Administrative Code Okay In Appendix; Dictionary Excerpt Stricken

Taxpayers sued to prevent the local school district from transferring cash that was raised by a sale of bonds to the district’s operations and maintenance fund. The taxpayers argued that the money rightfully belonged in the district’s educational fund.

Cross motions for summary judgment were filed by the taxpayers and the school district. The trial court denied the taxpayers’ motion and granted summary judgment to the school district. The taxpayers appealed.

Although they were not included in the record on appeal, the taxpayers put into their appendix copies of two sections of the Illinois Administrative Code and a “printout of an internet thesaurus website containing the synonyms and antonyms for the word ‘abolish.’” The school district asked the appellate court to strike those parts of the taxpayers’ appendix and the parts of their brief that referred to those items.

The Second District Illinois Appellate Court ruled that it was permitted to take judicial notice of the administrative code, so the taxpayers were allowed to include them in their appendix. However, stating it had no legal basis, the appellate court struck the dictionary excerpt. Here is what the court stated.

We first note that courts are required to take judicial notice of all rules published in the Illinois Administrative Code and the Illinois Register … This court may take judicial notice of rules and regulations even when they are not part of the record on appeal … Thus, while [Illinois] Supreme Court Rule 342(a) [stating the requirements for the appendix] … does not provide for the inclusion in the appendix of such nonrecord material as rules and regulations, we do not find that the inclusion of the Illinois Administrative Code sections is improper, and we deny the motion to strike as it relates to this material. However, the inclusion of the printout of the Internet thesaurus has no legal basis, and it and all references to it are stricken.

Get the whole case, G.I.S. Venture v. Novak, No. 2-07-0934 (2/16/09), by clicking here.