Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, La Salle County, Illinois. No. 94--TX--42. Honorable James A. Lanuti, Judge Presiding.
Present - Honorable William E. Holdridge, Justice, Honorable Kent Slater, Justice, Honorable Thomas J. Homer, Justice. Justice Homer delivered the opinion of the court. Holdridge and Slater, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Homer
The Honorable Justice HOMER delivered the opinion of the court:
Respondent, Ronald Evenson, appeals from the trial court's denial of a motion to vacate an order which directed the county clerk to issue a tax deed for real property. Evenson is the trustee of a land trust in which the real property was held. On appeal, we must decide whether section 21--380 of the Property Tax Code (the Code) (35 ILCS 200/21--380 (West 1996)) requires that a redemption under protest be made if the redemption occurs after a petition for a tax deed has been filed. Evenson argues that the trial court erred when it ruled that an attempted redemption failed because the redemption was not made under protest. For the following reasons, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.
Explosives Technologies International, Inc., (ETI), was the original owner of the subject real property located in La Salle County. After ETI moved its principle office in 1993, ETI's tax manager mailed a change of address to the La Salle County collector. ETI paid the 1992 taxes. However, the 1993 real estate tax bill was sent to ETI's former address and ETI did not receive or pay the 1993 taxes.
After the county collector obtained judgment and order of sale, Evelyn Muffler purchased the property at a tax sale held on November 21, 1994. Subsequently, Muffler paid the 1994 taxes when they became delinquent. On November 22, 1995, ETI sold the real estate to Ronald Evenson under a trust agreement. Evenson paid the 1995 taxes as they became due.
On August 5, 1996, Muffler filed with the circuit court a petition for tax deed. A notice in the form prescribed by section 22--10 of the Code (35 ILCS 200/22--10 (West 1996)) was received by Evenson on or about August 7, 1996. The notice provided, inter alia:
"This notice is to advise you that the above property has been sold for delinquent taxes and that the period of redemption from the sale will expire on November 21, 1996.
Check with the county clerk as to the exact amount you owe before redeeming.
This notice is also to advise you that a petition has been filed for a tax deed which will transfer title and the right to possession of this property if redemption ...