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Archived: Constitutional Liberties Legal Cases

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Mishaga v. Monken

Legal Question:

Whether the Second Amendment prohibits a State from denying the right to keep and bear arms to nonresidents?

Plaintiff:

Ellen Mishaga

Defendants:

Jonathon E. Monken, Director of the Illinois Department of State Police, and Michael W. Vorreyer, Master Sergeant, Illinois Department of State Police

Court:

U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division
Unknown.

Ellen Mishaga is an Ohio woman who travels frequently to the State of Illinois to visit and to reside in the home of friends; however, under Illinois law she is barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition because she does not possess a Firearms Owner Identification Card (FOID). On April 30, 2010, and again on June 14, 2010, Ms. Mishaga's application for a FOID was denied because, "No Illinois driver's license number or state identification number [was] provided."

Illinois requires that individuals obtain a FOID before purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois. Among the requirements for a FOID is that anyone over the age of eighteen provide an Illinois driver's license number or Illinois Identification Card number. Nonresidents are exempt from most FOID Act restrictions when hunting, target shooting, or if "licensed or registered to possess a firearm in their resident state"; however, a nonresident without a FOID cannot otherwise possess a functional firearm.

The Illinois Department of State Police must either approve or deny a FOID application within thirty days from receipt and must issue a FOID to persons who qualify. A $10 fee is required to defray administrative costs; a FOID is valid for ten years.

Possessing firearms or ammunition without a FOID or with an expired FOID is a misdemeanor, although a second or subsequent violation is a felony. It is also a felony to possess firearms or ammunition if a person is ineligible for a FOID, even if a person possessed a FOID issued before he became ineligible. The FOID Act contains no self-defense exceptions.

On July 27, 2010, Ms. Mishaga filed her complaint. On October 15, 2010, the State of Illinois filed a motion to dismiss, to which Ms. Mishaga responded on October 26, 2010. On November 22, 2010, the district court denied the motion to dismiss. On December 17, 2010, the Illinois defendant filed his answer. On March 1, 2011, Ms. Mishaga filed an amended complaint, adding an additional defendant. On May 20, 2011, defendants file an amended answer. On August 1, 2011, the parties completed discovery.

Cross-motions for summary judgment were filed on October 3, 2011, and were briefed fully as of November 10, 2011.  On December 15, 2012, Ms. Mishaga filed a notice of supplemental authority. On July 12, 2013, Ms. Mishaga filed a second notice of supplemental authority. On July 26, 2013, the defendants filed a response to the second notice of supplemental authority. 

On November 8, 2013, Ms. Mishaga filed a notice with the district court indicating that she will be traveling to Illinois from November 16, 2013, through November 20, 2013, that it has been two years since summary judgment was briefed, and that she suffers a violation of her constitutional rights with each visit.

On March 28, 2014, the district court directed the parties to file supplemental briefs on the issue of the exceptions to Illinois’s Firearm Owners Identification Card Act, in light of changes in Illinois law as articulated in Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), People v. Aguilar, 2 N.E.3d 321 (Ill. 2013), and Illinois Public Act 098-0063 (the “Firearm Concealed Carry Act”).  On April 28, 2014, the parties filed supplemental briefs as directed.

On September 30, 2014, the district court denied the parties’ motions for summary judgment, with leave to file new motions to address specific questions posed by the court.  On October 31, 2014, Ms. Mishaga filed a new motion for summary judgment.  On November 28, 2014, Ms. Mishaga filed her opposition to defendants’ new motion for summary judgment.  On September 30, 2015, the illinois federal district court dismissed the lawsuit after concluding that ms. Mishaga did not face possible prosecution for violating Illinois' FOID Act.

No Status Updates
  • Ohio Woman Not At Risk In Illinois: 2nd Amendment Case Dismissed

    Sep 30, 2015
    An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today had her lawsuit in defense of her Second Amendment rights dismissed.
  • Ohio Woman Asks Court to Reject Illinois Filings in Gun Case

    Nov 28, 2014
    An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today urged an Illinois federal district court to strike untimely and unresponsive filings by Illinois officials and to grant her summary judgment in her lawsuit against them by declaring a state law barring her from possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois unconstitutional.
  • Ohio Woman Seeks Favorable Ruling in Gun Ban Case

    Oct 31, 2014
    An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today urged an Illinois federal district court to grant her summary judgment in her lawsuit against Illinois officials and declare a state law barring her from possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois unconstitutional.
  • Ohio Woman Ordered to Brief Law in Gun Ban Case

    Sep 30, 2014
    An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today was ordered by an Illinois federal district court to file new legal briefs in her suit against Illinois officials in her efforts to have a state law barring her from possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois ruled unconstitutional.
  • Ohio Woman Seeks Summary Judgment in Gun Ban Case

    Apr 28, 2014
    An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today filed a supplemental brief at the request of an Illinois federal district court in her lawsuit again Illinois officials in her efforts to have a state law barring her from possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois ruled unconstitutional.
  • Ohio Woman Seeks Summary Judgment In Gun Ban Case

    Nov 10, 2011
    DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who travels to Illinois to visit and reside in a friend’s home today again rebutted arguments by Illinois officials and their lawyers before an Illinois federal district court in her efforts to have a state law barring her from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition i
  • Ohio Woman Refutes Illinois Officials In Gun Ban Case

    Oct 27, 2011
    DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who often travels to Illinois to visit and reside in the home of friends today rebutted arguments by Illinois officials and their lawyers before an Illinois federal district court in her efforts to have a state law barring her from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammuniti
  • Ohio Woman Seeks Ruling In Illinois Gun Ban Challenge

    Oct 3, 2011
    DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who often travels to Illinois to visit and reside in the home of friends today asked that an Illinois federal district court declare a state law barring her from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois unconstitutional. Ellen Mishaga’s lawsuit, which charg
  • Ohio Woman’S Challenge To Illinois Gun Ban Will Be Heard

    Nov 22, 2010
    DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who often travels to Illinois to visit and reside in the home of friends today learned her federal lawsuit challenging a state law barring her from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition in Illinois will be heard. Ellen Mishaga had filed her complaint in Illinois fed
  • Ohio Woman’S Challenge To Illinois Gun Ban Must Be Heard

    Oct 26, 2010
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    DENVER, CO. An Ohio woman who often travels to Illinois to visit and reside in the home of friends today filed her opposition to an attempt by Illinois to dismiss her federal lawsuit. Ellen Mishaga claims in a complaint filed in Illinois federal district court that a state law barring her fro



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