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People Ex Rel. Rockford v. City of Loves Park

APRIL 3, 1964.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, EX REL. CITY OF ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS, ETC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,

v.

THE CITY OF LOVES PARK, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. WILLIAM R. DUSHER, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

SMITH, J.

Rehearing denied May 11, 1964.

The City of Loves Park appeals from a decision setting aside four of five challenged annexation ordinances. Initially the appeal was to the Supreme Court but they transferred the same to us without opinion. Plaintiffs, appellees here, are the City of Rockford and the Woodward Governor Company. The record is fairly voluminous — 348 pages with large fold-out plats, presumably pertinent to the five suspect ordinances challenged in the complaint. Appellant's abstract has only fifteen pages and no plats. Neither does their brief. Indeed, neither has even a legal description of the territory annexed. The ordinances involved were attached to the complaint as exhibits and are reproduced in the record and they, of course, do contain legal descriptions with plats, though they do not lend themselves to easy inspection and analysis.

Appellant's abstract handles these important exhibits in a most offhand manner. For example:

"11 Exhibit B, an ordinance annexing to the City of Loves Park with legal description set out thereon, passed December 4, 1961, approved same date, published December 14 approved by the Mayor and attested to by the Clerk.

"13 Exhibit B, sets out map including all of the territory annexed in Ordinance 353."

Their brief begins, after a short statement describing the action, with the following:

"Judgment was entered by the trial court holding that the ordinances challenged were void except for the annexation of the Wilgus Sanitarium property, Ordinance 351 passed by City of Loves Park, Exhibit A attached to complaint (Rec. 7; Abst. 7) which ordinance was held valid."

Interestingly enough, the only abstract reference so far is to an ordinance not even involved, since it was held valid and there is no cross appeal. Continuing:

"The defendant's theories are (1) that the ordinances passed by the City of Loves Park were passed prior to the ordinances passed by the City of Rockford, therefore should have preference, also the petition for voluntary annexation was filed several months ahead, and (2) an ordinance may be passed annexing to the center of the street even though such property is not contiguous at all points to the city where the annexation is being made."

This concludes their first section — STATEMENT.

Still in the dark, and skipping a page, we come to a section headed, THE FACTS, hoping for light. It doesn't shed much. We set it forth in its entirety:

"On December 4, 1961, the Council of City of Loves Park passed certain annexation ordinances. The area covered by the annexations are shown by the plats attached to the complaint (Rec. 2) and marked Exhibits A, B, C, and D. On January 2, 1962 the same Council passed another annexation ordinance, a copy of which together with plat is marked Exhibit E and attached to the complaint. The last ordinance is the one complained against by defendant Woodward Governor Corporation.

"On the same night the first ordinances were passed, viz December 4, 1962, but later in point of time, Loves Park (Rec. 150; Abst. 10) and Rockford (Rec. 182; Abst. 13) passed ordinances which contained descriptions which overlapped the property annexed by the City of Loves Park. The property in dispute is set out on City of Rockford's Exhibit 1, ...


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