1. Case Brief: Tinker v. Des Moine School District 393 US 503 (1969)
Statement of Facts: A group of adults and students planned to express their opinion about the involvement of the US in the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands for a certain period. The heads of Des Moine schools were alerted to the plan and decided to impose a regulation that would suspend students wearing black armbands and allow them back only if they return without the bands. Three students wore armbands to their schools and were promptly sent home, but did not return to school until the period for wearing them ended.
Procedural History: A complaint for injunction and damages was filed in the US District Court under s 1983 of Title 42 the US Code. The case was dismissed on the grounds that the schools had the right to impose discipline to prevent disturbance. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals where the decision of the lower court was affirmed.
Issue: Whether the wearing of armbands in schools was protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the 14th Amendment.
Holding: Yes, the wearing of armbands was protected by 1st and 14th Amendments.
Rule of Law: The 1st Amendment prohibits the making of laws that impinges on the freedom of speech, among others, and in school settings, this is available to both teachers and students.
Reasoning: Despite the free speech clause, schools have also the right to maintain discipline in their campuses and to prevent disturbance. This was the doctrine in such cases as Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968) and Meyer v Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), to name a few. However, schools must prove that in expressing their opinions, students exhibited aggressive behavior creating an atmosphere of disruption. The students wore the armbands quietly without exhibiting such behavior. The schools, thus, were not justified in prohibiting their expression of free speech.
Concurring/Dissenting Opinions: Justices Stewart and White wrote separate concurring opinions. Stewart demurred as to the majority’s holding that children shared the same degree of rights as to the First Amendment; White simply stressed the distinction of communication using words and those using actions. On the other hand, Justices Black and Harlan wrote dissenting opinions. Black feared that the decision will open a can of worms and encourage students to use schools to express their political opinions, while Harlan believed that school officials should be given the widest authority to maintain order and discipline in schools.
2. Property Search Report
Property Address: 3637 N. Sheffield, Chicago, Illinois 60613
Property Owner: GWR Properties LLC, 908 W. Madison St., Chicago, Illinois, 60607
Taxes owed in 2013: $72,984.61 (paid in full)
Estimated value of property: $3,871,250
Mortgage record: The property was mortgaged on April 4, 2012
Senior Partner, Gaines, Jones and Stewart, LLC
An Illinois resident who dies without a valid will dies intestate. This happens when a person does not have a last will and testament – a document where a person sets out the distribution of all his property in the event of his death. A last will and testament differs from a living will in that the latter refers to a document that contains a person’s wishes on whether he or she should be or should not be subjected to life-prolonging medical treatments. The Illinois’ Intestacy Laws become operative once it is determined that a decedent left no last will and testament. These laws are found mainly in Article II of 755 Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS hereafter). The discussion below centers on descent and distribution, children born out of wedlock and adopted children.
Descent and Distribution
Descent and distribution takes effect after all claims against the estate of the deceased have been fully paid out. The distribution rules shall both apply to residents and non-residents of Illinois, but only with respect to the real property of the latter. The distribution, which covers only intestate property, depends on who are the survivors and their number. In the following, survivors refer to the only relatives living at the time of the death of the decedent:
Survivors: spouse and 1 descendant. The spouse and descendant will split the property into two equal portions, per stirpes. Per stirpes means that if one of the survivors die after the decedent, the property is still split into two equal portions even if the heirs of the deceased survivor number more than one. The heirs of the deceased survivor are then going to divide the half portion of the property allotted to the original survivor into equal portions.
Survivor: 1 descendant. The sole descendant inherits all of the property.
Survivor: spouse. The surviving spouse takes the entire estate.
Survivors: 1 parent, 1 brother, 1 sister. The three takes the entire estate, but the surviving parent takes 2 portions (1 portion representing the deceased parent). Thus, the estate is divided into 4 parts. In the event a survivor dies after the intestate deceased, the heir/heirs of the former inherit in stirpes. If there are more than 1 brothers or sisters, the estate is divided into the total number of survivors plus one for the deceased parent to be given to the living parent.
Survivors: Grandparents. Estate will be divided equally by maternal and paternal grandparents. If only the maternal grandparents survive, the other half shall be given to the descendants of the grandparents, divided per stirpes, and vice-versa. Even if only 1 grandparent survives in the maternal paternal side, the estate is still equally divided into two. If one side has no survivors, either the grandparents or their descendants, the side with at least 1 surviving grandparent or at least 1 surviving descendant of the grandparents inherits the entire estate.
Survivors: No spouse or first and second degree relatives. Estate is divided by the nearest of kin in equal degree, in accordance with the rules of the civil law, without representation. This means, if the nearest relatives are in the third degree, then all relatives in that degree, maternal and paternal, shares in equal proportion. However, since there in no representation only those who are alive inherits and the heirs of the dead relatives do not get any.
Survivors: None. Real estate – is escheated to the county of their location. Personal estate – those located with Illinois or outside Illinois, but administered within Illinois, is escheated to the county of Illinois where the decedent was a resident; if not a resident of Illinois, to the county of residence of the decedent; all other personal property escheated to Illinois (s 2-12, Article II, 755 ILCS).
Children Born out of Wedlock
The distribution of the estate of an intestate decedent, who at the time of death, was a child born out of wedlock depends on the presence of eligible parents. Eligible parents under Illinois laws are those who, during the lifetime of the decedent, acknowledged him or her as their child, established parental relationship and gave financial support to the decedent. Eligible parents inherit the entire estate, but if there are no eligible parents the distribution system established in the previous section on Descent and Distribution applies, but with the ineligible parents deemed to have predeceased the decedent (Sec. 2-2, Article II, 755 ILCS).
If the adopting parent predeceased the adopted child, the latter is considered a descendant of the former for purposes of inheritance from the adopting parent and his or her relatives, except when the child was adopted after 18 years of age and never lived with the adopting parents before reaching 18. In such a case, the adopted child is merely considered a child of the adopting parent, which means he or she can inherit from the adopting parent, but not from the latter’s relatives. If an adopted child predeceased the adopting parents, the adopted parent and his or her relatives inherit from the child, but not the natural parents. However, the natural parents and their relatives can recover the gifts, and other property he or she inherited from the natural parents and their relatives. If a natural parent predeceased an adopted child, the latter does not inherit anything, except when the adopting parent is a descendant of a great-grandparent of the child, a natural parent died before the adoption in which case the child is an heir to the natural parent’s relatives, or a contrary provision is integrated into the adoption instrument (s 2-4, Art III, 755 ILCS).
Cook County Treasurer’s Office. Cook County, Illinois Property Tax Portal. http://www.cookcountypropertyinfo.com/Pages/PIN-Search.aspx
ILCS. Estates. Illinois Compiled Statutes. 2015. Web. 16 April 2015. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt.+II&ActID=21 04&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5000000.
Tinker v. Des Moine School District 393 US 503 (1969)