By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
In January, here on IAC, I posted an article about the City of Chicago’s intent to circumvent state law with regard to condo unit owner access to contact information and voting interests of fellow association members.
Last month, as expected, City Council voted in favor of blocking condo owner access to the following contact information of co-owners: names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and weighted votes assigned to each unit owner.
Here’s the Ordinance, as approved. See page 2 for the relevant provisions.
As predicted by some legal experts, a condo owner has already filed legal action to overturn the Chicago ordinance.
Notably, the lawsuit, filed by attorney Shorge Sato, who has served as condo board secretary in his own association, focuses on unit owner access to voting records, not the hot button issue of unit owner privacy with regard to emails and phone numbers.
Shorge states that prohibiting access to voter records and a member roster makes it impossible to verify that a condo election is proper and fair. He invokes the 14th amendment equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, and also points out that the City’s Ordinance contradicts Illinois state law governing condominium associations.
The outcome of this lawsuit will be most interesting, and important for condominium owners in Chicago and beyond.
Lawsuit: Chicago condo owner privacy ordinance unconstitutional, violates condo owner voting rights | Cook County Record
A Chicago lawyer has asked a Cook County judge to void a new Chicago city ordinance restricting the ability of condominium owners the opportunity to learn who is voting in their condo association elections, and what the actual results of the voting may be, beyond that which is shared by the condo boards.
Sato’s lawsuit does not take aim at the privacy aspects of the ordinance. Rather, he asserts the prohibition on disclosure of owner identities, couple with the prohibition on disclosure of weighted voting, leaves condo owners unable to determine if any condo association elections were actually fair and honest.
Further, he asserted, the inability to know if an election or other owner vote is fair and equal infringes on the 14th Amendment Constitutional rights of condo owners to due process of law.
— Read on
Lawsuit: Shorge Sato vs. City of Chicago