Restraining order against Suburban Express extended to June 22

Restraining order against Suburban Express extended to June 22

CHAMPAIGN — A federal judge approved a 28-day extension of the temporary restraining order against Suburban Express on Tuesday.

The company and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a joint motion last week seeking the extension as the two sides continue to negotiate.

U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood originally approved the order in April after Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued Suburban Express and owner Dennis Toeppen for alleged discrimination and harassment against its customers.

The order, which had been set to expire Friday and has been extended to June 22, requires Suburban Express to take down personally identifying information from its website, stop retaliating against customers for negative reviews and remove language from its contract that prohibits negative reviews.

In the motion last week, Madigan's office said Suburban Express has been complying with the order.

"In the time since the Court entered the TRO, the State has monitored the activities of Suburban Express," the joint motion read. "Based on information available to the State, Suburban Express is in substantial compliance with the terms of the TRO."

The motion also said the two sides "have begun discussions about the potential resolution of this dispute."

With her lawsuit, Madigan said she wanted to force Toeppen and Suburban Express to either comply with the law or go out of business.

The lawsuit stems from an email advertisement Suburban Express sent in December saying its benefits included "Passengers like you. You won't feel like you're in China when you're on our buses."

That led to a swift backlash, apologies and a subpoena from Madigan's office to determine whether Suburban Express had violated the Illinois Human Rights Act.