This is the next post in a series of articles discussing handling FOID Card appeals in Peoria, Illinois. The previous article focused on how an attorney can assist you with the appeals process if your FOID Card application has been denied or your existing FOID Card has been revoked. In this post, I will describe in more detail what one can expect during the appeals process. It is important to understand the types of evidence and legal arguments and how such information must be presented to the authorities to successfully appeal a FOID Card denial. If you need assistance with a FOID Card appeal, contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
If the Illinois State Police (ISP) deny a FOID Card application or revoke a previously issued FOID Card, the applicant or cardholder will receive a letter in the mail explaining why such action was taken. The grounds for denial listed in the letter will determine whether the matter may be appealed to the Director of the State Police or if the appealing party must file a petition with the Circuit Court. The legal process will be similar, however, as appeals filed with the Director of the State Police are primarily handled through the mail, whereas an appeal in the Circuit Court will involve a hearing. In either case, if a previously issued FOID Card has been revoked, the appellant must surrender the revoked card to local law enforcement and complete a Firearm Disposition Record before an appeal will be considered.
The appealing party must submit the required appeal form to the appropriate reviewing body, detailing why the stated reason(s) for the denial or revocation are inaccurate or inadequate. In addition, the appellant is required to provide objective evidence in support of the appeal and to meet the burden of proof. If a denial or revocation was based upon grounds of mental illness or intellectual disability, the person must prove by “a preponderance of evidence” that the ISP’s decision was incorrect. This is considered a fairly low burden of proof. If the decision was based on any reason other than mental illness or intellectual disability, the person must prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that the ISP’s reason was faulty. This is a significantly harder burden to meet. The amounts and types of evidence gathered and filed in support of the appeal will differ based on the grounds for denial and the requisite burden of proof. Typically, certified court documents, affidavits and other types of evidence must be filed along with the appeal form. An experienced attorney will understand how to gather and present this evidence effectively on your behalf.
If the Director of the State Police denies the appeal, the party may file a petition with the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court may confirm or overturn the ruling. If successful at the Circuit Court level, the Director of State Police will be directed to reissue the FOID Card or approve the FOID Card application. If the appeal is denied by the Circuit Court, the appellant may file a petition with the Illinois Court of Appeals for further review.
My firm has experience with FOID Card appeals and is prepared to help you through the process. If you need assistance appealing a FOID Card denial, contact my office today to speak to a Peoria lawyer. My office also represents clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. We also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.