Bond County Restraining Order Gets Overturned

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The fifth district appellate court in Mt. Vernon vacated a temporary restraining order on Friday, Oct. 1, issued by a Bond County judge that prohibited the Greenville school district from enforcing the state's mask mandate for students.

The vacated restraining order was similar to the one issued in Montgomery County on Sept. 17 prohibiting the Hillsboro School District from enforcing the same state mask mandate.

According to the appellate decision by Justice James Moore and concurred with by Justices Thomas Welch and John Barberis, the Bond County circuit court "abused its discretion" in granting the temporary restraining order because the plaintiffs failed to name the governor, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) as party defendants.

"The governor, ISBE, and IDPH have an interest in this matter which would be materially affected by a judgment entered in their absence, and their participation is required to protect that interest," Justice Moore wrote in his opinion.  "In addition, the participation of these parties is required for the court to reach a decision protecting the school district's interest in following the mandates of the governor, IDPH, and ISBE to avoid any repercussion from those parties.  Finally, to completely resolve the controversy between the plaintiffs and the school district, the participation of the governor, IDPH, and ISBE is required because they are an additional source of enforcement of the mask mandate that the plaintiffs seek to enjoin. For these reasons, we find the governor, IDPH, and ISBE are necessary parties to this action.  Accordingly, because the temporary restraining order at issue was entered without jurisdiction over these necessary parties, it is void and must be vacated."

In the case against the Hillsboro School District pending in Montgomery County Circuit Court, Judge Douglas Gruenke ordered that the governor, IDPH and ISBE be made parties to the suit, but only after granting a similar temporary restraining order on Sept. 17 and refusing a motion to reconsider it on Sept. 24.

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