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11/20/97 RONALD MARSH v. ILLINOIS RACING BOARD ET

November 20, 1997

RONALD MARSH, APPELLANT,
v.
THE ILLINOIS RACING BOARD ET AL., APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Appellate Court, First District, Cook County. CASE NUMBERS: AC1-96-0523, TR96CH729. TRIAL JUDGE: Hon. Lester D. Foreman.

Chief Justice Freeman delivered the opinion of the court.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Freeman

CHIEF JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the opinion of the court:

We are called upon in this case to determine whether the issuance of a stay of an administrative order pending judicial review constitutes an injunction for purposes of an appeal under Supreme Court Rule 307(a)(1) (166 Ill. 2d R. 307(a)(1)). For the reasons that follow, we hold that it does.

BACKGROUND

Prior to the commencement of this action, plaintiff, Ronald Marsh, was licensed as an owner and driver of standardbred horses pursuant to the Illinois Horse Racing Act of 1975. See 230 ILCS 5/15 (West 1994). On December 7, 1995, racing stewards at Maywood Park Racetrack issued a ruling which excluded Marsh from all racetracks and wagering locations pending an investigation of two harness races in which Marsh had participated. Several days later, the stewards issued a second ruling which revoked Marsh's license and declared him ineligible for future licensure. The stewards' disciplinary action stemmed from their finding that Marsh had furthered an unlawful betting scheme by failing to give his best effort in two races. Marsh appealed the rulings to defendant Illinois Racing Board (Racing Board), the administrative agency legislatively mandated to implement the Horse Racing Act. See 230 ILCS 5/16(c) (West 1994). The hearing, which was concluded on December 21, 1995, was conducted by a hearing officer as permitted under the Horse Racing Act. On January 9, 1996, the Racing Board issued an order which upheld the stewards' rulings and which declared Marsh ineligible for future licensure in any capacity.

Marsh subsequently filed a complaint for administrative review of the Racing Board's order in the circuit court of Cook County. See 230 ILCS 5/46 (West 1994) (providing that final decisions be reviewed pursuant to the Administrative Review Law). The complaint named as defendants the Racing Board, eight board members in their individual capacity, and the three racing stewards who had issued the initial disciplinary rulings. Marsh also filed an emergency motion to stay the Racing Board's decision, pursuant to section 3-111(a)(1) of the Administrative Review Law (Review Law) (735 ILCS 5/3-111(a)(1) (West 1994)). On February 9, 1996, the circuit court entered an order which stayed the Racing Board's decision "pending a decision on administrative review." Defendants then filed an interlocutory appeal from the circuit court's order, pursuant to Rule 307(a)(1). Several days later, they filed an emergency motion in the appellate court, seeking a stay of the circuit court's order pending the interlocutory appeal. Although Marsh objected to the motion on the ground that the circuit court's stay order was not appealable under Rule 307(a)(1), the appellate court granted the emergency motion to stay the circuit court's order and remanded the cause to the circuit court. We allowed Marsh's petition for leave to appeal (166 Ill. 2d R. 315(a)) and now remand the matter to the appellate court.

ANALYSIS

I

The parties initially dispute whether Rule 307(a)(1), which provides for appeals of right from orders "granting, modifying, refusing, dissolving, or refusing to dissolve or modify an injunction" (166 Ill. 2d R. 307(a)(1)), permits the appeal of a stay order entered by the circuit court pursuant to section 3-111(a)(1) of the Administrative Review Law. See 735 ILCS 5/3-111(a)(1) (West 1994). Relying on several decisions of our appellate court, defendants maintain that under the circumstances of this case, review under Rule 307(a)(1) is proper because the entry of the stay amounted to an order that enjoined the Racing Board from giving effect to its administrative decision concerning Marsh's license. See Coordinating Committee of Mechanical Specialty Contractors Ass'n v. O'Connor, 92 Ill. App. 3d 318, 48 Ill. Dec. 147, 416 N.E.2d 42 (1980); Cahokia Sportservice, Inc. v. Illinois Liquor Control Comm'n, 32 Ill. App. 3d 801, 336 N.E.2d 276 (1975). According to defendants, the circuit court's order is, in essence, an injunction and, as such, is subject to interlocutory review under Rule 307(a)(1). Marsh, pointing to contrary authority from the appellate court, counters that the circuit court's stay order is not appealable under Rule 307(a)(1) because the elements for a stay under the Review Law do not rise to the level of those traditionally required for injunctive relief. See Gorr v. Board of Fire & Police Commissioners, 129 Ill. App. 3d 327, 84 Ill. Dec. 627, 472 N.E.2d 587 (1984).

