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Republic Bank of Chi. v. The Vill. of Manhattan

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

May 15, 2015

REPUBLIC BANK OF CHICAGO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE VILLAGE OF MANHATTAN, Defendant-Appellee Lakeside Towns at Liberty Center Development, LLC, Lawerence W. Sisk, Jennell M. Sisk, Michael K. Gallagher, Eastern and Smith Manhattan, LLC, Gallagher Homes, LLC, Tramore Townhome Associations, Inc., Commonwealth Edison Company, Ameritech Corporation, Illinois Bell Telephone Company, Unknown Owners, and Nonrecord Claimants, Defendants. REPUBLIC BANK OF CHICAGO, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
THE VILLAGE OF MANHATTAN, Defendant-Appellee Eastern and Smith Manhattan, LLC, Lawrence W. Sisk, Jennell M. Sisk, Michael K. Gallagher, Route 52 Manhattan, LLC, E& S Development North, LLC, Krause Construction, LLC, Beary Landscaping, Inc., Zausa Development Corporation, Stonegate Duplex Association, Stonegate Phase I Homeowners Association, Stonegate Phase II Homeowners Association, Stonegate Phase III Homeowners Association, Stonegate Phase IV Homeowners Association, Stonegate Phase V Homeowners Association, Commonwealth Edison Company, Ameritech Corporation, Illinois Bell Telephone Company, Nicor Gas Company, Kraus Cable Television Systems, Lakeside Towns at Liberty Center Development, LLC, Unknown Owners, and Nonrecord Claimants, Defendants

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Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. Circuit No. 12-CH-1877. The Honorable Barbara Petrungaro, Judge, Presiding.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. Circuit No. 12-CH-2045. The Honorable Barbara Petrungaro, Judge, Presiding.

Edward P. Freud (argued), Timothy S. Breems, and Michael B. Bregman, all of Ruff, Freud, Breems & Nelson, Ltd., of Chicago, for appellant.

James A. Murphy (argued), of Mahoney, Silverman & Cross, Ltd., of Joliet, for appellee.

O'Brien, Justice concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Carter dissented, with opinion.

OPINION

Page 1144

LYTTON, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Plaintiff Republic Bank of Chicago filed two separate complaints against multiple

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defendants to foreclose on roads and outlots contained in two failed subdivisions located in the Village of Manhattan (Village). The Village filed motions to dismiss the complaints, arguing that the roads and common areas had been dedicated to the Village. The trial court granted the Village's motions to dismiss. On appeal, Republic Bank argues that (1) the roads and common areas were not properly dedicated to the Village, and (2) even if they were properly dedicated, Republic Bank is still entitled to foreclose on them. We affirm.

[¶2] In 2006, Eastern & Smith Manhattan, LLC (Eastern & Smith), purchased 134.51 acres of land in the Village of Manhattan with plans to construct Stonegate Subdivision. Eastern & Smith obtained the funds to purchase the property from Republic Bank, which held an initial mortgage on the property in the amount of $8,351,646.66. The initial mortgage was executed in July 2006, but was later amended and modified on six occasions. Republic Bank recorded a junior mortgage on the property on February 26, 2007.

[¶3] In preparation for development, Stonegate was subdivided and platted in five phases from August 30, 2007, to April 14, 2009. The plats showed 352 residential lots, as well as streets and common areas. The plats for Phases 1 through 3 were recorded on August 30, 2007. The plat for Phase 4 was recorded on December 6, 2007, and the plat for Phase 5 was recorded on April 14, 2009. Republic Bank signed each of the plats under a portion of the plat entitled, " Mortgagee's Certificate," which states: " This is to certify that Republic Bank of Chicago as Mortgagee *** consents to the recording of the subdivision as herein shown."

[¶4] Each plat identifies roads with names, followed by " (hereby dedicated)" and " (heretofore dedicated)," as well as land identified as easements for stormwater draining and detention, public utility and drainage, and surface overland flow. Each plat contains provisions stating that stormwater draining and detention easements, public utility and drainage easements, and surface overland flow easements are " reserved for and granted to the Village of Manhattan." The plats also contain a " Public Easement" provision, which states: " A public easement of ingress, egress, and the use and enjoyment of the Village of Manhattan over Outlots 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 is hereby reserved, granted and dedicated."

[¶5] Republic Bank released its lien on three lots located in Phase 1 of Stonegate Subdivision and recorded releases for those lots on October 29, 2007. The releases refer to the lot numbers contained in the plat for Phase 1 of the subdivision.

[¶6] In 2007, Lakeside Towns at Liberty Center Development, LLC (Lakeside Towns), purchased 23 acres of land in the Village of Manhattan with plans to construct Tramore Subdivision. Lakeside obtained funds to purchase the property from Republic Bank, which held a mortgage on the property in the amount of $7,105,000. Republic Bank recorded its mortgage in February and May 2007.

[¶7] In preparation for development, a final planned unit development plat of subdivision was recorded in August 2007, showing 26 residential lots, containing 150 townhomes, and areas designated for roadways and common areas. Republic Bank signed the plat for Tramore Subdivision under a section entitled, " Mortgagee's Certificate," which states: " This is to certify that Republic Bank of Chicago as ...


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