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People v. Holmes

AUGUST 29, 1968.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS ON THE RELATION OF REPUBLICAN-REPORTER CORP., TILTON PUBLICATIONS, INC., DANNY C. TERRY, D/B/A TRI-COUNTY PRESS, AND ASSOCIATED PUBLISHERS, INC., PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

CLAUDE E. HOLMES, EX OFFICIO COUNTY TREASURER, OGLE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, AND CLAUDE E. HOLMES, SUPERVISOR OF ASSESSMENTS, OGLE COUNTY, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Ogle County, Fifteenth Judicial Circuit; the Hon. JAMES E. BALES, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE MORAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Plaintiffs herein, being publishers of all the newspapers in Ogle County, filed a complaint for mandamus against the defendant as Ex Officio County Treasurer and Supervisor of Assessments. The complaint alleged that the published legal descriptions of parcels of real estate, in connection with the quadrennial assessment for the year 1967, was inadequate because of failure to comply with sections 103 and 105 of the Revenue Act of 1939. (Ill. Rev Stats 1967, c 120, §§ 584 and 586.) The proof was primarily concerned with the published description of realty found in the rural or unincorporated areas of the county; that is, areas where subdivisions were not present. The trial court held in favor of the plaintiffs and issued a writ of mandamus. The defendant appeals, praying that the order be reversed and the writ discharged.

The sole question presented is whether the statutory provisions require a more sufficient legal description of the property being assessed than that furnished by the defendant to the plaintiffs.

The uncontradicted testimony and exhibits admitted into evidence disclose the following as a representative example of the publication list for Maryland Township furnished by the defendant to the plaintiffs:

"Sec 16-25-9

"Chester Bauer, 40. A. 4500 "John D. Newcomer, 100. A. 1800 9600 "John J. Borgmann, 40. A. 3200 "John T. Templin, 80. A. 1000 7400 "Clarence E. Bolen, 120. A. 4200 15000 "Clarence E. Bolen, 20. A. 600 2400 "Larry L. Hegberg, 9.75 A. 800 "City Nat'l Bank, 60. 25 A. 1800 6600 "Lowell R. Kahly, 30. A. 1700 3500 "Chester A. Bauer, 15. A. 1500 "Jack Bull, 125. A. 3700 14200"

The statutory enactments with which we are concerned are found in sections 30, 103 and 105 of the Revenue Act of 1939, as amended (Ill. Rev Stats 1967, c 120, §§ 511, 584 and 586). The pertinent part of section 30 is as follows:

"All real property subject to taxation under this Act, including real estate becoming taxable for the first time, shall be listed by the proper legal description in the name of the owner thereof by such owners, or persons required by law, or their agents, or the officers provided by law, and assessed at the times and in the manner as provided in Section 43, . . . Such assessment, as modified or equalized or changed as provided by law, shall be the assessment upon which taxes shall be levied and extended during the quadrennial period for which the same is made, . . . No assessment of real property shall be considered as illegal by reason of the same not being listed or assessed in the name of the owner or owners thereof." (Emphasis added.)

and a portion of section 103 reads:

"In counties containing less than 500,000 inhabitants, as soon as the county assessor, supervisor of assessments or board of assessors, as the case may be, has completed the assessment in the county or in the assessment district he or it shall, in each year of a quadrennial assessment of real property, publish for such county or assessment district a full and complete list of the assessment of real and personal property, by townships if the county be so organized. . . . Such publication shall be made on or before July 10, of that year in counties with less than 150,000 inhabitants and on or before August 10, of that year in counties with 150,000 or more but less than 500,000 inhabitants, and shall be printed in some public newspaper or newspapers published in said county; . . ." (Emphasis added.)

and section 105 states:

"In all counties the publication of the assessments on real estate shall include the name of the owner or of the person who last paid the taxes on each tract, lot of land or piece of real estate, and the amount of its assessment and how much thereof, if any, is for the improvements thereon. Wherever any real estate, tract or lot of land so assessed is susceptible of description or identification by street name and street or house number, then the publication of such street name and street or house number, together with the dimensions of such tract or lot of land or piece of real estate, shall constitute a sufficient description of such tract or lot of land or piece of real estate for the purposes of publication required by this Act."

It is the defendant's position first, that a proper construction of the cited statutes does not require any legal description of the real estate assessed and, second, if the statute did require a legal description of the realty assessed, the description published was adequate.

As to the first contention, the defendant argues that it has long been the rule of statutory construction that where there are two provisions, one of which is general and designed to apply to cases generally, and the other is particular and relating to one subject, the particular provisions must prevail and be treated as an exception to the general provision. People v. Kipley, 171 Ill. 44, 84, 49 N.E. 229 (1898). He then concludes that sections 30 and 103 are both general sections covering assessments, whereas section 105 is specific, covering information to be included in the publication of assessments and nothing else. Therefore, with ...


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