For McHenry Township, Hanlon Asks for Monetary Sanctions in Tax Levy Case against Attorney Whose Actions Are Not Considered “Reasonable”

Attorneys for the McHenry Township Board, Robert Hanlon and James Melillo, defeated Road Commissioner James Condon’s and his Road District’s attempt to recoup the tax dollars cut from next year’s property tax levy.

Judge Kevin Costello upheld the Township Board’s cutting of the Road District’s tax levy drastically.

An appeal by Road District attorney Jamie Wombacher was quickly rejected by the 2nd Appellate Court. Noted in the decision was the lack of a transcript filed by Wombacher did not allow the Court to figure out why Judge Costello had allowed the reduced tax levy to stand.

Judge Kevin Costello’s decision in the McHenry Township Road District tax levy case.

Now, Hanlon has filed a motion seeking sanctions be imposed on opposing attorney Wombacher. The cost of defending the Road District tax levy passed by the Board in the suit brought by the 17-year attorney is sought as the penalty.

The Supreme Court Rule (137) concerning sanctions is below:

Hanlon summarizes the mistakes in the proceedings:

In summary, Plaintiffs’ errors include but are not limited to:

  • naming an improper plaintiff;
  • failing to name a proper defendant;
  • erroneously naming numerous
    improper defendants;
  • including two counts that are not recognized causes of action;
  • failing to plead the elements for a cause of action;
  • failing to plead the required additional allegations for a Temporary Restraining Order;
  • failing to plead the required allegations for permanent injunctive relief;
  • failing to plead necessary factual allegations for
    mandamus relief;
  • erroneously seeking improper remedies, and
  • filing an appeal without a good faith basis.

Throughout the brief Hanlon makes his arguments for court-imposed sanctions:

  • The filing of the lawsuit by a 17-year attorney provides “absolutely no excuse for the violation of Rule 137.”
  • The “timing” itself was “an abuse,” coming so close to the January 29th tax levy filing deadline thereby leaving little time for reply.
  • The lawsuit was “completely, wholly, without merit” because it disposition was clearly controlled by case law precedent, statute, or rules of the court.”
  • Plaintiffs filed a
  • The complaint is labeled as “gibberish” justifying the term by referring to a Jenner and Block article that shows up first under a Google search of “Illinois Temporary Restraining Order.”
  • Arguing that opposing attorney did not “undertake even a cursory review of the law,” Hanlon points to the improper inclusion of Highway Commissioner James Condon as a plaintiff.
  • After losing in Circuit Court plaintiff appealed “when any prudent attorney would have re-assessed the complaint and re-evaluated his or her position.”
  • While a “Notice of Motion” for a TRO motion was filed, “she failed to actually file a separate motion for a TRO…Sadly, Count 1 does not even contain a cause of action.”
  • After losing in Circuit Court, opposing counsel appealed “as opposed to examining the merits of this Court’s decision and filing an amended complaint with a proper cause of action against a proper party and a properly formed complaint and motion.
  • Concurrent with the Appellate Court filing were two amicus briefs. Hanlon notes that in almost three hours of research he could find no other TRO appeals with “contemporaneously” filed friend of the court briefs. He note one was from the Township Officials of Illinois.
  • The Appellate Court issued a summary judgment making “it clear that the decision was based on readily apparent authority and clear statutory language.”
  • Pointing to an 1863 decision, Hanlon observes, “it is clear plaintiff sued nearly everyone except the party they potentially could have sued…Accordingly, not a single count of Plaintiffs Complaint is proper”
  • “The failure to name a single Defendant is grounds under Rule 137 issuance of sanctions.”
  • “Aggravating matters is that Plaintiffs’ counsel filed two counts that are not even recognized causes of action (Count I Temporary Restraining Order and Count II Injunction.)” He cites a 2000 case holding that “injunctions are not causes of action. This is nothing new! An injunction is a remedy and only a remedy for a cause of action.”
  • “Here, there is no cause of action articulated in Count I, just a purported remedy.
  • While plaintiffs were required to lay out facts to establish the lilkelihood of success in the case, that did not occur.
  • In light of the Appellate Court’s summary order, “there cannot be said to be a fair question on the issue of temporary or permanent relief…”
  • The coordination with the Township Officials of Illinois and the Illinois Highway Commissioners’ Association is called into question. The amicus briefs were filed in “less time than the lawful time necessary to allow McHenry Township to notice and hold a public meeting to appoint counsel.
  • “Underlying plaintiffs meritless attempt to obtain a TRO is the fundamental underlying purpose of a TRO {which] is to preserve the status quo until” a court hearing.
  • “Here, the status quo was the McHenry Township’s decision…The remedy (to keep the tax levy with being field with the County Clerk) of course is misdirected and is not remotely compliant with any legal theory supporting the issuance of temporary injunctive relief.”
  • “The counts to sound in TRO and injunction are so grossly defective that sanctions are warranted.”
  • “It is clear the plaintiffs did not even attempt examining the law on writs of mandamus. A writ of mandamus is an extraordinary that will not be granted unless plaintiff can show a clear, affirmative right to relief, a clear duty of the defendant to act, and clear authority in the defendant to comply with the writ…Plaintiffs don’t even appear to try to conform complaint to the law on mandamus.”
  • The mandamus action sought relief from the Township Clerk when he had no such authority. Hanlon argues that misstep shows a clear violation of Reul 137.
  • To achieve the goal of the Plaintiff’s suit, “actual facts” showing “irreprable harm” needed to be advanced. While the claim was made, the reasons were not, Hanlon’s brief says.
  • Since the Road District has the power to ask voters for permission to raise more money, Hanlon argues that any harm is not “irreparable.” Je calls ir “a simple remedy,” if the Road District “cannot tighten its belt tight enough.”
  • No “reasonable attorney would with recent cases and authority available would have included Mr. Condon [the Highway Commissioner] as a plaintiff. Likewiseno reasonable attorney would have sued the members of the Board individually.”
  • The Appellate Court decision makes it clear that the mandaius relief sought was equally erroneous, without merit, ad as pled was not incompliance wih Rule 137.


