APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ARTHUR
L. DUNNE, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE MEJDA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Defendant, Anthony J. Fornelli, Director of the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions (Director), approved the application of defendant, 1015 South State Currency Exchange, for a community currency exchange license pursuant to the Currency Exchange Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 16 1/2, pars. 30 through 56.3.) Plaintiff, Roosevelt-Wabash Currency Exchange, Inc., filed an amended complaint to review the Director's action pursuant to the Administrative Review Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110, par. 264 et seq.) Plaintiff appeals from the order granting the Director's motion to dismiss the amended complaint.
Plaintiff contends that it was entitled to a hearing before the Director, that it has standing to seek administrative review under the Administrative Review Act, and that it has a right to judicial review. We affirm.
Plaintiff in the amended complaint alleged that it received a letter from the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions "requesting its observation and remarks with respect to the introduction of a currency exchange at * * * 1015 South State Street, Chicago, Illinois"; that in response it submitted lengthy objections attached to the complaint, which stated that the proposed location was previously occupied by another currency exchange which ceased operating about mid-1973, that the issuance of a currency exchange license to the applicant at the location would adversely affect the financial stability of plaintiff's currency exchange, and urged the Director's serious consideration. The amended complaint further alleged that notwithstanding numerous requests the Director advised that plaintiff was not entitled to any form of hearing before the Department; that plaintiff was advised on March 7, 1975, that the Director had approved the application; that the decision is arbitrary, capricious and a denial of due process of law, equal protection and right of confrontation and cross-examination; that plaintiff will on information and belief lose approximately 25 percent of its business and become financially impaired. The amended complaint prayed that the decision "denying plaintiff its statutory entitlements to continued stability, be reversed." The Director's motion to dismiss the amended complaint alleged that plaintiff lacked standing, the absence of jurisdiction under the Administrative Review Act, and the failure of the amended complaint to state a cause of action.
Plaintiff initially contends that as an existing licensee it was entitled to a hearing before the Director on the application for a license by a potential competitor. We disagree.
• 1 As to matters purely statutory in origin, whatever rights the parties may have to a hearing emanates from the statute. (Asche v. Rosenfield (1950), 405 Ill. 108, 89 N.E.2d 885.) Due process does not necessitate a hearing in every case of government impairment of a private interest. (Stanley v. Illinois (1972), 405 U.S. 645, 31 L.Ed.2d 551, 92 S.Ct. 1208.) As a competitor, plaintiff has no direct interest in the matter which would give rise to a specific right to be heard. American Surety Co. v. Jones (1943), 384 Ill. 222, 51 N.E.2d 122.
• 2 The Currency Exchange Act in section 4.1 (par. 34.1) in pertinent part provides:
"Upon receipt of an application for a license * * *, the Director shall investigate the need of the community for the establishment of a community currency exchange at the location specified in the application.
* * * If the issuance of a license * * * will not promote the convenience and advantage of the community in which the business of the applicant is proposed to be conducted, then the application shall be denied."
Section 4 (par. 34) specifies the necessary information to be provided in the application, and section 10 (par. 40) specifies the requisite qualifications of an applicant, and of its officers and directors if a corporation, to be vouched for by two reputable citizens.
• 3 The above section 4.1 (par. 34.1) clearly imposes no duty on the Director to hold hearings, make findings or to prepare or file a written order or decision in initially passing on the application. It is significant that the Currency Exchange Act expressly provides for hearings before the Director in only two instances relative to licensing: (1) upon written request of an applicant whose application has been denied (par. 40), and (2) where the Director proposes to revoke a license previously issued (par. 45). The requirement of section 4.1 (par. 34.1) to investigate does not mandate a quasijudicial hearing. Instead, the term "investigate" is approriate as to a non-judicial function of an administrative agency for a general one-sided presentation of issues without issues drawn, and "hearing" is appropriate to quasijudicial proceedings which include parties, issues of law and fact, and at which parties are entitled to be present, participate, and obtain records of the proceedings. (See Bowles v. Baer (7th Cir. 1944), 142 F.2d 787, and generally, 2 Am.Jur.2d Administrative Law §§ 257 and 414 (1962); 73 C.J.S. Public Administrative Bodies and Procedure § 87 (1951).) Section 4.1 (par. 34.1) in no respect allows anyone or any interested person to intervene or object in the Director's initial investigation and processing of the application. Specifically, nowhere in the Currency Exchange Act is an existing currency exchange operator given the right to object or to demand a hearing thereon.
The Director's solicitation in the instant case of plaintiff's "observations and remarks with respect to the introduction of a currency exchange at the [proposed] address" was incident to the information-gathering process under the Director's duty to investigate. Neither the characterization by plaintiff of its response as objections nor the one-sided investigation in which the views were presented elevate the investigation process to a hearing in which plaintiff did or could participate as a party. There was no duty to hold a hearing in initially acting upon the application.
Plaintiff contends that the approval of the Director in the instant case was a final decision reviewable under section 2 of the Administrative Review Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110, par. 265) and, being an objector to the approval, it had standing to file an action for administrative review. ...