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11/03/88 Snuggery Pub, Inc., v. the Village of Mount

November 3, 1988





530 N.E.2d 1097, 176 Ill. App. 3d 119, 125 Ill. Dec. 688 1988.IL.1595

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. George M. Marovich, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE JOHNSON delivered the opinion of the court. JIGANTI, P.J., and LINN, J., concur.


Plaintiff, Snuggery Pub, Inc., appeals from the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County that found the annexation amendment to section 7-1-13 of the Illinois Municipal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 24, par. 7-1-13) to be constitutional. Plaintiff raises the following issues on appeal: (1) whether the amendment constitutes special legislation; (2) whether the use of the term "creek" in the amendment renders it vague and therefore unconstitutional; and (3) whether the trial court erred in granting defendants' motion for summary judgment and denying plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment.

We affirm.

Defendants herein are the Village of Mount Prospect (Village); Carolyn Krause, mayor; trustees Ralph Arthur, Gerald Farley, Leo Floros, Norma Murauskis, George Van Geem, and Theodore Wattenberg; John Dixon, Village manager; and Carol Fields, Village clerk. On March 3, 1987, defendants passed an ordinance which sought to involuntarily annex unincorporated territory in Cook County which contained less than 60 acres and was bounded by a municipality and Higgins Creek. Plaintiff operated a business on a parcel of land within the territory to be annexed. The annexation statute was amended for the purpose of allowing municipalities to involuntarily annex unincorporated territories containing no more than 60 acres and located within a county having a population in excess of 400,000 and bounded by a creek. Prior to this amendment, the statute allowed a municipality to annex unincorporated territory that was wholly bounded by one or more municipalities and by a river or lake.

Subsequent to passage of the ordinance, plaintiff filed a complaint in the circuit court of Cook County for injunctive and declaratory relief. Plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of the annexation amendment and defendants' action thereunder. Plaintiff further alleged that if the ordinance was upheld the defendants could unilaterally annex its business and cause it to suffer economic hardship.

When plaintiff filed its motion for summary judgment, it also provided to the court supporting memoranda and depositions of Bruce Bruckelmeyer, a registered surveyor and engineer, and Roland Pennequin, an unregistered surveyor. Bruckelmeyer stated during his deposition that he had never supervised plats of annexation involving a creek, river or any waterway as a boundary to the annexed territory. He further stated that he had not field checked any of the boundaries of the annexed territory at issue. Pennequin also testified that he neither field inspected nor surveyed the territory at issue.

Defendants supported their motion for summary judgment with affidavits of Robert Murry, a registered land surveyor, and Charles Bencic, an engineer for the Village. Murry stated that he prepared the plat of annexation which is at issue. Bencic noted that he was generally familiar with Higgins Creek.

On June 12, 1987, following oral arguments on the motions for summary judgment, the trial court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding the annexation amendment constitutional.

Plaintiff's first contention is that the annexation amendment constitutes special legislation in violation of section 13 of article IV of the Illinois Constitution. (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, § 13.) It argues that there is no reasonable basis for the classification based upon population and no rational relationship between the classification and the legislative objective in enacting the statute.

Article IV, section 13, of the Illinois Constitution provides that "[the] General Assembly shall pass no special or local law when a general law is or can be made applicable. Whether a general law is or can be made applicable shall be a matter for judicial determination." (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, ยง 13.) "A special law confers 'some special right, privilege or immunity or [imposes] some particular burden upon some portion of the people of the state less than all.'" ...

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