For McHenry Township, Hanlon Asks for Monetary Sanctions in Tax Levy Case against Attorney Whose Actions Are Not Considered “Reasonable” — 15 Comments

  1. Whoa! Somebody finally doing something to clean up McHenry Co.

    Sort of incredible.

  2. If the board can cut the levy, can the board increase the levy?

    Asking for a friend.

  3. It’s unclear whether McHenry Township is party to/paying for this action, or it’s just between the attorneys.

  4. Can’t answer the question beyond pointing out that the Tax Cap limits how much the levy can be increased.

  5. The board can do whatever it wants Robin.

    There are no rules.

    Still waiting on the thumb drive in the clerk’s office with all of Bob’s emails.

    …and Robin if they can cut the levy they can raise it too…

    This is what happens when we protect AAM Enterprises.

  6. Nob: This may be the first time that you actually have a question as opposed to a meritless position.

    But to answer your question, the answer is no they Cannot increase the levy above the PTELL Limit.

    Illinois has a Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) that varies by County.

    McHenry County is a PTELL county.

    Under PTELL a taxing body cannot tax more than the prior levy plus a cost of living increase.

    The McHenry Township cut is effective next year and can only be increased over the reduced amount by CPI or 4% which ever is greater.

    I need to check the percentage because it may be 5%.

    If however, the taxing authority goes to the public with a referendum, it can ask the voters for more money.

    The Board cannot increase anything.

  7. Robert “Banjo Boy” Beltran needs to fess up about his involvement in shady doings involving KENOSHA.

    Who was staying at his house?

    Who complained of bed bugs?

    Who needed alibis?

    Who was crying ‘in the cottage’?

    Who got hit with skateboards and rolling pins?

    Who is Mr. James?

  8. Beltran: Why don’t you read the prayer for relief in section A.

    It clearly states that a sanction is sought against not only the Road District and its attorney, but also James Condon.

  9. Cal: Inasmuch as my last name is a unique word on your blog, perhaps you would be kind enough to refer to me as “Attorney Hanlon” the same way as you reference my opposing counsel, Mrs. Wombacher.

    Alternatively, “Mr. Hanlon” or “Robert Hanlon” might work with your Blog too.

    Nevertheless, I share that family name with a few thousand people and I think we might not want to confuse those other Hanlons with me.

    All of the other Hanlons will thank you for the clarification!

  10. This is news?

    This is the same attorney who filed pleadings on behalf of Cal and the courageous anonymous posters who call women “whores.”

    This is the same attorney who actually put in a filed and stamped pleading that a woman who has a child outside of marriage is a whore — “by definition.”

    Talk about sanctionable pleadings.

    What a GENIUS.

    There is a ZERO percent chance this motion will get any traction whatsoever, but who cares — it got GENIUS mentioned in the Cal Skinner blog — a prize like a fly on top of a dogshit sundae.

    The proof of this is in his own comment to please use his full name!

    He wants people to be able to find him and know what a superb legal mind has been at work.

    Ironic how narcissists are so compelled to put themselves in the center of attention but don’t notice what it is they show to the world.

    He insists on proving why attorneys have such a poor reputation.

  11. How did Rebecca Lee, the rather sneaky daughter of Bob Miller, the exRoad Dist. Kingpin of Algonquin Township and string-puller of censured Judge Chmiel aka Slimiel, get out of signing off on that train wreck suit?

    Why did she make her partner Wombach sign it?

    Why does her client Jimmy Condon do now?

  12. Thanks Meena.

    Do you know the status of Carlos Acosta’s case and also if he is represented by Rebecca Miller?

  13. Wiley, you stink like a township official, or a township employee trying to impress a township official on ‘work’ time.

    Are you referring to Mary McClellan who was, indeed, a certified whore of Local 150 and never denied it.

    Keep your retarded virtue signaling to yourself.

    What Wombaaaaaaacher did was stupid.

    But maybe the fix was already in with her Chemiel boyfriend and Miller retainer.

    Make Wombaaaaaaaaacher pay.

    She should.

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