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03/29/89 In Re Application of Edward J. Rosewell

March 29, 1989

IN RE APPLICATION OF EDWARD J. ROSEWELL, COUNTY TREASURER


SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

and Ex-Officio County Collector (Edward J. Rosewell,

Appellant, v.

Park Place Investments et al., Appellees. -- American

National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago et al.,

Appellees, v. Edward J. Rosewell et al.,

Appellants)

537 N.E.2d 762, 127 Ill. 2d 404, 130 Ill. Dec. 433 1989.IL.427

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Francis Barth, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE RYAN delivered the opinion of the court. WARD, CLARK and CALVO, JJ., took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE RYAN

The appellees (Owners/Objectors) in this appeal are parties who hold various interests in tax delinquent realty located in Cook County. In 1980 and 1983, appellant, the Cook County treasurer (Treasurer), sold the Owners/Objectors' parcels in accordance with section 235a of the Revenue Act of 1939, which allows the Treasurer to sell properties that are five or more years delinquent in the payment of real estate taxes. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 120, par. 716a.) None of the purchasers of the Owners/Objectors' properties, however, secured tax deeds within the prescribed statutory time limit. As a result, the Treasurer contended that the county's tax liens which existed when the properties were previously sold were still enforceable against these parcels. The Treasurer then sought to enforce these liens in August 1987, by applying to the circuit court of Cook County for a judgment and order of sale. The Owners/Objectors brought several different actions to halt the sale. The circuit court consolidated the actions and ruled in favor of the Owners/Objectors, holding that the Treasurer's prior sales extinguished the county's tax liens and therefore the present sale could not take place.

We granted the Treasurer's motion for a direct appeal under our Rule 302(b) (107 Ill. 2d R. 302(b)). We affirm the circuit court's ruling.

Section 235a of the Revenue Act of 1939, commonly known as the Scavenger Act, allows a county treasurer, acting as county collector, to conduct a sale of properties which are tax delinquent for five or more years. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 120, par. 716a.) The county treasurer sells each parcel to the highest bidder; the bid need not be the total amount of taxes due. The sale is confirmed by the circuit court and the successful bidder receives a tax sale certificate. The bidder must then petition the court for a tax deed within certain statutory time limits, and if the owner does not redeem the premises, then a deed will be issued. The owner may redeem by paying to the county clerk the total amount of taxes due plus penalties (unless a single-family residence was sold, then redemption need only be in the ...


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