Updated May 12, 2012. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Lee Preston dismissed Veolia’s complaint against the City of Evanston on May 11 and has given Veolia until June 1 to file an amended complaint. Veolia’s complaint alleged that certain ordinances passed by the City violate the City’s Code and Illinois’ Constitution. Veolia operates a solid waste transfer station on Church Street, and has challenged fees imposed by the City.
In an unusual move, Judge Preston dismissed the complaint “on the Court’s own motion.” The matter had come before the Court on Veolia’s motion to strike the City’s affirmative defenses. Judge Preston dismissed the complaint because it “contains approximately twenty pages of narrative allegations in support of its eight claims” and failed to make factual allegations in separate numbered paragraphs.
In a prepared statement, Corporation Counsel Grant Farrar said, “With Judge Preston’s thoughtful and well-reasoned order issued today, I trust that Veolia may take a fresh look at the advisability of pursuing this litigation. In the 6 months since it filed its complaint, Veolia has expended tremendous resources of time and money that could be better spent relocating the transfer station. The parent company’s announced intent to sell all of the North American waste management components continues to contradict the necessity of Veolia suing the City over the City’s lawful and justified ordinance concerning the Evanston Transfer Station.”
Veolia issued a prepared statement regarding the dismissal that says, “Contrary to the statements made today by Evanston’s corporation counsel, W. Grant Farrar, the Court’s ruling did not address the substance of Veolia’s claims, but rather was focused on the form of both the complaint and certain of its allegations. Specifically, the Court noted that the complaint contained ‘narrative’ statements that the Court felt did not fully comply with Illinois’s pleading requirements.
“The Court granted Veolia until June 1, 2012 to file an amended complaint, which Veolia fully intends to do. To be clear, today’s ruling does not diminish Veolia’s claim that the City of Evanston has violated many of the company’s constitutional rights and has unfairly targeted the company’s long-standing business, all with the hope of unlawfully pushing Veolia out of the City.”