted a good-faith objection and respectfully refused to comply, the court held her in contempt so that she could file an appeal. The appellate court reversed, citing Fourth Amendment principles.
The Illinois Supreme Court vacated. The appellate court erred in deciding the appeal on constitutional grounds; the issue presented involves a civil discovery order that the appellate court should have reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Reents did not raise any constitutional issues and has forfeited any such challenge. Courts should not find discovery rules unconstitutional when a particular case does not require it. The circuit court applied the plain language of Rule 214(a) as written.