Elgin will appeal a federal judge's order banning the use of zoning laws to keep The Life Center from offering women free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests from its mobile facility, the city's lawyers said Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan agreed with lawyers from The Life Center -- a faith-based organization promoting "pro-life issues, the family and Christian living" -- that the zoning ordinance was too vague.
Elgin officials, in a prepared statement, said the "judge's ruling is erroneous and is not supported by the law." Additionally, the judge "relied upon a number of misrepresentations by TLC's attorneys" regarding the underlying facts, according to the statement issued by Elgin legal counsel William A. Cogley.
In September 2010, TLC began providing its free services weekly from a mobile facility parked with permission in lots owned by J.B.'s Pub and the Evangelical Church of Elgin, court records show. About two years later, Elgin authorities ordered TLC to cease operations because the mobile facility violated an amended city ordinance that classified it as temporary use, limited to four days per year.
Elgin officials say the temporary use regulations adopted in 2012 were not "directed at TLC or intended to harm or hinder TLC's mission or services to women in the community." The regulations do not prevent TLC's mobile facility from providing services in the city, they add.
A spokesman for TLC said he's confident the group will prevail.
"We are confident that at the end of the day, the welfare and rights of young women to be fully informed and have access to free pregnancy series will prevail over municipal zoning interests," said TLC attorney John W. Mauck in a prepared statement.