(735 ILCS 5/20-104)
(from Ch. 110, par. 20-104)
(a) Before any action is instituted pursuant to this Act,
the State or local governmental unit shall make a good faith attempt to
collect amounts owed to it by using informal procedures and methods. Civil
recoveries provided for in this Article shall be
recoverable only: (1) in actions on behalf of the State, by the Attorney
General; (2) in actions on behalf of a municipality with a population over
500,000, by the corporation counsel of such municipality; and (3) in
actions on behalf of any other local governmental unit, by counsel
designated by the local government unit or, if so requested by the local
governmental unit and the state's attorney so agrees, by the state's attorney.
However, nothing in clause (3) of this subsection (a) shall affect
agreements made pursuant to the State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutor's
Act, as amended. If the state's attorney of a county brings an action on behalf
of another unit of local government pursuant to this Section, the county
shall be reimbursed by the unit of local government in an amount mutually
agreed upon before the action is initiated.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Section, any private
citizen residing within the boundaries of the governmental unit affected
may bring an action to recover the damages authorized in this Article on behalf
of such governmental unit if: (a) the citizen has sent a letter by
certified mail, return receipt requested, to the appropriate government
official stating his intention to file suit for recovery under this Article and
(b) the appropriate governmental official has not, within 60 days of the
date of delivery on the citizen's return receipt, either instituted an
action for recovery or sent notice to the citizen by
certified mail, return receipt requested, that the official has arranged
for a settlement with the party alleged to have illegally obtained the
compensation or that the official intends to commence suit within 60 days
of the date of the notice. A denial by the official of the liability of
the party alleged liable by the citizen, failure to have actually arranged
for a settlement as stated, or failure to commence a suit within the
designated period after having stated the intention in the notice to do so
shall also permit the citizen to commence the action.
For purposes of this subsection (b), "appropriate government official"
shall mean: (1) the Attorney General, where the government unit alleged
damaged is the State; (2) the corporation counsel where the government unit
alleged damaged is a municipality with a population of over 500,000; and
(3) the chief executive officer of any other local government unit where
that unit is alleged damaged.
Any private citizen commencing an action in compliance with this
subsection which is reasonable and commenced in good faith shall be
entitled to recover court costs and litigation expenses, including
reasonable attorney's fees, from any defendant found liable under this Article.
(Source: P.A. 84-1462.)