We begin our analysis of this issue with a general overview of this court's past pronouncements concerning the appealability of injunctive orders under Rule 307(a)(1). In In re A Minor, this court provided an exhaustive discussion on the question, which we believe lends guidance to the question raised today:

"To determine what constitutes an appealable injunctive order under Rule 307(a)(1) we look to the substance of the action, not its form. ( Bohn Aluminum & Brass Co. v. Barker (1973) 55 Ill. 2d 177, 180, 303 N.E.2d 1.) An apple calling itself an orange remains an apple. Actions of the circuit court having the force and effect of injunctions are still appealable even if called something else. Temporary restraining orders are reviewable ( Bohn Aluminum, 55 Ill. 2d at 178), and in Valente v. Maida (1960), 24 Ill. App. 2d 144, 149, 164 N.E.2d 538, which we cited with approval in Bohn Aluminum, an order staying proceedings in a case pending the rendition of judgment in a related case was treated as a reviewable order, notwithstanding the fact that the order used the term 'stay' rather than 'injunction.' Similar results have been reached with respect to an order denying a motion for a stay of proceedings pending arbitration ( School District No. 46 v. Del Bianco (1966), 68 Ill. App. 2d 145, 215 N.E.2d 25; Applicolor, Inc. v. Surface Combustion Corp. (1966), 77 Ill. App. 2d 260, 222 N.E.2d 168), and the denial of a motion to stay proceedings in one case until the conclusion of an appeal in a different case ( Wiseman v. Law Research, Inc. (1971), 133 Ill. App. 2d 790, 270 N.E.2d 77). While we express no opinion as to the merits of these appellate court cases, they do reflect a policy of broadly construing the meaning of the term 'injunction.'" In re A Minor, 127 Ill. 2d 247, 260-61, 130 Ill. Dec. 225, 537 N.E.2d 292 (1989).

In view of these expansive comments, it is not surprising, perhaps, that defendants urge us to simply deem the circuit court's "stay" an "injunction" and hold that jurisdiction under Rule 307(a)(1) is proper. In fact, this is precisely what both of the appellate panels did in the opinions cited to us by defendants. See Cahokia, 32 Ill. App. 3d at 807 (citing without discussion Medline Industries, Inc. v. Pascal, 23 Ill. App. 3d 346, 319 N.E.2d 310 (1974), and Wiseman v. Law Research, Inc., 133 Ill. App. 2d 790, 270 N.E.2d 77 (1971)). *fn1 In our view, however, such an approach oversimplifies the issue and overlooks the fact that the putative "injunctive order" in this case was, unlike the orders in the cases cited in the above passage, issued in accordance with a comprehensive statutory structure, i.e., the Review Law. Indeed, it was this fact which caused the Gorr court to hold that it lacked jurisdiction to review the issuance of the stay. We, therefore, choose to address this issue with reference to the specific statutory scheme under which it arose.

The Illinois Constitution of 1970 states that our circuit courts shall have the power to review administrative actions "as provided by law." Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, ยง 9. To that end, the General Assembly has chosen to afford litigants the right to judicial review of all final decisions of the Racing Board in accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Administrative Review Law. 230 ILCS 5/46 (West 1994). Characterized as a "departure from the common law" ( Winston v. Zoning Board of Appeals, 407 Ill. 588, 595, 95 N.E.2d 864 (1950)), the Administrative Review Law, as it is currently titled, eliminates, in those cases to which it applies, any other statutory, equitable, or common law remedies by which administrative determinations had previously been reviewed. Dubin v. Personnel Board, 128 Ill. 2d 490, 497, 132 Ill. Dec. 437, 539 N.E.2d 1243 (1989). Specifically, the legislature designed the Review Law "to channel into a single procedure the judicial review of the ...


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