R.L. VOLLINTINE CONSTRUCTION, INC., and THE PEOPLE ex rel. R.L. VOLLINTINE CONSTRUCTION, INC., Plaintiff-Appellant,
THE ILLINOIS CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT BOARD; JIM UNDERWOOD, in His Official Capacity as Executive Director of the Illinois Capital Development Board; THE OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL; and J. RICHARD ALSOP III, in His Official Capacity as Architect of the Capitol, Defendants-Appellees
Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County. No. 13MR536. Honorable Rudolph M. Brand, Judge Presiding.
Where plaintiff contractor filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel defendant Illinois Capital Development Board to submit for payment the invoices plaintiff tendered for work it completed and defendant approved, plus interest under the Payment Act, and defendant delayed payment based on damages arising from a water leak plaintiff caused in the course of the work it performed, the trial court properly dismissed plaintiff's petition on the ground that the Court of Claims had exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute, especially when the Payment Act did not impose any mandatory, nondiscretionary duty on any state agencies to submit invoices for payment after the Board issued a certificate of completion.
JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Turner and Holder White concurred in the judgment and opinion.
[¶1] In September 2010, plaintiff, R.L. Vollintine Construction, Inc. (Vollintine), entered into a construction contract with defendants, the Illinois Capital Development Board of the State of Illinois; Jim Underwood, the Board's Director; the Office of the Architect of the Capitol; and J.
Richard Alsop III, the Architect of the Capitol (collectively, CDB).
[¶2] In February 2011, during the term of the parties' contractual agreement, CDB made a claim against Vollintine for water damage CDB alleged Vollintine caused. Vollintine later sought payment for the contractual work it performed, which CDB postponed, pending resolution of its claim against Vollintine.
[¶3] In June 2013, Vollintine filed a petition for writ of mandamus under article 14 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Civil Code) (735 ILCS 5/14-101 to 14-109 (West 2012)), requesting that the court order CDB to submit to the State Comptroller the invoices Vollintine tendered for the contractual work it completed and CDB approved. Vollintine also requested any statutory interest allowed under section 3-2 of the State Prompt Payment Act (Payment Act) (30 ILCS 540/3-2 (West 2012)).
[¶4] In July 2013, CDB filed a motion to dismiss Vollintine's writ of mandamus pursuant to sections 2-619(a)(1) and 2-615(a) of the Civil Code (735 ILCS 5/2-619(a)(1), 2-615(a) (West 2012)). CDB contended, in pertinent part, that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider Vollintine's mandamus claim because section 8(b) of the Court of Claims Act (Claims Act) grants the Court of Claims exclusive jurisdiction over " [a]ll claims against the State founded upon any contract entered into with the State" (705 ILCS 505/8(b) (West 2012)).
[¶5] Following an August 2013 hearing, the trial court granted CDB's motion to dismiss, finding that the Court of Claims had exclusive jurisdiction over the parties' dispute.
[¶6] Vollintine appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by granting CDB's motion to dismiss. We disagree and affirm.
[¶7] I. BACKGROUND
[¶8] In September 2010, Vollintine entered into a construction contract with CDB to fireproof structural steel in the western attic of the Illinois State Capitol building. The contract required Vollintine to obtain a general-liability policy, which Pekin Insurance provided.
[¶9] In February 2011, CDB sent Vollintine a letter, stating, in part, as follows:
" As you are aware, on January 13, 2011, a significant water leak occurred in the west wing of the Illinois Capitol as a result of a pipe failure. A 2 1/2[-inch] pipe separated from a coupling in the west attic causing water damage from the fourth floor to the second floor. Several firms were retained by CDB to address the damage, all of which were observed by representatives of Pekin *** ...