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DeVore files Macoupin County lawsuit against more than 100 school districts over mask mandate

Wednesday, Oct 20, 2021

* Just a warning that I may have missed some stuff because there’s a lot to this so click here and post whatever you find in comments and I’ll update as necessary

NOW COMES, Plaintiffs, individually, and on behalf of their minor children (hereinafter the minor children shall be collectively referred to as the “Students”) by and through their attorneys Thomas G. DeVore, Jeffrey A. Mollet and Erik D. Hyam, and the Silver Lake Group, Ltd., and for their Verified Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief against Defendants […]

Each of the Plaintiffs (other than North Mac Community School District #34 Parents which were already certified as a class), seek to represent a class of other parents or legal guardians who also have children who attend school within their respective School Districts. […]

Whether Students can be required to wear a mask while on the property of the School Districts, or be excluded from school and denied in-person learning without a lawful order of quarantine from the local health department having jurisdiction over such matters as to each particular School District, are two common questions to all putative class plaintiffs within each of the School Districts. […]

As a part of the School Districts’ back-to-school plans, all the Students are being mandated by the School Districts to wear a mask while on school property.

At all times relevant, the Students are involuntarily wearing masks while on the School Districts’ premises.

The Plaintiffs’ minor children will be excluded from the premises of their respective School Districts if he/she refuses to wear a mask.

In alleged conformity with the directives of Pritzker, IDPH and ISBE, the School Districts have adopted a policy which, without having obtained consent of a parent or legal guardian, or having obtained a lawful order of quarantine issued by the court on behalf of a local health department, will exclude the Students from the School Districts’ premises if a Student is deemed to have been in alleged close contact to a positive COVID person.

At all times relevant, the Students are not currently positive for COVID.

At all times relevant, the Students are not exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID.

All of the School Districts have implemented and are illegally enforcing the exclusion directives issued by Pritzker, IDPH and ISBE.

As such, all of the School Districts are currently engaging in the policy of excluding Students from their premises based upon a close contact determination which does not include consent of a parent, or a lawful order of quarantine having issued against the Students by the certified local health department or IDPH.

The lawsuit quotes a Fox News segment that we debunked here. And it makes this claim

The COVID-19 virus has been in existence for over 1 1⁄2 years, and as such the existence of this infectious disease could never be a sufficient basis for which to invoke the emergency rulemaking power of the Illinois Administrative Code.

* They also claim this

Quite simply, the Defendants are infringing upon the lawful right of the Students, and of their parents or guardians, to be free to choose for themselves whether mask wearing as a treatment, or type of modified quarantine, for the purpose of limiting the spread of an infectious disease, is, absent a court order, appropriate, especially where the Defendants have used, as a sword, direct and unabashed threats to the Students; right to an education if they refuse to comply.

* Among other things, they’ve asked the court to do this

Declaring, absent consent of the parents or guardians, the Defendants must have in their possession a lawful order of quarantine issued on behalf of the certified local health department before the Students can be compelled to utilize a mask, which use is purported to limit the spread of an infectious disease, while on school property. […]

Declaring under 20 ILCS 2305(c), the parents, guardians, children, and Students have a due process right to refuse a modified quarantine which is alleged to limit the spread of an infectious disease; […]

Declaring the Revised Guidance does not have the effect of Rule as it was not adopted following the procedures of the Illinois Administrative Procedures Act; […]

Declaring Executive Order 2021-24 and 2021-25 are invalid to the extent they seek to expand power of the School Districts, ISBE, or IDPH to exclude children or Students from the premises of the School Districts due to have been deemed an alleged close contact, absent consent of the parent, guardian or a lawful order issued pursuant to 20 ILCS 2305 […]

Enter an injunction permanently enjoining the School Districts from compelling the Students, as well as all other children similarly situated, to utilize a mask, alleged to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, unless the parent or legal guardian consents or a lawful order has issued in favor of the certified local health department pursuant to 20 ILCS 2305

…Adding… I saw this as well. From comments…

Devore was soliciting $5,000 + filing fees per district to be part of lawsuit

…Adding… An example of the fundraising…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

36 Comments
  1. - Dave Fako / Fako Research & Strategies - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    Devore was soliciting $5,000 + filing fees per district to be part of lawsuit…This was promoted by the Awake IL group for some districts with links to fundraising options for each district. I got a solicitation from a local “Awake IL” group asking businesses to help fund the lawsuit…I politely told the local group no.


  2. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    Typo and a big one at that …

    “Governor JAY ROBERT PRITDISKER,”


  3. - West Side the Best Side - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:22 pm:

    DeVore wants to be on the Appellate Court and give up his money making lawsuits? Well, Covid will eventually end - no thanks to his lawsuits- and if he lasts long enough on the court there is a Tier 2 pension, so maybe he’s taking the long view.


  4. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:25 pm:

    The length people go to protect their selfish ignorant anti-community behavior.


