APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ALBERT
HALLETT, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This is an appeal from an order of the trial court sustaining the motions of the various defendants to strike and dismiss the plaintiff's complaint.
The facts as set out in the plaintiff's complaint are as follows: The De L'Ogier Park Development Corporation (hereinafter referred to as De L'Ogier) and the J. Edwards Construction Company were solely owned by John E. Emerson. In August, 1959, De L'Ogier began to develop a subdivision on land owned by Emerson located in Glenview, Illinois. The subdivision was to be known as De L'Ogier Park. Actual construction of the homes in the subdivision was to be done by the Edwards Company.
Prior to commencing the construction of homes, De L'Ogier obtained three construction loans totaling $105,000 from First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Berwyn, Illinois. These loans were secured by first mortgages on lots 12, 14 and 20 of the De L'Ogier subdivision.
In July, 1969, plaintiffs Emerson and De L'Ogier filed suit against the various defendants charging them with a conspiracy to destroy the plaintiffs' business. The defendants named in the complaint can be briefly identified as follows: a) First Federal Savings and Loan Association is a corporation located in Berwyn, Illinois. b) George W. Hermann is a mortgage broker in Chicago, Illinois. He is not related to defendants Edward or Stephen Herman. c) George W. Foose was the Building and Zoning Director of the Village of Glenview, Illinois. d) Edward M. Herman is an attorney who was counsel for First Federal Savings and Loan. e) Stephen M. Herman is the son of Edward Herman and is an attorney. He also was a counsel for First Federal Savings and Loan. He also acted as special prosecutor for the Village of Glenview.
The plaintiffs' complaint alleges various acts committed by the defendants pursuant to the conspiracy, the relevant parts of which are as follows:
1. That on or about August 1, 1962, the defendants entered a conspiracy to destroy plaintiffs' business by preventing them from constructing and selling homes and by forcing De L'Ogier into foreclosure so that defendants, particularly George Hermann, could obtain the mortgaged property.
2. That in the fall of 1962, defendant George Hermann, enlisted the aid of defendant Foose in obstructing plaintiffs' business, and as a reward for his aid Foose was given a 100 per cent mortgage on a home he purchased in Glenview.
3. That in furtherance of the conspiracy, the following illegal and unlawful acts were committed by defendants, particularly defendant George Foose:
a) During 1963 and 1964 Foose charged plaintiffs with 29 building code violations including the issuance of ten warrants for arrest of plaintiff Emerson;
b) A contract for the sale of plaintiffs' first constructed home on lot 12 of the subdivision was entered with prospective buyers on November 2, 1962. Thereafter, Foose issued a stop-work order charging a violation of the building code. The violation was allegedly that the garage was 6 1/4" over the back-set line. Legal proceedings were instituted by Foose and later dismissed because he was unable to prove the violation.
c) On November 10, 1962, Foose entered the De L'Ogier subdivision with police officers and arbitrarily stopped all construction work.
d) Defendant Foose prepared a three page report seeking revocation of the J. Edwards Company contractor's license and submitted it to the Glenview Village Manager. Subsequently, Foose with the assistance of defendant Stephen Herman, supplemented the report. No action was taken on either occasion. The purpose ...