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October 21, 2019

10/2/2019 3:22:00 PM
Federal Court Dismisses Skokie Suit Over Water Rates
By Larry Gavin

On Sept. 27, U.S. District Court Judge Charles P. Kocoras dismissed the complaint filed by the Village of Skokie and several Skokie residents against the City of Evanston, its Mayor and Aldermen.

The complaint alleged that Evanston discriminated against the Skokie plaintiffs by charging excessive rates for the water Evanston treats and distributes to Skokie. After Evanston and Skokie reached an impasse in negotiating a water rate in 2017, Evanston’s City Council decided to charge $2.06 per 1,000 gallons, and it filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County to determine a reasonable rate. The Skokie plaintiffs, in turn, filed suit in federal court.

Judge Kocoras dismissed the federal claims holding that the Skokie plaintiffs lacked standing to sue because they had not yet paid the increased water rate, and depending on what the Circuit Court decided, they may never be injured. He declined to exercise jurisdiction over the State law claims.

The dispute now returns to the Circuit Court, which by statute has jurisdiction to determine a reasonable rate.

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