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Feeley v. Michigan Avenue National Bank





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James C. Murray, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied March 21, 1986.

James Feeley appeals from the trial court's decision denying his request for a declaratory judgment declaring that the correspondence between him and Sigmund Lefkovitz, not a party to this action, is a valid lease. He further appeals the trial court's order granting the request of Michigan Avenue National Bank, as trustee under trust No. 4248 (the bank), and John F. Kretchmar, as sole beneficiary of trust No. 4248, for forcible detainer. Feeley contends that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing his request for declaratory relief and granting the forcible detainer. We agree.

• 1 Feeley also contends that the issue of specific performance is before this court. However, a review of Feeley's complaint indicates that he requested only declaratory relief before the trial court. He cannot for the first time on appeal ask for relief or a remedy not prayed for in the trial court. (Bell v. Yale Development Co. (1981), 102 Ill. App.3d 108, 112, 429 N.E.2d 894, 897-98.) Thus, the issue of specific performance is not properly before this court and we will not consider it.

In December 1982, Feeley allegedly entered into a sublease agreement with Jupiter Industries to sublet property known as room 730, or 7-G (hereinafter referred to as room 730), 400 East Randolph Street, Chicago. During this time, Sigmund Lefkovitz was the owner of the property. Jupiter Industries' lease for room 730 was terminated by mutual consent in November 1982. Around that same time, Lefkovitz and Feeley entered into negotiations concerning the leasing of room 730 and, after several conversations, Feeley, on January 3, 1983, forwarded the following letter (offer) to Lefkovitz:

"This letter will serve to confirm the details of our telephone conversation of today wherein you and your D.T.P. Properties firm agree to rent `Feeley Enterprises' and `Popeil Records' Room #730 here on the seventh floor of the Outerdrive East which we have occupied since 12/82 under a sublease agreement with its then lease holder, Jupiter Industries.

Since Jupiter Industries have not paid you the current and last months' rent on this space `Feeley Enterprises' will immediately issue a check in the amount of $1,343.25 payable to your D.T.P. Properties firm, as you requested, to cover full payment to you and D.T.P. Properties of this room #730's rental for 12/82, 1/83, and a full month's security deposit. And, future rent payments are to be sent to your office at the beginning of every month. With your acceptance of our check and our agreeing to this room #730 in its present condition, you and your firm guarantee that we will be issued a new three year lease commencing immediately for $447.75 a month complete along with our also being guaranteed that we will [be] entitled to extend this same present lease agreement at the end of its first three years with options of our choice for three period(s) of three years each at the end of each period for a total of 12 years.

It is also mutually agreed that should this particular space be made available for sale by you, your associates and/or agent, we shall be jointly and secondly singularly be given in writing the first option to purchase it at a qualified fair market price. But should we and/or our assigned agent(s) fail to exercise our option, and afterwards it is purchased by some one else, the terms of any alternate sale must stipulate that if said purchaser should desire early termination of this lease to occupy this space before its present and or future option(s) expiration(s), we and/or our agent(s) will all be given ninety (90) days advance notice in writing by registered mail of such intention plus immediately thereafter negotiate early termination compensation satisfactory to us and also render payment thereof for inconvenience, interruption of business and all relocation expenses."

On January 10, 1983, Lefkovitz sent the following reply (acceptance) to Feeley:

"We thank you for your check number 11208 in the amount of $1,343.25 to satisfy the unpaid 12/82 rent by Jupiter plus your 1/83 rent and a one month's security deposit for Unit 7G in the Outerdrive East which you now occupy.

The terms stated in your 1/3/83 letter are accepted with the consideration of your first check and subsequent monthly rent payments. Your executed lease will be forthcoming."

Feeley's initial check was received by Lefkovitz and deposited in the bank account of D.T.P. Limited Partnership of which Lefkovitz was a general partner. Feeley's January, February, and March rental payments were also deposited in the account of D.T.P. Limited Partnership.

On April 14, 1983, Lefkovitz executed a real estate contract selling room 730 to John Kretchmar. Kretchmar had notice that Feeley was a tenant in room 730 and visited Feeley at his office several times prior to finalizing the purchase of room 730. Kretchmar testified that he and Feeley discussed Feeley's lease during their meetings. Kretchmar purchased the property, taking title in the name of Michigan Avenue National Bank as trustee under a land trust of which he is the sole beneficiary. Kretchmar subsequently notified Feeley that he was the new owner of room 730 and that his month-to-month lease would not be renewed. Feeley wrote back to Kretchmar notifying him that he (Feeley) had a valid three-year lease with the former owner, Sigmund Lefkovitz, and that he would not be vacating the premises.

Feeley filed suit to have the correspondence between him and Lefkovitz declared a lease and the bank and Kretchmar filed a forcible detainer action to have Feeley evicted from room 730. The actions were consolidated at the trial level. The trial court denied Feeley's request for declaratory relief and granted the request of the ...

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