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Chicago Coin Meter v. City of Rolling Meadows

JUNE 28, 1972.

CHICAGO COIN METER COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THE CITY OF ROLLING MEADOWS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. SAMUEL B. EPSTEIN, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DIERINGER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, City of Rolling Meadows, appeals from a judgment entered in the Circuit Court of Cook County granting summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The court also permanently enjoined defendant from enforcing certain licensing sections of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Rolling Meadows against the plaintiff.

The issues presented for review are: (1) whether the trial court erred in finding, as a matter of law, that plaintiff is not operating a laundry within the meaning of Illinois Revised Statutes, ch. 24, par. 11-42-8, and the Code of Ordinances of the City of Rolling Meadows, ch. 12, pars. 12-529 and 12-530; (2) whether the trial court erred in granting plaintiff's motion for summary judgment; and (3) whether the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for summary judgment.

Plaintiff, Chicago Coin Meter Company, a corporation, is engaged in the business of providing coin-operated washing and drying machines to the owners of apartment complexes which it installs in pre-existing space set aside and equipped for such use in the common areas of such apartment complexes. The plaintiff retains ownership and maintenance of these machines.

In the course of its business, the plaintiff entered into a contract with the owners of an apartment complex located at 2230 Algonquin Road in the City of Rolling Meadows. Under the terms of the contract, the owners of the apartment complex received $7.50 per month from the coins deposited in each machine, while the plaintiff received the balance over and above that amount. The contract further requires the owner of the building to provide the electricity and hot and cold water necessary to operate the machines, to regulate the hours when such machines are available for use by the tenants in the building, and to maintain the room in which the machines are located in a clean and healthful condition. Plaintiff's contract with the owner of the building specifically requires the owner to restrict the use of the machines which plaintiff has installed to residents of the building.

At the time plaintiff installed the machines in the apartment building at 2230 Algonquin Road, the Code of Ordinances of the City of Rolling Meadows contained the following provisions:

Section 12-529 License Required; Application

"No person, firm or corporation shall operate or conduct a laundry in the city without having first obtained a license therefor; provided that establishments licensed as dry-cleaning establishments need not obtain a laundry license in addition to the dry-cleaning license. Applications for such licenses shall be made in writing to the city clerk and shall state thereon the location intended to be occupied." Ord. No. 158, Section 2, 1-10-61.

Section 12-530 License Fee

"The annual fee for laundry licenses shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) and no licenses shall be issued except on the payment of the fee." Ord. No. 158, Section 2, 1-10-61.

The provisions set out were passed by the Rolling Meadows City Council pursuant to the authorization of Illinois Revised Statutes, ch. 24, par. 11-42-8, which provides, in part, as follows:

"The corporate authorities of each municipality may locate and regulate the use and construction of * * * laundries * * *."

Plaintiff did not secure from the Rolling Meadows City Clerk a business license to operate or conduct a laundry, nor did it pay the prescribed $50.00 license fee. When the defendant threatened plaintiff with prosecution for its alleged violations of Sections 12-529 and 12-530, plaintiff filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County to enjoin the City of Rolling Meadows, its mayor and police chief from attempting to enforce those sections of the ordinance against it and paid the $50.00 license fee pursuant to court order. Subsequently, the defendant refunded this license fee. After both sides had moved for summary judgment on the pleadings and on an agreed stipulation of facts, the court found that plaintiff was not operating a laundry within the meaning of that term as contained in Illinois Revised Statutes, ch. 24, par. 11-42-8, or within the meaning of that term as contained in Sections 12-529 and 12-530 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Rolling Meadows. In light of this finding, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The court also issued a permanent injunction against the defendant, thereby denying enforcement of Sections 12-529 and 12-530 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Rolling Meadows. Defendant therefore appeals from these findings of the Circuit Court.

• 1 The first issue presented for review is whether the trial court erred in finding, as a matter of law, that plaintiff is not operating a laundry within the meaning of Illinois Revised Statutes, ch. 24, par. 11-42-8, and the Code of Ordinances ...


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