  5. - Dave Fako / Fako Research & Strategies - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    Example of the Solicitation on behalf of devore (I left out the name of the person sending it):

    Good Morning Lemont Business Owner!

    You may have heard in the news Thomas DeVore, a downstate attorney, has been successful in securing temporary restraining orders against school districts enforcing mask mandates. Masks can’t be forced on school kids without a health department quarantine order. He’s now taking on more school districts in a class action lawsuit in an attempt to do the same.

    We are asking our local business to help in the cause for our two Lemont School Districts. Please help reach our goal of $5,000 for the attorney fee. If we don’t reach our goal money will be returned since we are raising this via Paypal only. Donations can be anonymous. Awake IL is sponsoring the webpage for donations. We have until Wednesday to raise the funds. Any amount is appreciated.

    Click here to donate https://www.awakeil.com/legal2 Scroll down until you see Lemont School Districts.

    Please reach out to my cell if you have any questions.


  6. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    -Devore was soliciting $5,000 + filing fees per district to be part of lawsuit…-

    Potential solicitation issues aside, I hope he can demonstrate a reasonable basis for those fees, and I hope someone makes him do it.


  7. - Dave Fako / Fako Research & Strategies - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    And in our school’s case - devore wanted to double dip on the $5K too — FB message that circulated by the local Awake group:

    Lemont Parents and community. Per Tom DeVore’s office, in order to represent the rights of our students in both Lemont school districts (113a & 210) regarding masks and quarantine mandates, we will need to fund both districts separately.
    We have raised enough funds to join the class action suit against the state in the defense of SD113a and are continuing our efforts to fund LHS210.
    We were granted special privileges for LHS210 to extend the deadline to end of business day Friday. Please donate anything you can to include our high school kids in the protection of this class action suit.
    The White House told Pritzker to start preparing the state to va((inate all kids 5 & older by early November. Devore has expressed that he will add protections against this in the class action if mandated. With Pritzker trying to end religious exemptions during pandemi(s, we will need all the protection we can get for our kids!
    The Paypal link has been set up through Awake Lemont. Again, everything is anonymous but you will need to click the box that says “don’t share my name publicly”. If we do not meet the $5,325 goal for LHS, all funds will be returned.


  8. - Mamacita - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:36 pm:

    Just make masks part of the dress code. There’s nothing Principals like better than enforcing a dress code.


  9. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    Quite simply, the Defendants are infringing upon the lawful right of the Students, and of their parents or guardians, to be free to choose for themselves whether mask wearing as a treatment, or type of modified quarantine, for the purpose of limiting the spread of an infectious disease, is, absent a court order, appropriate, especially where the Defendants have used, as a sword, direct and unabashed threats to the Students; right to an education if they refuse to comply.

    In my experience, meritorious claims can often be expressed using simple language and without a superabundance of punctuation.

    – MrJM


  10. - BTO2 - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    If this is successful, I’m really glad I got my booster shot yesterday..


  11. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    “At all times relevant, the Students are not currently positive for COVID.”

    Is he claiming that at all times relevant, which I take to mean the entire time of these executive orders, not one student had or currently has Covid? If so, how can he realistically make that claim and think it’s legitimate? This just seems like an ongoing big con to me.

    Would someone who’s a lawyer explain if he is claiming something different? I looked up the phrase and couldn’t find a legal definition.


  12. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 2:57 pm:

    -Would someone who’s a lawyer explain if he is claiming something different?-

    It’s poorly phrased because currently and “at all times” are not the same thing. Saying none of the students have currently tested positive is one thing, but saying at all times relevant that none of them had it is quite another. No one knows that, and since this is a verified complaint how can anyone swear to the truth of that?


  13. - Jocko - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:00 pm:

    Is DeVore trying to argue that schools are somehow exempt from Pritzker’s statewide indoor mask mandate? Or that schools cannot take steps to mitigate the effects of contagious illness?

    Am I supposed to ignore the fact that school-aged kids have died of Covid-19?


  14. - SomeGuy - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:06 pm:

    A local FB group was counting the local district’s inclusion in the case as a massive success. The person who organized the fundraiser said that DeVore was “yet to lose a case”. I had to bite my tongue because I know arguing on FB is a waste of energy.


  15. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:06 pm:

    I propose a type of modified quarantine that includes DeVore’s piehole?


  16. - Betty - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    Good for you bto

    That’s the way it works

    If your concerned about your own health
    Take precautions
    You will
    Be protected
    You won’t have to be scared


  17. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:09 pm:

    Please do everything possible to prolong Covid. If gets controlled what will Devore do?


  18. - Ducky LaMoore - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:16 pm:

    There are people with the last name Devore listed as plaintiffs. Is he representing family???


  19. - Jason Bourne - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:27 pm:

    Devore has only been successful so far because the districts he obtained the TROs against didn’t fight it. This is a different case since he enjoined all the districts. One, I can’t possibly see them not moving it to another court. It’s the first thing the districts are going to ask for. Second, this time the districts are going to fight and I’m sure the plantiffs won’t get off without having to pay a bond, especially since the burden of the financial loss are clearly on the districts.


