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IL Supreme Ct blocks suit filed by cattle farm neighbors

Mon, 03 Dec 2012 16:37:21 CST

In a case that has implications for people moving into rural areas, the Illinois Supreme Court has blocked a lawsuit filed by the neighbors of a cattle farm. Roger and Bobbie Toftoy tore down an old family farmhouse, built a new one, and in 2004 moved in. This was in rural Kendall County, and across the road was a cattle farm. The cattle attracted so many flies, the Toftoys say there were times they couldn't go outside. They sued and won, with a judge ruling the cattle farmers had to do something about the flies. On appeal, the cattlemen said their loss undermines an Illinois law meant to protect farming. But when the case was argued earlier this year, Fred Roth, the Toftoy's lawyer, argued that isn't true.

"This case does not threaten Illinois agriculture. It doesn't threaten the livestock industry. It doesn't threaten them with higher cost."

But the Supreme Court disagreed. In a unanimous decision, the justices held that the Toftoys knew what they'd be living next to when their built their new home. Illinois law says if a farm has been in operation more than a year, it can't be declared a nuisance, no matter what new developments grow up around it.

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