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Champaign Township v. County of Champaign

June 17, 2002

CHAMPAIGN TOWNSHIP, CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, A TOWNSHIP DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE, AS AMENDED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE COUNTY OF CHAMPAIGN, A BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF ARTICLE VII OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION OF 1970 AND OF THE COUNTIES CODE, AS AMENDED; THE COUNTY BOARD OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, A BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3(A) OF ARTICLE VII OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION OF 1970 AND OF THE COUNTIES CODE, AS AMENDED; THE TOWN OF THE CITY OF CHAMPAIGN TOWNSHIP, CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, A TOWNSHIP DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE, AS AMENDED; THE CITY OF CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL CODE, AS AMENDED; MARK SHELDEN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNTY CLERK OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS; AND DANIEL J. WELCH, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS TREASURER OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES, AND THE CHAMPAIGN-URBANA PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT, A BODY CORPORATE ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT ACT, AS AMENDED, INTERVENOR-DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 00CH193 Honorable Heidi Ladd, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Appleton

Released for publication.

CHAMPAIGN TOWNSHIP, CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, A TOWNSHIP DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE, AS AMENDED, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
THE COUNTY OF CHAMPAIGN, A BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 2 OF ARTICLE VII OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION OF 1970 AND OF THE COUNTIES CODE, AS AMENDED; THE COUNTY BOARD OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, A BODY CORPORATE AND POLITIC DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 3(A) OF ARTICLE VII OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION OF 1970 AND OF THE COUNTIES CODE, AS AMENDED; THE TOWN OF THE CITY OF CHAMPAIGN TOWNSHIP, CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, A TOWNSHIP DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE, AS AMENDED; THE CITY OF CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION DULY ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL CODE, AS AMENDED; MARK SHELDEN, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS COUNTY CLERK OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS; AND DANIEL J. WELCH, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS TREASURER OF CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES, AND THE CHAMPAIGN-URBANA PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT, A BODY CORPORATE ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH DISTRICT ACT, AS AMENDED, INTERVENOR-DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 00CH193 Honorable Heidi Ladd, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Appleton

The parties in this case include the City of Champaign (City) as well as two townships with similar names: the City Township of Champaign (east township) and Champaign Township (west township). The City and the east township formerly were coterminous, but now their boundaries diverge. In November 2000, the west township sought a judicial declaration that after the City and the east township ceased being coterminous, any territory that the City annexed from the west township did not become part of the east township but instead remained in the west township. The west township also sought an injunction consistent with the proposed declaratory judgment. In September 2001, the circuit court entered summary judgment against the west township and in defendants' favor. The west township appeals, arguing that the circuit court misinterpreted section 15-20 of the Township Code (60 ILCS 1/15-20 (West 2000)). We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Before December 7, 1999, the City and the east township had identical boundaries. On December 7, 1999, the City annexed Baytowne Apartments in the west township. During the 12 months preceding December 7, 1999, the City had annexed other territory in the west township. The combined equalized assessed value of Baytowne Apartments and other territory that the City annexed during this 12-month period exceeded 1% of the total equalized assessed value of the west township. Therefore, the west township had a right to determine, by referendum, whether Baytowne Apartments would remain a part of the west township or become part of the east township. See 60 ILCS 1/15-25 (West 1998).

On December 21, 1999, the board of trustees of the west township adopted a resolution stating that disconnecting Baytowne Apartments would be contrary to the best interest of the west township. See 60 ILCS 1/15-15(a) (West 1998). The board requested a referendum, and in the primary election on March 21, 2000, voters in the west township voted against disconnecting Baytowne Apartments from the west township. See 60 ILCS 1/15-15(a) through (c) (West 1998). As a result, Baytowne Apartments remained a part of the west township and did not become part of the east township. See 60 ILCS 1/15-15(e) (West 1998). The City and the east township no longer were coterminous; the City now had territory, Baytowne Apartments, that was outside the east township.

After December 7, 1999, when the City and the east township no longer were coterminous, the City annexed additional territory (disputed territory) in the west township. No one alleges that the City's annexation of the disputed territory triggered the 1% rule in section 15-25 (60 ILCS 1/15-25 (West 1998)) or that the west township ever requested a referendum on that annexation.

On November 27, 2000, the west township filed a complaint, asking the circuit court to enjoin the City, the east township, and their officials from asserting jurisdiction over the disputed territory. The west township also asked the court to enter a declaratory judgment that after December 7, 1999, when the City and the east township ceased being coterminous, any "territory annexed by the City, including the disputed territory, *** was not disconnected from *** [the west township] and incorporated into the [east township] by operation of [s]section 15-5(a) of the Township Code" (60 ILCS 1/15-5(a) (West 1998)). The west township named as defendants the City, east township, board of trustees of Champaign County, county clerk, and county treasurer. Later, the parties added the county as a defendant. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District intervened as a defendant because the case would affect its boundaries.

The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. On September 20, 2001, the circuit court denied the west township's motion for summary judgment, granted defendants' motions for summary judgment, and entered the following declaratory judgment:

"[T]he [east township] continues to be a coterminous township with the [City][,] and annexation to the City results in disconnection of property from the adjacent townships and connection to the [east township], except for that land for which a referend[um] is requested and held pursuant to [s]section 15-15 of the Township Code (60 ILCS 1[/]15-15 ...


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