Chicago Lawyer Represents Child Falsely Deemed Ineligible for Youth Soccer League

​​​​​​Chicago lawyer Nir Basse is representing 7-year-old Ciara Gunning after she was falsely deemed ineligible by the Illinois Women’s Soccer League (IWSL) to play for her youth soccer team for the entire soccer league season, August 1 through July 21, 2017.

IWSL claims that Gunning was registered with an alternate travel team, Park Ridge Travel (PRT), which would make her to be ineligible to play for the Park Ridge Park District League (PRPDL) Hawks. However, Section 7 of IWSL rules and regulations states that proof of age is required for players, and must be submitted in order to complete registration.

“My client’s mother, Nora Tellez, never submitted the birth certificate,” Basse said. “Proof of age was never provided, which means Ciara was never technically registered to the other league.”

IWSL rules also stipulate that a roster is not fixed until August 1 of the calendar year. Tellez requested Ciara’s release from PRT on June 13, 2016, via email, to PRT Director Math Pothast. Pothast confirmed receipt, and indicated that there was no objection to releasing Ciara.

Prior to joining PRT, Gunning played with the same PRPDL team for years until her coach, Kevin Robinson, announced his decision to retire. The team began to transition, with Gunning joining PRT, but PRPDL parents were able to convince Robinson to coach again. With Robinson reinstated as the Hawks’ head coach, Gunning wanted to rejoin her team. IWSL then claimed that she had been recruited.

“There were no recruitment efforts made to get my client to play on the team,” Basse said. “Gunning is simply a 7-year-old girl wanting to be with her friends.”

This matter drew attention when a friend and teammate of Gunning’s passed away unexpectedly. Teammates wore their Hawks jerseys to their friend’s funeral as a sign of unity; however, Gunning was unable to join her friends in remembrance because she was not one of the team.

“No one gets hurt if Gunning joins the team; not IWSL or PRT,” Basse said. “Gunning and her teammates are the only ones affected, both from a developmental and emotional perspective. We are simply asking that they do the right thing.”

**Update January 4, 2017
The IWSL finally coalesced and have allowed Cierra Telez to transfer teams as of January 1, 2017. She was originally going to have to wait till July 2017. Cierra and her family are ecstatic. 

The Importance of Knowing Your Neighbors

Securing any type of business license can be tricky, particularly if it is a Liquor License. Most people seeking to open or expand an existing Tavern, Restaurant or Package Good Store think about issues such as zoning, building permits, license applications and costs. What most people don’t think about, let alone do something about, is their neighbors and surrounding community.

A neighborhood organization or even a group of people from the community opposing your application can make life very difficult for the business owner. Opposition from the neighborhood will almost always lead to a delay in the process as well as expended time and money (legal fees and the cost of not being open).

In many cases, neighborhood opposition can lead to a denial of the license. This can happen for numerous reasons but most commonly:

  • The neighbors voice their opposition to the local Alderman or elected official who suddenly finds it politically impossible to support the application, even if he told the business owner prior to applying that they would support the matter.
  • The neighbors submit their opposition in writing to the licensing agency, who considers this factor when determining whether to grant or deny the license.

The good news is an experienced Liquor Licensing Attorney can help avoid this situation by assisting the business owner in navigating all aspects of the application process, including dealing with the Community, Politicians, and Press. Just as important, your Attorney will be taking measures throughout the application process to ensure that even if your license is denied, that you have every opportunity to resolve that denial during the appeal process.

A list of the specific actions your lawyer could take on your behalf:

  • Arrange and Schedule for the business owner to meet with the local elected officials prior to ever signing a lease or putting any money into the business.
  • Assist in crafting a vision/plan to present to the Alderman and if necessary, the community.
  • Speak on behalf of the business with any press/reporters seeking information about your business.
  • Arrange press releases/media coverage on behalf of the business if appropriate.
  • Attend meeting with the business at local Neighborhood Organizations or Community meetings arranged by the local elected officials. The presence of a lawyer is critical at these meetings.
  • Reply in writing to any written inquiries made by either the municipality, the local elected official or the community.

The above list of actions are in addition to all the other work your Attorney will do on your behalf to prepare the application and all the necessary supporting documents needed to secure your license.