Chicago's New License Discipline Rules of Procedure: How it Affects Your Business

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At the beginning of November 2014, the City's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection made some changes to its long-standing Rules of Procedure for contested hearings. These are the rules that prosecutors and licensees must abide by when the City brings a discipline hearing at 121 N. LaSalle (City Hall).

You can download a copy of the new rules HERE.

The first thing to change is the name of the commission itself. It is now called the Mayor's License Discipline Commision. Actually, the official full name is: The Mayor's License Discipline Commission of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and the Local Liquor Control Commission. That's a mouthful.

In substance, the new rules flesh out and clarify procedures that have been used in practice for years. For example, the new rules define the authority of the Commission's hearing officers. There isn't much that changes the way hearings have always been done.

But In some cases, the new rules alter the procedure significantly. This is reflected most prominently in the new rules regards continuances. The new rules are much more specific about the few times a continuance may be granted. Obviously, the City is trying to cut down on licensees and attorneys who try to game the system. It will certainly change the way defense attorneys proceed with their cases.

What's also important here is to understand that administrative rules tend to differ from normal civil procedure. In my experience, some attorneys who are not used to administrative procedure or business license cases can become frustrated at how these cases proceed. I actually recently heard an attorney in court loudly proclaim the license discipline hearing room to be a "kangaroo court." This is, of course, nonsense. Any attorney who has spent time before the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection should know what the rules are, why they are in place, and how it affects their client's case. Anything else is simply detrimental to his client.

License Law Group will be monitoring how these rules play out in the court setting.

If you have any questions about the rules or want to talk about your case in particular, please call 773-809-5409.

by Daniel Rubinow, Principal Attorney

License Law Group

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Daniel Rubinow