Regents’ litigation postponed

By Elizabeth M. Behland

The pre-trial scheduled for today for the Board of Regents’ eminent domain lawsuit filed last fall has been postponed until Oct. 27 and will be held in the DeKalb County Courthouse.

The lawsuit was filed Oct. 14, 1987 to determine how much property south of the university NIU can obtain from landowners. The Regents filed the lawsuit on NIU’s behalf to obtain property between Lincoln Terrace and Lincoln Highway, and between Carroll Avenue and Normal Road.

Carl Swanson, 622 Lincoln Terrace, said “The pre-trial was postponed because the judge was unable to attend.” The pre-trial will be heard before Judge Rex Melinger.

Swanson said, “In the meantime, our lawyers are going to talk to NIU about an out-of-court settlement.” He said the settlement will depend on what NIU decides to do. “It’s in their court now,” Swanson said.

The residents are unhappy about the situation because their families have lived in those houses for as long as 80 years, Swanson said. “No settlement would justify our moving,” he said.

The lawsuit began after NIU and the Regents “made it difficult” for the residents when residents wanted to rezone their property, Swanson said.

“Hopefully, it (the lawsuit) won’t get to a point where it’s ugly and we have to go to court,” Swanson said. If a settlement is not reached both parties will have to go to court but, “I know I’m not going to get any bad publicity out of it,” he said.

Gary Cordes, attorney for the residents, said, “Everybody would like to settle out of court if they could.

The pre-trial will not be an “exciting meeting and there will be nothing controversial,” Cordes said.

If a settlement is not reached, the trial will be held in the DeKalb County Courthouse on Nov. 2.

Michael Funkey, attorney for the Regents, was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.