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In re Application of County Treasurer

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division

November 8, 2013

In re APPLICATION OF THE COUNTY TREASURER AND ex officio COUNTY COLLECTOR OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS for Judgment and Order of Sale Against Real Estate Returned for the Nonpayment of General Taxes for the Year 2006 Petition of Matthew A. Famm, as Receiver for Salta Group, Inc. and Marshall Atlas, for Tax Deed, Petitioner-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 11 COTD 1566 Honorable Alfred J. Paul, Judge Presiding.

Justices Palmer and Taylor concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

GORDON, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

¶ 1 Petitioner Matthew Flamm, as receiver for Salta Group, Inc. (Salta), and Marshall Atlas, appeals the decision of the trial court denying Salta's application for the issuance of a tax deed. For the following reasons, we affirm.

¶ 2 BACKGROUND

¶ 3 On August 12, 2008, Salta purchased the 2006 delinquent real estate taxes on the real estate identified by permanent index number 28-35-411-026-0000. On December 22, 2008, Salta filed a notice, prepared in accordance with section 22-5 of the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/22-5 (West 2008)), with the Cook County clerk's office. The section 22-5 notice was prepared pursuant to section 21-350 of the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/21-350 (West 2008)). The notice listed the date of the expiration of the period of redemption as February 12, 2011, which was a Saturday. That designation of a Saturday date is the sole issue in this case.

¶ 4 On August 24, 2011, Salta filed its petition for tax deed because no one attempted to redeem the property. On September 14, 2011, the trial court appointed petitioner Matthew Flamm receiver for Salta and Marshall Atlas. All parties with a claimed interest in the property were served with notice of the tax deed proceeding, pursuant to sections 22-10 through 22-25 of the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/22-10 to 22-25 (West 2008)). No one appeared in court to object to the issuance of a tax deed.[1] Petitioner filed an application with the court for the issuance of a tax deed.

¶ 5 On July 25, 2012, the trial court denied the application, finding that the notice did not comply with section 22-5 of the Code because the date of the expiration of the period of redemption was listed as a Saturday and should have been a weekday according to the Code. The Statute on Statutes (5 ILCS 70/1.11 (West 2008)) states that, when calculating the "time within which any act provided by law is to be done, " if the last day in which to perform the act is a weekend or a holiday, that date must be "excluded" from the calculation. 5 ILCS 70/1.11 (West 2008). The trial court found that this court's decision in In re Application of the County Treasurer, 2011 IL App (1st) 101966 (hereinafter, Glohry), was instructive to necessitate the denying of the application. In Glohry, this court found that a section 22-5 notice may not list a weekend date as the date on which the redemption period ends because if the last date on which redemption may be made falls on a weekend, that date must be excluded from the calculation, and the new final date is the following non-holiday weekday. Glohry, 2011 IL App (1st) 101966, ¶ 39 (citing 5 ILCS 70/1.11 (West 2006)). Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied on December 18, 2012.

¶ 6 ANALYSIS

¶ 7 On appeal, Flamm argues that the Saturday designation substantially complied with the Code. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

¶ 8 I. Standard of Review

¶ 9 A reviewing court's primary objective in performing statutory construction is to give effect to the legislature's intent. Fisher v. Waldrop, 221 Ill.2d 102, 112 (2006). The best indication of legislative intent is the statutory language, given its plain and ordinary meaning. Fisher, 221 Ill.2d at 112. When statutory language is clear, it must be given effect without resort to other tools of interpretation. Fisher, 221 Ill.2d at 112. Generally, statutory language is considered ambiguous when it is capable of being understood by reasonably well-informed persons in two or more different senses. MD Electrical Contractors, Inc. v. Abrams, 228 Ill.2d 281, 288 (2008). We always presume that the legislature did not intend to create absurd, inconvenient, or unjust results. Fisher, 221 Ill.2d at 112. Reviewing courts should consider a statute in its entirety, keeping in mind the subject it addresses and the legislature's apparent objective in enacting it, and avoiding constructions that would render any term meaningless or superfluous. Fisher, 221 Ill.2d at 112. Furthermore, reviewing courts have a duty to construe a statute in a manner that upholds its validity and constitutionality. Fisher, 221 Ill.2d at 112.

¶ 10 Reviewing courts use the de novo standard of review when engaging in statutory construction. Fisher, 221 Ill.2d at 112. De novo consideration means we perform the same analysis that a trial judge would perform. Khan v. BDO Seidman, LLP, 408 Ill.App.3d 564, 578 (2011).

¶ 11 II. Section 22-5

¶ 12 Section 22-5 of the Property Tax Code states the following:

"In order to be entitled to a tax deed, within 4 months and 15 days after any sale held under this Code, the purchaser or his or her assignee shall deliver to the county clerk a notice to be given to the party in whose name the taxes are last assessed as shown by the most recent tax collector's warrant books, in at least 10 point type in the following form completely filled in." 35 ILCS 200/22-5 (West 2008).

The statute provides the following form:

"TAKE NOTICE
County of .................................................................
Date Premises Sold ........................................................
Certificate No ............................................................
Sold for General Taxes of (year) ...

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