A not-for-profit organization that filed a federal lawsuit over Caseyville Township’s sewer rates has withdrawn its motion for a preliminary injunction.
Cerebral Palsy of Southwestern Illinois (CPSWIL) and two of its residents in January sued the township, its Sewer and Wastewater Treatment systems and six township officials, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under the Fair Housing, Americans with Disabilities and the Rehabilitation acts.
The suit claims that the defendants are charging CPSWIL “a higher tap-in fee and monthly sewer services rate than it charges other owners of single family detached dwellings because CPSWIL’s two dwellings will operate as group homes for persons with disabilities.”
The complaint asserts that the tap-in fee defendants charged CPSWIL was more than “four times as much as other single family residences are charged” and its monthly rate for sewer services are “fifty percent higher than the rate charged” to other single family residences.
Filed earlier this month, CPSWIL’s unopposed motion to withdraw its request for a preliminary injunction states that “the parties have since come to an agreement which will provide plaintiffs some interim relief pending final resolution of this matter.”
Under the agreement, the defendants agreed to provide CPSWIL a permit to tap-in one of the two dwellings at issue in the suit as a residential connection, as opposed to the more expensive commercial connection.
The defendants also agreed to refund CPSWIL $10,525, the commercial connection tap-in fee the not-for-profit organization paid in July 2012 for its other dwelling.
In addition, the motion that U.S. District Judge William Stiehl granted states that the defendants have agreed to charge CPSWIL a residential, rather than commercial, monthly sewer rate for each of the dwellings.
All of defendants this month filed answers to the complaint brought by CPSWIL, as well as Erik Schuetz and Florence Thompson, both of whom have been selected to move into the organization’s two new dwellings.
In their answer, the township and its Sewer and Wastewater Treatment systems offered five affirmative defenses on top of several denials of allegations made in the complaint.
The township and its treatment systems first contend that the plaintiffs’ claims are barred “due to their failure to take reasonable action to mitigate their damages.” They further argue that any damages incurred by the plaintiffs are the result of their own acts or omissions.
As a third affirmative defense, the township defendants assert that CPSWIL’s accommodation request to be charged residential rates “would cause an undue burden” on them, and the existing users of the township’s sewer system.
They also argue in their answer that the requested accommodation is not needed for CPSWIL to operate its facilities and that the plaintiffs “are using their alleged legal status to unilaterally discount the cost of the tap-in fees for the properties with no basis to do so.”
The two township defendants’ fifth and final affirmative defense offered in their answer claims that “the plaintiffs are estopped from bringing their claims against Defendants.”
Northbrook attorneys Brian Funk and Jane May submitted the answer on behalf of the township and its Sewer and Wastewater Treatment systems.
St. Louis attorneys Thomas E. Kennedy and Roshni Shikari brought the complaint on CPSWIL’s behalf. John Ammann at the St. Louis University Legal Clinic represents Schuetz and Thompson.