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Public Notice Regarding the Consent Decree in Welch v. Bowling

PUBLIC NOTICE REGARDING THE CONSENT DECREE

IN WELCH v. BOWLING, No. 1979 L 16004 (Cir. Ct. Cook Cty.)
 
            Welch v. Bowling is a lawsuit that was filed in 1979 by Jerry Welch, Marvin Kearney, and the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, as a purported class action.  Plaintiffs alleged that the Illinois Department of Labor used policy statements in the adjudication of unemployment insurance claims without promulgating them as rules under the Administrative Procedure Act and used final administrative orders, decisions, and opinions in the adjudication of unemployment claims without making those orders, decisions, and opinions publicly available. It is unclear whether a class was ever certified. The matter was resolved through entry of a Consent Decree. Based on that Consent Decree, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (“IDES”) currently publishes synopses of certain Board of Review (“BoR”) decisions, published case law, and explanations of case law and BoR decisions (“Abridged Reporter”). IDES also publishes the “IDES Board of Review Reporter” (“Complete Reporter”), which contains all decisions of the BoR.  After investigating the utilization of the Complete Reporter by the public, IDES has determined that the Complete Reporter has limited value to the public, if any, and imposes significant financial costs and staff time requirements on IDES.  IDES has filed a motion to amend the Consent Decree to remove the requirement to publish the Complete Reporter.  IDES has not moved to amend the Consent Decree in any other respect, including with regard to the requirement to publish the Abridged Reporter. The motion to amend the Consent Decree is pending before Judge James P. Flannery, Jr. in the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
 
            Interested parties have until May 6, 2016, which is 60 days from the date of this Public Notice, to file with the Court written objections to IDES’s motion to amend the Consent Decree to remove the requirement to publish the Complete Reporter. The objection should be filed with the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, Daley Center, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago, IL 60602, located on the seventh floor, using the caption set out below.
 
            You must provide a courtesy copy of any objection filed with the Court to Judge Flannery in Courtroom 2005 of the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago IL 60602. Copies of your objection must also be sent to the attorneys for the plaintiffs and the attorneys for IDES. These attorneys are:
 
            Jeffrey B. Gilbert                               Katherine Laurent
            Johnson, Jones, Snelling,                   Assistant Attorney General
                        Gilbert & Davis, P.C.             Illinois Attorney General’s Office
            36 S. Wabash St., Suite 1310             100 W. Randolph St., 13th Floor
            Chicago IL 60603                               Chicago, IL 60601
 
 
            Judge Flannery will hold a hearing in Courtroom 2005 at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington Street, Chicago IL 60602, to consider the objections on July 22, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.
 
Objections should begin with the following case caption:
 
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS
COUNTY DEPARTMENT, LAW DIVISION
 
 
JERRY WELCH, et al.,                                )
                                    Plaintiffs,               )
                                                                   )           No. 79 L 16004
            v.                                                    )           Honorable Judge James P. Flannery, Jr.
                                                                   )          
BOWLING, et al.,                                       )
                                    Defendants.           )