APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. JOHN M.
VERKLAN, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE ALLOY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Rehearing denied July 12, 1982.
Lockport Township Assessor Patricia Hartley appeals from the dismissal of her complaint for a writ of certiorari. Hartley had petitioned the circuit court for the writ in order to obtain review over the action of the Will County Board of Review in setting the Lockport Township multiplier for 1980 tax assessments. In the complaint, she alleged that the county board of review had failed to follow specific statutory requirements in determining the township multiplier. A second count of the complaint, seeking injunctive relief against the county clerk and county treasurer to prevent collection of the second installment of 1980 taxes, was also presented to the circuit court. On motion of the defendants, the complaint was dismissed and this appeal followed. No issue is raised with respect to the injunctive count of the complaint. The appeal centers upon the propriety of dismissal of the count seeking a writ of certiorari.
The central statutory provision involved in this appeal is section 108a of the Revenue Act of 1939 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 120, par. 589.1), which sets forth the duties of and procedures for the board of review when equalizing assessments:
"The board of review shall act as an equalizing authority. The board shall lower or raise the total assessed value of property in any assessment district within the county so that such property, other than property assessed in accordance with Section 20e of this Act, will be assessed at 33 1/3% of its fair cash value.
By means of a comparison of assessed valuations and estimated 33 1/3% of fair cash values established through the analysis of at least 25 property transfers, or a combination of at least 25 property transfers and property appraisals, such information as may be submitted by interested taxing bodies, and such other means as it deems proper and reasonable, the board shall annually ascertain and determine the percentage relationship for each assessment district of the county, between the valuations at which locally-assessed property, other than property assessed in accordance with Section 20e of this Act, is listed by assessors and the estimated 33 1/3% of the fair cash value of such property. Should there not be 25 property transfers available, or should these 25 property transfers not represent a fair sample of the types of properties and their proportional distribution in the assessment district, the board shall select a random sample of properties of a number necessary to provide a combination of at least 25 property transfers and property appraisals as much as possible representative of the entire assessment district, and provide for their appraisal. The township assessor shall be notified of and participate in any and all such deliberations and determinations.
With the ratio so ascertained and determined for each assessment district, the board shall then ascertain the amount to be added or deducted from the aggregate assessment on property subject to local assessment jurisdiction other than property assessed in accordance with Section 20e of this Act, in order to produce a ratio of assessed to 33 1/3% of the fair cash value equivalent to one hundred per cent. Provided, however, in determining the amount to be added to the aggregate assessment on property subject to local jurisdiction in order to produce a ratio of assessed value to 33 1/3% of the fair cash value equivalent to one hundred per cent, the board shall not, in any one year, increase or decrease the aggregate assessment of any assessment district by more than 25% of the equalized valuation of such district for the previous year, except that additions, deletions or depletions to the taxable property shall be excluded in computing such 25% limitation. The board shall complete the equalization of assessments to 33 1/3% of the fair cash value for the various assessment districts within the county by the date prescribed in Section 107 of this Act for the board's adjournment, and shall, within 10 days thereafter, report the results of its work under this Section 108a to the Department. If the board fails to make this report to the Department within the required time, or if the report discloses that the board has failed to make a proper and adequate equalization of assessments, then the Department shall direct, determine, and supervise the assessment for taxation of all real and personal property to the end that all assessments of property be made relatively just and equal as provided in Section 130 of this Act."
The pertinent facts in the record, taken from plaintiff's petition, which for purposes of the motion to dismiss must be taken as true, indicate that the Will County Board of Review, on or about August 18, 1981, voted to utilize township multipliers to equalize real estate assessments throughout Will County. A multiplier of 1.2363 was adopted for application to real property located in Lockport Township, plaintiff Hartley's township. Hartley's complaint, in pertinent part, alleged that the board of review had proceeded illegally in adopting that multiplier, in that it failed to follow the mandates of the above set forth statutory provision. Specifically, as involved in this appeal, the complaint stated that the board never notified her, as township assessor, of the deliberations or determinations it made in arriving at the multiplier and that it never consulted with her in those deliberations or determinations. The statute states: "The township assessor shall be notified of and participate in any and all such deliberations and determinations." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 120, par. 589.1.) The complaint states that the property transfers considered by the board did not represent a fair sample of the types of properties and their proportional distribution in Lockport Township. It is also alleged that the board failed to select a random sample of properties of a number necessary to provide a combination of property transfers and property appraisals representative of the township district. Also asserted in the complaint is that the board violated the above provision in that it increased the assessment by more than 25% in one year. The final allegation in the complaint for writ of certiorari is that the petitioner Hartley has no other avenue for appeal or review of the action by the board, save by virtue of the writ of certiorari directed to the board of review, commanding it to certify and bring the record of its proceedings before the circuit court.
The complaint was filed by assessor Hartley on August 21, 1981, three days after the action of the board of review on the multiplier. As noted previously, the complaint contained a count requesting injunctive relief, as well, but that count is not before us on this appeal.
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, which was granted by the circuit court on August 31, 1981, the court stating there was no basis for the complaint. Petitioner-assessor Hartley appealed from the dismissal.
• 1, 2 The issue raised by the appellant Hartley is whether the common law writ of certiorari is a proper procedure by which to review the decision of the board of review in setting the township multiplier, where the allegations are that the board violated statutory requirements in setting the multiplier. For purposes of this appeal of the dismissal of her complaint, we will proceed accepting as true the allegations of fact contained in the complaint that the board did proceed in violation of the statute. The common law writ of certiorari is an ancient writ growing out of chancery, whereby a petitioner who was without avenue of appeal or review could obtain limited review over action by a court or other tribunal exercising quasi-judicial functions. (People ex rel. Loomis v. Wilkinson (1852), 13 Ill. 660, 661.) As stated by the supreme court in Kinsloe v. Pogue (1904), 213 Ill. 302, 304, citing Wilkinson:
"The law is too well settled in this jurisdiction to now be questioned, that the circuit courts> of this State may award the common law writ of certiorari to all inferior tribunals and jurisdictions within the State where it appears that they have exceeded the limits of their jurisdiction or where they have proceeded illegally and no appeal is allowed or other mode provided by law for reviewing their proceedings."
Again, in Jarman v. Board of Review (1931), 345 Ill. 248, 255, 178 N.E. 91, the court stated:
"`There are two classes of cases in which the circuit court may award the common law writ of certiorari to bring before the court for its inspection the record of an inferior court, tribunal or jurisdiction exercising functions judicial in their nature: First, where it is shown that the inferior court, tribunal or jurisdiction has exceeded its jurisdiction; second, where it is shown that the inferior court, tribunal or jurisdiction has proceeded illegally and no appeal or writ of error will lie and no other mode of directly ...