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06/06/88 the People Ex Rel. the v. the Village of Arlington

June 6, 1988

THE PEOPLE EX REL. THE CITY OF PROSPECT HEIGHTS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THE VILLAGE OF ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

525 N.E.2d 970, 171 Ill. App. 3d 766, 121 Ill. Dec. 663 1988.IL.876

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas J. O'Brien, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL, P.J., and QUINLAN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE O'CONNOR

This is a quo warrantor proceeding brought initially by the City of Prospect Heights (City) against the Village of Arlington Heights (Village). At issue is the validity of ordinances of the Village of Arlington Heights and the City of Prospect Heights which purport to annex the same territory.

After a bench trial, the trial court found that the ordinances of the Village of Arlington Heights purporting to annex the subject territory were null and void and entered a judgment of ouster against the Village of Arlington Heights. Arlington Heights appeals, raising the following issues: (1) whether the annexation of territory pursuant to section 7-1-13 of the Illinois Municipal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 24 par. 7-1-13) is legally initiated by the publication of notice; (2) whether the priority of recording of an annexation ordinance is relevant; (3) whether Prospect Heights gave timely notice of its intended annexation; and (4) whether the legal description of Arlington Heights ordinance No. 80-150 was materially defective.

The annexations at issue here were undertaken pursuant to the provisions of section 7-1-13 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 24, par. 7-1-13), relating to annexation of surrounded or nearly surrounded territories. Under the provisions of section 7-1-13, whenever a municipality desires to annex surrounded territory, it must do so "by the passage of an ordinance to that effect after notice is given as provided in this Section." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 24, par. 7-1-13.) The statute further requires that the corporate authority shall give notice stating that the territory described is contemplated for annexation on a certain date. The notice has to be given not less than 10 days before the passage of the annexation ordinance.

Pursuant to that statute, the Village of Arlington Heights published notices in the Arlington Heights Herald on November 4, 1981, stating that "the corporate authorities of Arlington Heights were contemplating the annexation of certain territory" pursuant to the provisions of section 7 -- 1 -- 13. The notice stated that the corporate authority would consider the annexation on November 16, 1981, at its regular meeting at 8 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

On November 6, 1981, the City of Prospect Heights published similar notices in the Mount Prospect Herald, indicating that on the 16th of November, at 7:30 p.m., the city council "will contemplate the annexation of the following described territory." Both municipalities gave the other requisite notices to applicable township, library district, and fire district officials, as required. Thus both parties had published notices purportedly in compliance with section 7 -- 1 -- 13, in which they indicated contemplation of annexation of the same territory on the same night. The notices of the Village of Arlington Heights, however, were published two days before those of the City of Prospect Heights. Prospect Heights, in its notices, indicated that its meeting would be called at 7:30 p.m., whereas the meeting of the Village of Arlington Heights convened at 8 p.m. pursuant to the regular meeting schedule.

On November 16, 1981, the Prospect Heights city council passed ordinance Nos. 0 -- 81 -- 35 and 0 -- 81 -- 36 at 7:38 and 7:46 p.m., respectively. At its regular meeting, also on November 16, 1981, which commenced at 8 p.m. the Village of Arlington Heights adopted ordinances Nos. 81 -- 149 and 81 -- 150, annexing the same territory.

The provisions of section 7-1-40 provide that after any territory is annexed or disconnected, the chief executive officer of the municipality shall within 90 days file for recordation in the recorder's office of the county where the territory is situated a certified copy of the ordinance together with an accurate map of the territory annexed or disconnected. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 24, par. 7-1-40.) Pursuant to those provisions, the Village of Arlington Heights recorded its ordinances with the recorder of deeds of Cook County at 9 a.m. on November 17, 1981. Prospects Heights recorded its ordinances shortly after 9 a.m. on the same date.

On November 17, 1982, Prospect Heights filed its notice and petition to file a complaint in quo warrantor to challenge the Arlington Heights annexations. On April 6, 1983, the court granted leave to file the instant complaint. Arlington Heights filed an answer and a countercomplaint challenging the Prospect Heights annexations.

On December 16, 1986, the trial court conducted a bench trial. In addition to the question of whether annexation pursuant to section 7 -- 1 -- 13 of the Illinois Municipal Code is legally initiated by publication of the notice or by adoption of the ordinance, Prospect Heights contended that the legal ...


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