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Judge to Rule in Zoning Battle over Aurora Planned Parenthood Mega-Facility

by Staff
May 25, 2010
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WHEATON, Ill., ( -- Thomas More Society Attorneys Will Appear to Receive Decision on Whether Case Against Aurora Planned Parenthood Can Proceed

Attorneys from the Thomas More Society will appear in court on Friday when Judge Neal W. Cerne will rule on whether they can proceed with their lawsuit to hold Planned Parenthood liable for zoning violations in connection with its mega-facility in Aurora, Ill. Planned Parenthood and the other defendants in the case have filed three separate motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, all of which are scheduled to be decided on Friday.

The Thomas More Society represents neighbors of the facility in alleging that the current non-profit use of the facility by Planned Parenthood is illegal in Aurora's B- B "Business Boulevard" zoning district. The lawsuit also alleges that Planned Parenthood willfully violated Aurora's zoning and other laws in the development and construction process for the facility. The Thomas More Society has also sued the City of Aurora for its part in the claimed misapplication of its zoning laws against Planned Parenthood, in light of the City's admission that its outside attorneys applied the wrong ordinance to the facility during their legal review in September 2008.

"This massive and illegal abortion facility is a blight on the quiet residential neighborhood that it borders," said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society executive director and legal counsel. "If the City of Aurora's zoning laws are to have any meaning, Planned Parenthood must be held to account for its repeated and flagrant violations of those laws."

Previously, the City of Aurora's Zoning Board of Appeals and Building Code Board of Appeals dismissed three administrative actions brought by the Thomas More Society, ruling that those administrative actions were brought too late.

On Friday, Judge Cerne has several options: he may deny the defendants' motions to dismiss and allow the lawsuit to proceed in DuPage County Court. Judge Cerne may instead reverse the decisions of the City of Aurora's Boards of Appeals and order the case to proceed before those Boards. Or, Judge Cerne may dismiss the entire lawsuit, ending the case and forcing an appeal. If the case is allowed to proceed, Thomas More Society attorneys intend to subpoena Planned Parenthood and City of Aurora officials to testify under oath about the full details of the zoning and development process for the facility.

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