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LLC v. Weber

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

October 22, 2015

TAXPAYERS: 101 E. CROSSROADS, LLC; 1101 TAYLOR ROAD, LLC; 135TH ST PLFD RETAIL DEV II; 18500 NORTH CREEK DRIVE LLC; 18520 81ST TP LLC; 3 D FRNKFORT LLC; 3150 TONTI DRIVE JOLIET, LLC; 600 TERRITORIAL LLC; 6973 AZ ROMEOVILLE LLC; 775 CROSSROADS PARKWAY, LLC; ADVENTIST BOLINGBROOK HOSPITAL; AEI ACCREDITED INV FUND VI LP; AFFILIATED REALTY & MANAGEMENT COMPANY; AGD INVESTMENTS LLC-PLAINFIELD; MARIO A. ALLEGRO; AMB INSTITUTIONAL ALLIANCE; AMB PROPERTY II LP; AMERICAN MULTI-CINEMA, INC.; AMERICAN TECH PUBLISHERS INC.; AMLI - PRESERVE AT RIVER RUN LP; ANDERSON COOPER & BRASS CO.; ASHLEY FURNITURE IND; ATG TRUST CO. TR 84-116; AUTOZONE, INC.; BANK OF AMERICA 2; BBPVILLC/ HARLEM FURNITURE; BELL TOWER PLAZA, LLC; ROBERT BETTINARDI; BIMBA MANUFACTURING CO.; BLOCK INDUSTRIAL CNTR I; BLUE STONE COMMONS LLC; BLUFF POINT, LLC; BOLINGBROOK MENARDS PLAZA; BOLINGBROOK PARTNERS, LLC; BOLINGBROOK PLAZA; BOLINGBROOK SPE I LLC; BPG PROPERTIES, LTD.; BUILDERS LEASING CORP.; BURNHAM MANAGEMENT - EVERGREEN TERRACE II; ELLEN CALDERONE TRUST; CAPUTO'S FRESH MARKETS; CARLOW NORTH LLC; CATALYST PORTFOLIO I, LLC; CATELLUS DEVELOPMENT CO.; CATELLUS FINANCE I, LLC; CATELLUS OPERATING LTD. P.; CBOCS WEST, INC.; CCOM 13 LLC; CENTERPOINT JOLIET TERMINAL; CENTERPOINT PROPERTIES TR.; CENTERPOINT WOODRIDGE, LLC; CENTURY SUPPLY CO.; CF CAPITAL, LLC; CF LLC; CHARM III, LLC; JAMES CHARNAS, JR.; CHERRY HILL 4, LLC & CHER; CHERRY HILL EIGHT, LLC; CHERRY HILL JB LLC; CHERRY HILL NINE, LLC; CHERRY HILL SIX, LLC; CHERRY HILL VENTURE LLC; CHICAGO BOXED BEEF; CHICAGO SUITES, LLC; CITGO PETROLEUM CORPORATION (PDV Midwest Refining); COLLISION CENTERS OF AMERICA; COLUMBIA ILLINOIS MCDONOUGH; COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Channahon Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Crete Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Custer Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Du Page Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Florence Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Frankfort Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO.(Green Garden Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Homer Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Jackson Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Joliet Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Lockport Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Manhattan Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Monee Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (New Lenox Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Peotone Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Plainfield Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Reed Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Troy Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Washington Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Wesley & Wilmington Townships); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Wheatland Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Will Township); COMMONWEALTH EDISON CO. (Wilton Township); CREEKSIDE; CREST HILL LAND DEVELOP LLC; CROSSROADS BUSINESS PARK; CROSSROADS LAKES LLC; CVS CORP (Madigan); CVS PHARMACY; DAHN; DEERBROOK NURSING CENTER; SAWAANJIT DHILLON; DHM BOLINGBROOK LLC REAL EST; CHARLES DINOLFO; DOLLAR TREE DISTRIBUTION, INC.; DREW J. MICHAEL SCOTT/CASS LLC; ROGER DUBA; DUGAN FINANCING LLC; DUKE CONSTRUCTION LP; DUKE REALTY LP; EASY LIVING PROPERTIES LLC: EC REALTY LLC.; EDCO, INC.; EDWARD HEALTH VENTURES; THEODORE & DIANNE L. ELLIS; ESS VRS OWNER LLC/SUSAQ; EVERGREEN TERRACE 1 (Burnham Mgnt.); EXTRA SPACE #1108; EXTRA SPACE OF NAPERVILLE, LLC; EXXON MOBIL OIL; FC JANES PARK, LLC; FIRST AMERICAN BANK; FJ BUILDING LLC; FORECOM CHALLENGER, INC.; FOREST CITY BOLINGBROOK, LLC; FRANKFORT COMMONS II; FRANKFORT CROSSINGS LTD.; ROBERT GARBER; GATOR LOCKPORT, LLC; GE CAPITAL FRANCHISE FIN CORP; GOLF VISTA EST, LLC; GRANITE FRANKFORT TERRACE LLC; GRANITE JOLIET TERRACE LLC; GREENLEAF LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; HAMILTON PARTNERS; HAMPTON