Fix Wilson Yard v. City of Chicago

EFF has asked an Illinois Circuit Court judge to quash subpoenas aimed at outing opponents of a controversial city project.

In December local residents filed a lawsuit in state court against the city of Chicago and local developers challenging the legality of a development project in the city’s Uptown neighborhood. In response the "Wilson Yard Defendants " six firms associated with Chicago developer Peter Holsten issued subpoenas directing Google and a local neighborhood association to unmask anonymous online critics who had discussed either the project or Alderman Helen Shiller the primary governmental sponsor of the project.

EFF and co-counsel Charles Mudd Jr. obtained a temporary order protecting the anonymous speakers in July while the defendants asked that the court wait to consider whether to dismiss the subpoenas until after the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. With the amended complaint now filed providing no support for the subpoenas EFF and Mudd have moved to quash the subpoenas outright.

Outcome: On October 1 2009 the Circuit Court entered an Amended Agreed Order in which the Defendants agreed to withdraw their subpoenas and in the event they wish to issue the same or similar subpoenas in the future they must obtain court approval beforehand.


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