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11/20/87 Cunningham Courts v. Thomas C. Hynes

November 20, 1987

COUNTY, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES

v.

THOMAS C. HYNES, COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

CUNNINGHAM COURTS TOWNHOMES HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION et al.,

on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated

multiunit condominium complexes located in Cook

517 N.E.2d 1102, 163 Ill. App. 3d 572, 115 Ill. Dec. 416 1987.IL.1724

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Earl Arkiss, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. PINCHAM and MURRAY, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

This appeal is taken by the defendants from an order entered by the trial court awarding class-plaintiffs' counsel attorney fees which included a multiplier of two. The sole issue raised on appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion in awarding counsel attorney fees with a multiplier of two.

We affirm.

The following facts are pertinent to our Disposition. On September 29, 1981, a complaint was filed on behalf of two homeowners' associations, Cunningham Courts Townhomes Homeowners Association (Cunningham) and Bay Colony Condominium Owners Association (Bay Colony). The complaint challenged the Cook County assessor's practice of assessing and levying taxes upon the common property of these homeowners' associations as well as assessing and levying taxes on the units which make up the association. The county assessed and taxed the value of each unit to its respective owner and separately assessed and taxed the value of the common property to the not-for-profit corporation established under each development's condominium declaration as the holder of legal title to the common property. The complaint alleged that this practice violated, inter alia, section 10 of the Condominium Property Act. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 30, par. 310.

The county moved to dismiss the complaint. Plaintiffs subsequently sought to amend their complaint and sought class-based relief. The county opposed the motion. After briefs were filed and argument was heard, the motions to amend the complaint and for class certification were denied. The trial court did, however, allow an interlocutory appeal of the issue to this court. We ultimately denied leave to appeal the issue of class action. In April of 1982 the county answered the complaint.

In August of 1982 plaintiffs moved for summary judgment. The county objected and moved to stay the ruling on plaintiffs' motion until a factually related case, then pending in this court, was decided. The motion to stay was granted. This related case was Cambridge-on-the-Lake Homeowners Association v. Hynes (1983), 116 Ill. App. 3d 63, 452 N.E.2d 37. In June of 1983 this court affirmed the trial court's ruling in Cambridge that separate taxation of common areas owned by condominium associations violated section 10 of the Condominium Property Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 30, par. 310.) The opinion was slightly modified in August when the petition for rehearing was denied.

In July of 1983, the case of Oak Village Homeowners Association v. Hynes, 83 CH 5391, was filed in the chancery division of circuit court of Cook County. Oak Village was also brought as a purported class action on behalf of all Cook County condominium associations whose common property had been separately taxed. Pursuant to a motion for a temporary restraining order in the Oak Village case, Judge Siegan entered an order directing the county to separate all the payments ...


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