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Travel Express Aviation Maintenance, Inc., and Travel v. Bridgeview Bank Group

January 13, 2011

TRAVEL EXPRESS AVIATION MAINTENANCE, INC., AND TRAVEL
EXPRESS AVIATION, LLC, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
BRIDGEVIEW BANK GROUP, F/K/A UPTOWN NATIONAL BANK, AND ROYAL PALM AVIATION, LLC, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES
(FASTI USA, INC., DEFENDANT).



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County No. 09-CH-3283. Honorable Alan W. Cargerman Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Bowman

Unpublished opinion

Opinion

JUSTICE BOWMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Hudson and Birkett concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Plaintiffs, Travel Express Aviation Maintenance, Inc., and Travel Express Aviation, LLC, appeal from the trial court's dismissal of their claims against defendants Bridgeview Bank Group, f/k/a Uptown National Bank (Bridgeview), and Royal Palm Aviation, LLC (Royal Palm). At issue is whether plaintiffs or Bridgeview had priority in their claims against an aircraft originally owned by defendant Fasti USA, Inc. (Fasti). The trial court effectively determined that Bridgeview, whose claim against the plane predated plaintiffs' claims by several years, was not required to file a continuation statement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to maintain the perfection of its claim. Therefore, Bridgeview's claim retained its priority. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Around May 2001, Bridgeview loaned money to Fasti. In return, Bridgeview received a promissory note and a security agreement giving it a security interest in a 1979 Cessna aircraft that Fasti owned. On July 9, 2001, Bridgeview recorded the security agreement with the FAA. Fasti breached the security agreement on August 18, 2008, and Bridgeview repossessed the plane on October 7, 2008. On April 8, 2009, Bridgeview issued a notice to plaintiffs, among others, of a private Uniform Commercial Code (810 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq. (West 2008)) sale of the aircraft, to take place on April 20, 2009. Royal Palm purchased the plane, and the bill of sale was recorded with the FAA on June 22, 2009.

Meanwhile, on February 14, 2005, plaintiffs*fn1 filed a lien statement with the FAA for $55,000 worth of work they had completed on the plane for Fasti by December 30, 2004. On October 1, 2008, plaintiffs filed a lien statement with the FAA for $36,272.68 worth of work they had completed on the plane for Fasti by September 11, 2008.

On September 10, 2009, plaintiffs filed a complaint to foreclose on their liens. The complaint contained six counts. Counts I through III related to the $36,272.68 lien. Count I was directed against all three defendants and sought a judgment foreclosing the lien; count II was directed against Bridgeview and sought an accounting; and count III was directed against Fasti and alleged breach of contract. Counts IV through VI related to the $55,000 lien. Count IV was directed against all three defendants and sought a judgment foreclosing the lien; count V was directed against Bridgeview and sought an accounting; and count VI was directed against Fasti and alleged breach of contract.

Bridgeview filed a motion to dismiss on October 22, 2009. Bridgeview sought to dismiss counts I and IV of plaintiffs' complaint, pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 2008)). It argued, inter alia, that its security interest had priority over plaintiffs' lien claims. Bridgeview further sought to dismiss counts II and V, pursuant to section 2-615 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-615 (West 2008)), arguing that plaintiffs failed to state a claim for an accounting because they did not allege that they had an inadequate remedy at law. On December 28, 2009, the trial court granted Bridgeview's motion and dismissed the counts against it. It further sua sponte dismissed counts I and IV as to Royal Palm and Fasti. The trial court included language under Supreme Court Rule 304(a) (Ill. S. Ct. R. 304(a) (eff. Jan. 1, 2006)) that there was no reason to delay the enforcement or appeal of the order. Plaintiffs timely appealed.

II. ANALYSIS

On appeal, plaintiffs challenge the trial court's grant of Bridgeview's motion to dismiss. In reviewing the grant of a section 2-619 motion, we must interpret the pleadings and supporting materials in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Abruzzo v. City of Park Ridge, 231 Ill. 2d 324, 332 (2008). A section 2-619 dismissal resembles the grant of a motion for summary judgment; we must determine whether a genuine issue of material fact should have precluded the dismissal or, absent such an issue of fact, whether the dismissal was proper as a matter of law. Raintree Homes, Inc. v. Village of Long Grove, 209 Ill. 2d 248, 254 (2004). A section 2-615 motion to dismiss attacks the legal sufficiency of the complaint. We must determine whether the allegations, when construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, sufficiently state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted. Turner v. Memorial Medical Center, 233 Ill. 2d 494, 499 (2009). A cause of action should not be dismissed under section 2-615 unless no set of facts can be proved entitling the plaintiff to recover. Id. at 499. We review de novo the grant of a motion to dismiss under either section 2-615 or section 2-619. Westfield Insurance Co. v. Birkey's Farm Store, Inc., 399 Ill. App. 3d 219, 231 (2010).

This case further requires us to interpret statutes. The primary rule of statutory construction is to give effect to the legislature's intent, which is best determined by the statutory language's plain and ordinary meaning. Solon v. Midwest Medical Records Ass'n, 236 Ill. 2d 433, 440 (2010). We will not read into the language any exceptions, limitations, or conditions that conflict with the expressed ...


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