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Lake Michigan Fed'n v. Corps of Eng'rs

Citation: 21 ELR 20111
No. No. 90 C 2809, 742 F. Supp. 441/31 ERC 1860/(N.D. Ill., 06/22/1990)

The court finds that the conveyance of lakebed property by the state legislature to a university for campus expansion violates the public trust doctrine. The Illinois Legislature conveyed nearly 20 acres of lakebed to Loyola University of Chicago for a campus expansion plan, which included unrestricted public access to certain areas of the lakefill. The court finds that while the project had some aspects that were beneficial to the public, the primary purpose of the grant was to satisfy a private interest. The court finds that the power to control public access to the property given to Loyola violates the public trust doctrine, and the legislative determination that the lakefill would serve the public does not preclude the finding. Finally, the court finds that the plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief is not barred by laches and grants the claim.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Barry J. Freeman, Jeffrey P. Smith
Gottlieb & Schwartz
Amoco Bldg., 200 E. Randolph Dr., Ste. 6900, Chicago IL 60601
(312) 819-1000

Counsel for Defendants
David Engel, Frederic J. Artwick
Sidley & Austin
One First National Plaza, Chicago IL 60603
(312) 853-7000
Gail Ginsberg, Ass't U.S. Attorney
Everett McKinley Dirksen Bldg., 219 S. Dearborn St., Rm. 1500, Chicago IL 60604
(312) 353-5300