APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT
506 N.E.2d 385, 153 Ill. App. 3d 803, 106 Ill. Dec. 678 1987.IL.388
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. John E. Sype, Judge, presiding.
Presiding Justice Lindberg delivered the opinion of the court. Inglis and Unverzagt, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINDBERG
Plaintiffs appeal the judgment of the circuit court of Winnebago County dismissing their complaint against the Rockford Public Library Board (board) and its director Joel Rosenfeld.
The complaint, in two counts, sought an injunction or declaratory judgment to prohibit the board from spending funds for library reconstruction which were derived from a referendum increasing the tax rate for library purposes pursuant to an ordinance authorized by section 3-1 of the Illinois Local Library Act (Library Act or Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 81, par. 3-1).
The board decided to seek an increase in the maximum rate permitted for the annual library fund levy from .15% to .30%. The matter was submitted to the voters of Rockford at a regular election held March 30, 1984, and it was approved. Plaintiffs' complaint alleges that shortly thereafter, the board began formulating plans for major structural changes in the library building to be paid for with money made available by the referendum. The complaint alleged that the use by the board of money from the library fund for alterations, structural changes, or remodeling of the library buildings is unlawful. Count I of the complaint sought an injunction preventing the board from making such expenditures from the library fund. Count II sought a declaratory judgment that expenditures from the library fund for structural building changes and remodeling of the library building are unlawful.
The board filed a motion to dismiss plaintiffs' complaint under section 2-615 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 110, par. 2-615) as being substantially insufficient in law. The motion stated that the Library Act specifically authorized the board to make the expenditures complained of in plaintiffs' complaint.
The trial court issued a memorandum opinion finding that under section 3-5 of the Local Library Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 81, par. 3-5), expenditures from the library fund are to be under the direction of the board and under sections 4-7(2) and 4-7(5) of the Library Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 81, pars. 4-7(2), 4-7(5)), the board had control over the expenditure of funds from the library fund and the power to remodel or reconstruct its buildings. The trial court concluded that the use of the library fund for structural building changes and remodeling of the building was within the power and authority of the board and, accordingly, dismissed the complaint. Plaintiffs appeal.
Plaintiffs raise six issues on appeal: (1) a complaint attacked by a motion to dismiss should be interpreted in the light most favorable to the plaintiff; (2) tax money acquired by a referendum for "maintenance and operation" cannot be spent for a major building program; (3) the remedy of declaratory judgment must be liberally construed to provide a binding declaration of rights without requiring parties to make irrevocable changes in position jeopardizing their rights; (4) the board was required to disclose in the official explanations that the funds sought were to be applied to a rebuilding of the library building; (5) sections 3 -- 5 and 4 -- 7 do not expand the authority of the board to spend funds raised under section 3 -- 3 of the Library Act; and (6) injunction and declaratory judgment are desirable methods of achieving proper Disposition of the case before the court.
We will limit our analysis to those issues which plaintiffs have supported with citation to legal authority as required by Supreme Court Rule 341(e)(7) (103 Ill. 2d R. 341(e)(7)). While plaintiffs have listed the 13 cases in the "Points and Authorities" section of their appellants' brief, they have failed to integrate the majority of those cases into the arguments section of their brief. Nor have they attempted to cite the page of any case to direct us to the point of law in the case upon which they rely as legal authority.
Supreme Court Rule 341(e)(7) (103 Ill. 2d R. 341(e)(7)) provides, among other things, that an appellant's brief must contain citations to the relevant authority supporting the argument advanced on appeal. (See Village of Cary v. Jakubek (1984), 121 Ill. App. 3d 341, 345, 459 N.E.2d 651; Michalek v. Village of Midlothian (1983), 116 Ill. App. 3d 1021, 1039, 452 N.E.2d 655.) A court of review is entitled to have the issues clearly defined and to be cited pertinent authority. (Fuller v. Justice (1983), 117 Ill. App. 3d 933, 943, 453 N.E.2d 1133; Pecora v. Szabo (1982), 109 Ill. App. 3d 824, 825-26, 441 N.E.2d 360.) A contention that is supported by some argument but by no authority whatsoever does not satisfy the requirements of Supreme Court Rule 341(e)(7). (Fuller v. Justice (1983), 117 Ill. App. 3d 933, 942-43, 453 N.E.2d 1133; Wilson v. Continental Body Corp. (1981), 93 Ill. App. 3d 966, 969, 418 N.E.2d 56.) The well-established rule is that bare contentions without argument or citation of authority do not merit consideration on appeal. (Deckard v. Joiner (1970), 44 Ill. 2d 412, 419, 255 N.E.2d 900, cert. denied (1970), 400 U.S. 941, 27 L. Ed. 2d 244, 91 S. Ct. 232; Fuller v. Justice (1983), 117 Ill. App. 3d 933, 942-43, 453 N.E.2d 1133.) We treat the arguments unsupported by citation to legal authority as waived. Nancy's Home of the Stuffed Pizza, Inc. v. Cirrincione (1986), 144 Ill. App. 3d 934, 939, 494 N.E.2d 795.
This appeal involves the single question of whether library funds derived from a levy increased pursuant to a section 3-1 referendum, conducted under the terms of section 3-3 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 81, pars. 3-1, 3-3), may be used for the purpose of structural building changes and remodeling, under the authority given to ...