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In re Application of County Treasurer & ex officio County

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division

December 27, 2013

In re THE APPLICATION OF THE COUNTY TREASURER AND ex officio COUNTY COLLECTOR OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, for Judgment and Order of Sale Against Lands and Lots Returned Delinquent for Nonpayment of General Taxes for the Year 2006 (Equity One Investment Fund, LLC, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Harold Williams, Respondent-Appellee).

Held: [*]

The trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s application for a tax deed following plaintiff’s payment of the delinquent real estate taxes on respondent’s property was affirmed, since the post-sale notice form plaintiff filed pursuant to the Property Tax Code was not “completely filled in” as required by the Code, and such a deficient notice is not considered to be notice within the meaning of the statute.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 10-COTD-3155; the Hon. Paul A. Karkula, Judge, presiding.

Rodney C. Slutzky, of Slutzky & Blumenthal, of Chicago, for appellant.

Michael J. Wilson, of Michael J. Wilson & Associates, P.C., of Chicago, for appellee.

Presiding Justice Gordon and Justice Palmer concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

McBRIDE, JUSTICE

¶ 1 Equity One Investment Fund, LLC (Equity One), paid the Cook County clerk $10, 021.34 to satisfy the delinquent 2006 real estate taxes for property located at 6901 South Euclid Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, 60649, and then petitioned the circuit court for a deed. The property is a two-story brick single-family residence on an oversized lot with a brick detached garage that has a second-story apartment. The property is part of Chicago's South Shore community, in the historic Jackson Park Highlands District, and has been designated as a Chicago Landmark by the city council of Chicago. Homeowner Harold Williams objected to Equity One's petition in part on grounds that a statutorily required notice omitted the name of the municipality in which the property is located and, therefore, the petitioner had not strictly complied with the provision in section 22-5 of the Illinois Property Tax Code (Code) that the notice form be "completely filled in." 35 ILCS 200/22-5 (West 2008). After briefing and oral arguments, the circuit court ruled in favor of homeowner Williams. Equity One appeals, contending the name of the municipality was unnecessary because the notice included the 14-digit property index number or PIN issued by the Cook County clerk.

¶ 2 The following facts and legal principles are pertinent to Equity One's appeal. The delinquent tax sale occurred on August 13, 2008, and within the subsequent "4 months and 15 days" specified by section 22-5 of the Code, Equity One tendered its post-sale notice form to the Cook County clerk on December 18, 2008, for delivery to "the party in whose name the taxes are last assessed." 35 ILCS 200/22-5 (West 2008). Section 22-5 of the Code has been referred to as the post-sale notice provision, in order to distinguish it from other notice provisions in the statute. See In re Application of the County Treasurer & ex officio County Collector, 2011 IL App (1st) 101966, 955 N.E.2d 669 (hereinafter Glohry). Section 22-5 of the Code specifies that "[i]n order to be entitled to a tax deed, " the buyer of delinquent taxes must ("shall") tender to the clerk "the following form completely filled in:"

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

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