Cases & Deals

Morton Arboretum defeats unconstitutional takings claim and secures award of attorneys' fees

Clients Morton Arboretum, The

Jones Day represented The Morton Arboretum in a claim brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that Morton conspired with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Illinois, to unconstitutionally "take" the plaintiff's land. Morton moved to dismiss the complaint on several grounds, and its motion was granted by the trial court. Plaintiff pursued two appeals to the Illinois Appellate Court and one to the Illinois Supreme Court, but Morton prevailed at every turn. Ultimately, Morton secured an award of attorneys' fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 (a fee-shifting provision that is rarely applied in favor of prevailing defendants), which also was upheld on appeal.

Stahelin v. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, et al., 877 N.E.2d 1121 (Ill. App. Ct. 2007); Stahelin v. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, et al., 930 N.E.2d 447 (Ill. App. Ct. 2010)

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