  20. - Leslie K - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:34 pm:

    ===That’s the way it works===

    Actually, no it isn’t. Even with boosters there might be breakthrough cases. And with every transmission, there is a risk of a new and more dangerous variant emerging. Selfish ninnies crying about wearing a mask are putting everyone–the vaxxed, the unable to be vaxxed, and the unwilling to be vaxxed–in danger.


  21. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:40 pm:

    =Just make masks part of the dress code. There’s nothing Principals like better than enforcing a dress code.=

    Stated by someone who clearly does not know what they are talking about.

    For The Record, they generally hate dealing with dress code issues.


  22. - Reader - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 3:46 pm:

    Devore spells the Gov’s name “PRITDISKER” on page 46


  23. - Ryan - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 4:02 pm:

    Two things: the crazy is statewide, and just how many cases has this Devore guy actually won?

    Oh, and one other thing. I was just at an athletic event in Eureka, apparently there is no pandemic there. Hardly a mask in site.


  24. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 4:06 pm:

    =I politely told the local group no.=

    Why be polite? They certainly aren’t polite and they certainly are undermining civil society and the rule of law. Be as mean as you want to them


  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    The grifting of the $5,000 with debunked “facts”, there’s nothing honest to the suit except it’s honestly about the money and in the end losing gracefully to make the marks feel like they aren’t marks.

    It’s pathetically sad, this exploitation


  26. - sal-says - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 4:49 pm:

    Why does frivolous, anti-democracy ‘mr ego’ devore STILL have a law license ? Every one of these wastes judge’s time & costs taxpayers.


  27. - Lt Guv - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 5:45 pm:

    The man is a bold faced thief soliciting money from many who can’t afford it to let him tilt at windmills. How does he sleep?


  28. - Southern - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 6:21 pm:

    I had started to feel sorry for these folks, because they’ll eventually see that they’ve been fleeced, big-time. But as someone told me earlier today, there’s no reason to feel sorry for them: Caveat emptor.

    Also, you can see how this will end. When all of the TROs have expired and the appeals have been exhausted, DeVore will say, “See? I told you all of these liberal courts are rigged. We need to fix this now. And the only way to fix it is by electing me to the appellate court. And I can’t get elected without more campaign money. Please see the link to donate to my campaign.”


  29. - Huh? - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 6:22 pm:

    “How does he sleep?”

    On his back, mouth open, and loudly snoring. Pure speculation on my part.


  30. - Tired Teacher - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 6:57 pm:

    There is a special place in a much lower area for Devore. He is appalling.


  31. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 7:03 pm:

    A current plainfield village trustee is listed as a plaintiff on page 3.


  32. - Siualum - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 7:12 pm:

    Units of government suing each other, and Devore lining his pockets, all at taxpayer expense.


  33. - Southern - Wednesday, Oct 20, 21 @ 7:40 pm:

    He talks about putative class members in his suit, but never actually asks that a class be certified. Class certification, I think, will be a big problem.

    For one, if the plaintiff class consists of all parents of students, how can the class representatives “fairly and adequately protect the interest of the class?” Probably half of the proposed class members firmly believe that following the state’s Covid guidelines for schools is a good idea.

    Second, in discussion of a class definition, the suit states:”Each of the Plaintiffs … seek to represent a class of other parents or legal guardians who also have children who attend school within their respective School Districts.” So is he saying each district will have its own class action? If so, why are they lumped together in Macoupin County?

    Third: A requirement for class certification in Illinois is that the “class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable.” By listing 100-plus plaintiff parents by name in the suit, DeVore seems to have already accomplished the impracticable, or is at least well on his way toward accomplishing it. Heck, he could probably identify every single parent who wants to be a plaintiff by just asking for the names of parents who donated to the legal funds.

    Bottom line, calling something a class action and actually getting it certified as a class action are two very different things. Certification is almost always a major hurdle.

    And when this suit gets broken up into 145 different suits strewn across the state, DeVore is going to have a very difficult time giving $5,500 worth of lawyering to each one of the groups that chipped in money.


  34. - MadManMad - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 7:56 am:

    A Facebook Group titled “Illinois South Suburban Schools - Parent Coalition” had numerous crowdfunding links (gofundme, givesendgo, etc) for families in each district who wanted to join the lawsuit. The group used to be called “Reopen Illinois Schools- South Suburban”


  35. - From DaZoo - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 9:53 am:

    Noticed the fund raiser for D211 is setup by someone who ran, but did not win a seat on the D211 board in the last election.


  36. - Central IL Parent - Thursday, Oct 21, 21 @ 10:19 am:

    Let’s take money away from our school districts to fight a stupid lawsuit for the self-proclaimed patriots. Devore is laughing all the way to the bank and our students are going to suffer as a result of opposition to a mandate intended to keep our children safe. That is a special kind of freedumb.


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