Tri States Public Radio Staff
Illinois Supreme Court Ruling
Tue December 4, 2012
Country Living and Livestock Farms
Beware if you've ever considered moving near a farm in Illinois. A new decision by the Illinois Supreme Court reaffirms a state law that blocks nuisance lawsuits against farmers.
The case involves the Roger and Bobbie Toftoy, who moved into a new house across from a cattle farm. They found the flies to be so bad that they sometimes could not go outside.
They sued and won, and a judge told the farmers to fix the problem. But on appeal, the cattlemen argued they were protected under an Illinois law meant to encourage farming.
“People who are doing these type of operations, and they've been in existence for a year, don't have to think about what the potential possibilities of use of land are -- for example across the street and down the street," said attorney Neil McKnight, who argued the case on behalf of the farmers this year.
The Supreme Court unanimously agreed. Justices looked to an Illinois law that said no matter what changes around a farm -- including new residential construction -- farms that have been in operation more than a year cannot be declared a "nuisance."
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio