Manistee Apartments, LLC v. City of Chicago

The City of Chicago obtained a default administrative judgment of $3,540 against Plaintiff (Manistee Apartments), based upon a finding of code violations. The city registered the judgment and imposed a lien against plaintiff’s real estate. Plaintiff contends that it first received actual notice of the lien during routine title insurance review while it was preparing to sell its properties. In response to plaintiff’s effort to settle the matter, the city demanded $5,655.16, reflecting $720.34 in statutory interest plus $1,394.82 in collection costs and attorneys’ fees. Plaintiff conveyed its property, paid $5,655.16 under protest, and filed a federal class action, alleging due process violations. The court dismissed, stating that the plaintiff failed to allege facts that plausibly supported the assertion that it paid the demand under duress; because its payment was voluntary, plaintiff was not deprived of a constitutionally-protected property interest under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, stating that the claim was more appropriate for small claims court and questioning: why would such a small amount cause the plaintiff to exert so much time and effort? The court stated that it suspected that only lawyers stood to benefit. View "Manistee Apartments, LLC v. City of Chicago" on Justia Law