Legal Memorandum:

Issue: Under Illinois law, when may an administrative board pursue the appeal of a reversal of one of its decisions?

Area of Law: Uncategorized
Keywords: ;                          
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

In Speck v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 89 Ill.2d 482 (1982), the court held that an administrative body whose statutory charge is to "function in an adjudicatory or quasijudicial capacity" lacks standing to appeal a circuit court’s reversal of its own decision on administrative review. Id. at 485. The court held that the ordinance empowering a municipal zoning board to decide applications and appeals did not specifically authorize it to "assume the role of advocate for the purpose of prosecuting an appeal." Id. The zoning board thus was prohibited from appealing the circuit court’s decision. Id.

The rule in Speck does not foreclose every appeal by an administrative agency seeking review of an adverse court judgment. In Braun v. Retirement Board of the Firemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund, 108 Ill.2d 119, 128 (1985), the court clarified that an administrative agency with additional managerial functions beyond those of a tribunal is not subject to the "normal rule that an administrative agency has no standing to appeal a decision reversing its own decision." Because the retirement board in Braun had "extensive managerial responsibilities" to maintain and manage disbursements from a pension fund, we held the retirement board had standing to appeal the circuit court’s judgment. Id.

In addition to its adjudicatory duties, the Department is specifically entrusted with administering the Act, preserving the fund, and handling its assets in accordance with the [Workers’ Compensation] Act. See 820 ILCS 405/1700, 2100(A) (West 2012). Thus, […]