MERCURY INV CL, LLC; HARBOR TOOLS BUILDING LLC; HARLEM 193RD ST. PLAZA; HARRIS NA (Madigan); HARTZ CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.; HSREP II STORAGE LLC; HTW, LLC; INDUSTRIAL PROP VUND VI, LLC; INTERNATL UNION OPERATING ENG; JAIN GROUP, LLC; JAMES CAMPBELL COMPANY, LLC; JEFFERSON JOLIET PLAZA; JES BOLINGBROOK, LLC; JOLIET EXT LODGING ASSOC LLC; JOLIET JOINT VENTURE, LLC; JOLIET JOINT VENTURE, LLC 2; JOLIET-80 LODGING PTR; JOLIET/ 55 LODGING ASSOC.; JOYCE JOLIET PLAZA; JUDD PROPERTIES JUDD MARK MARY; JAMES S. KAHRIMAN; WILLIAM EDWARD KARABEL; KASSULAT, RICHARD A. TR. 11047610; KEEPSAFE-PUBLIC SOTRAGE LLC; ARTHUR & JOANNE KETSIOS; KLY 460 GIBRALTER; KRENZIEN, TIMOTHY J., REVOC; KRG NAPERVILLE, LLC; LAFARGE NORTH AMERICA; BRIAN D. LAGIGLIA; LAGIGLIA BRIAN DONNA B. TR 1-6932; LAGIGLIA, DANIEL C/O BRIAN LAGIGLIA; LAKEWOOD NURSING HOME; LANDQUEST OF PLAINFIELD; LARKIN VILLAGE LP; LARKINS ASSOCIATES LP; LIFE STORAGE CENTERS, LLC; LOCK-PORT 199 LLC; LPF 740 ROMEOVILLE, LLC; MARK B. & COLLEEN A. LUBIENSKI; LUCKY DEVELOPMENT LLC; THOMAS ANU - ZACHARIAS MANOJ; MARATHON OIL CO.; MARMON KEYSTONE CORP.; MARQUETTE NATIONAL BANK; MARQUETTE NATL BANK TR 13295; RICHARD J. MC CANN; MEIJER STORES; JOSEPH MIRANTE; MIT SECURED L.P.; MIT UNSECURED L.P.; ML REALTY PARTNERS LLC; MLRP 1319 MARQUETTE, LLC; MLRP KOPPERUD PHASE II LLC; MOKENA CROSSINGS I, LLC; MOKENA CROSSINGS OFFICE, LLC; MOKENA RETAIL ASSOCIATION LLC; METRO CHICAGO INDUSTRIAL ACQUISITION CORP.; NAPERVILLE RT. 59/95TH PLAZA; NLSC LLC; NOONAN LTD. PARTNERSHIP; NORTH STATE TRUST COMPANY; NORTHERN BUILDERS INC.; MICHELLE OBRECHT; OC INVESTMENTS, LLC; OHIO STATE TEACHERS RETIREMENT; OXFORD BANK & TRUST; PACTIV CORPORATION (CBIZ); PALOS BANK & TRUST CO. TR 1-7031; PALOS BANK & TRUST CO. TR 1-6946; ARTHUR G. PARHAS) TRUST; REDDY PARVATHAREDDY; PEACOCK ENGINEERING COMPANY; ORLANDO PELLEGRINO; PEOPLES ENERGY RESOURCE; PF 1 WINDHAM LLC; PINE MEADOWS APARTMENTS TR 9406; PINE RIDGE APARTMENTS; PLAINFIELD PLAZA; PLAINFIELD PLAZA III; PROLOGIS ILLINOIS LLC; PROLOGIS TLF (CHGO) LLC; PUBLIC STORAGE, INC.; PULASKI PLACE, LLC; PROLOGIS; PROLOGIS DEVELOPMENT SERV; MOHAMMAD QUADEER; RDK VENTURES, LLC; REDWOOD CREST HILL LLC; REGENCY CENTERS LP; RREEF AMERICAN REIT II; RYAN COMPANIES US, INC.; SA CHALLENGER, INC.; SAMMONS COURT LLC; SHARP ELECTRONICS CORPORATION; SHURGARD IL PROPERTIES, INC. #8060; DAN SICKAFOOSE; SIMON PROPERTY GROUP (North Ridge Plaza); SOUTH SUBURBAN HOSPITAL (Advocate Health Care); SOUTHWEST SURGERY CENTER, LLC: SS BOLINGBROOK LLC #502; KAREN STREIT; TARGET CORP. T-1403: TARGET CORP. T-2028; TARGET CORP. T-2035; TARGET CORPORATION T-1881; TARGET CORPORATION T-0867; TARGET CORPORATION T-0894; TARGET STORE T-2293; TARGET STORE T-2521; TARGET T-2710; TCB 8550 LLC; TDC NAPERVILLE LLC - TUCKER DEVELOPMENT CORP.; TEACHERS INSURANCE & ANNUITY ASSOCIATION (NY); TETTEN-GIKUNOO KWASI GIKUNOO ELIZABETH; THE ALTER GROUP; THORNTONS, INC.; THORNWOOD HOUSE (Metroplex, Inc. #1414); TINLEY HARLEM PLAZA; TOM KELLY'S CHOPHOUSE PUB LLC; TR 1000 DALTON LANE CORP.; U-STORE IT #615 PLAINFIELD; U-STORE IT #675; U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION; U.S. BANK NA; V3 CMJ LLC - ASHFORD PLACE; V3 RIVER HILLS LLC; VACANT LAND CHERRY HILL H; VANDEN ORLAND, LLC; VELUCHAMY PETHINAIDU TR 3730; VICTORY ASSOC LP TR 123135-08; VIP MDG DOWNERS GROVE, LLC; VIP MOKENA CROSSINGS LLC; VIP REMINGTON LAKES, LLC: VIP ROMEOVILLE II, LLC; VIP ROMEOVILLE, LLC; VIP TINLEY PARK LLC; WAL-MART STORES, INC.; MARTIN F. & NANCY R. WARD; WAS BOLINGBROOK II LLC; THOMAS & LISA WEDOFF; WEST SUBURBAN BANK; WHITE PINE LUMBER; WILLIAMS ROBERT B TR 10201101; WILLOW RUN, LLC; MR. & MRS. TOM WOLSKI; WOODCREEK, LLC; YSI III LLC #609, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
STEVE WEBER, Will County Treasurer and Ex-Officio Will County Collector, Defendant (Homer Community Consolidated School District No. 33-C; School District No. 92; Lockport Township High School District No. 205; Laraway Community Consolidated School District No. 70-C; Frankfort Community Consolidated School District No. 157-C; and Lincoln-Way Community High School District No. 210, Intervenors and Petitioners-Appellees)

