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08/18/88 West Suburban Hospital v. Thomas C. Hynes

August 18, 1988

WEST SUBURBAN HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THOMAS C. HYNES, ASSESSOR OF COOK COUNTY, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES (PHOENIX BOND AND INDEMNITY COMPANY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

527 N.E.2d 1086, 173 Ill. App. 3d 847, 123 Ill. Dec. 448 1988.IL.1276

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Harold Siegan, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. JOHNSON and McMORROW, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Defendant, the Phoenix Bond and Indemnity Company, Inc., purchased the alleged delinquent property taxes of plaintiff, the West Suburban Hospital Medical Center, at the 1985 county tax sale. The hospital thereafter redeemed its property. The day after its redemption, the hospital brought this action in the circuit court of Cook County. The hospital named as defendants Phoenix Bond; Thomas Hynes, the Cook County assessor; Edward Rosewell, the county treasurer and ex officio collector; John Gallagher, the county auditor; and Stanley Kusper, the county clerk. The hospital sought a declaration that the taxes were improperly imposed and an injunction preventing the taxing officials from paying the redemption money to Phoenix Bond.

The trial court issued a temporary restraining order preventing Phoenix Bond from receiving the redemption money. Phoenix Bond now brings this interlocutory appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 307(a)(1). (107 Ill. 2d R. 307(a)(1); Bohn Aluminum & Brass Co. v. Barker (1973), 55 Ill. 2d 177, 303 N.E.2d 1.) Phoenix Bond contends that the trial court lacked jurisdiction over the matter because: (1) the Revenue Act of 1939 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 719 et seq.) provided the hospital with an adequate remedy at law and (2) the hospital's redemption of its property rendered the cause moot.

We affirm the order of the trial court and remand.

BACKGROUND

A

A brief review of the tax sale process is necessary to better understand the facts in the case at bar. The Revenue Act of 1939 directs the taxing officials to hold an annual tax sale, in which tax delinquent property is auctioned to satisfy the taxes. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, pars. 719, 724.) A successful bidder-a tax purchaser-must then pay all of the taxes owed on the property for that year and for all prior years. Only after the tax purchaser pays all of the taxes on the property do the taxing officials issue to the tax purchaser a certificate of purchase. A tax purchase extinguishes the county's tax lien on the property. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 728.

The certificate of purchase entitles the tax purchaser to the amount that he paid with interest ranging from 12% to 18%. The interest is a penalty to the delinquent landowner that accumulates every six months. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 734.) If the landowner does not redeem the property within two years, the tax purchaser may then petition the trial court for a tax deed on the property, thus becoming its legal owner. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 747.

As noted above, Illinois gives the delinquent landowner the right of redemption. The landowner may redeem his or her property by paying to the taxing officials the total amount of the unpaid taxes with the penalty interest. At the end of that six-month period, the taxing officials then pay to the tax purchaser the amount of the principal and interest stated on the certificate of purchase. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 120, par. 734.

B

In the case at bar, the hospital owns and operates a building known as the Ambulatory Care Center/Professional Office Building. From the time of its opening in 1982, the hospital used part of the building and leased the ...


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