As Corrected.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois. Circuit No. 11-TX-340. Honorable Barbara N. Petrungaro, Judge, Presiding.

For Appellant: Evan B. Karnes II, John Adam Powers, Everardo Martinez, Karnes Law Chartered, Chicago, IL.

For Appellee: Stuart L. Whitt, Joshua S. Whitt, James R. Dougherty, Brian R. Bare, Whitt Law LLC, Aurora, IL; John M. Izzo, Eugene C. Edwards, Hauser Izzo, Flossmoor, IL.

JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Holdridge concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Carter dissented, with opinion.

OPINION

SCHMIDT, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Taxpayers filed tax objections for the 2010 tax year. Taxpayers and the Will County State's Attorney entered into a settlement agreement, which the court entered as an order on May 2, 2013. Subsequently, on October 4, 2013, more than five months later, numerous school districts (School Districts) filed motions to intervene and motions to vacate the settlement agreement. After hearing oral arguments, but without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the court granted the School Districts motion to vacate the settlement agreement.

[¶2] Taxpayers appeal, arguing that the trial court erred in vacating the settlement agreement. Specifically, Taxpayers argue that the State's Attorney had the sole authority to compromise a tax objection complaint; the compromise agreement is a valid, binding contract; the School Districts failed to file valid section 2-1401 petitions; and the county's voluntary payment rendered the issue moot. For the following reasons, we reverse.

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] Taxpayers filed a tax rate objection for the 2010 tax year. Despite a statutory notice requirement that required the county clerk to provide notice of the filing of the complaint to the taxing bodies (see 35 ILCS 200/23-10 (West 2010)), the clerk failed to provide notice of the tax objections to the School Districts.

[¶5] The State's Attorney represented the county and the taxing bodies pursuant to section 23-30 of the Property Tax Code (35 ILCS 200/23-30 (West 2010)). After several months of negotiation, the State's Attorney and Taxpayers entered into a settlement agreement (the first agreement) resolving some of the Taxpayers' claims. The trial court approved the settlement. That settlement agreement did not affect the School Districts; thus, it is not at issue in this appeal. The State's Attorney and Taxpayers continued negotiating in an attempt to resolve the remaining claims. On May 2, 2013, the court held a status hearing at which the parties presented the court with a settlement agreement. The court approved the settlement and entered an order reflecting the same.

[¶6] In October 2013, five months after the Taxpayers and the State's Attorney entered into the second agreement, the School Districts became aware of the tax objections and filed petitions to intervene and motions to vacate the settlement agreement. In their motions to vacate, the School Districts argued that the clerk failed to provide them notice and that the State's Attorney did not adequately represent the School Districts; the State's Attorney used incorrect numbers in conducting the settlement negotiations. The court granted the School Districts' motions to intervene and treated the motions to vacate as petitions for relief of judgment pursuant to section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure (Code) (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2012)).

[¶7] The court heard oral arguments pursuant to the motions to vacate. The parties agreed that the settlement agreement was not a product of fraud or bad faith. The court stated, " I am not suggesting that anybody acted in bad faith. I don't think that there is any evidence to say that there was bad faith from anyone ***." Without being sworn, the State's Attorney stated that he utilized the wrong figures in computing the settlement agreement. However, at the time he thought he was applying the correct numbers; he used the numbers on file with the county clerk. The court heard no testimony from witnesses nor collected any evidence.

[¶8] Ultimately, the court found that the School Districts satisfied the requirements under section 2-1401 and granted the motions to vacate ...


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