In re APPLICATION FOR A TAX DEED Opal Castleman, Petitioner; Jerry Jean, Stewart Producers, Inc., Washington County Clerk, Evelyn M. Fair, Unknown Owners or Parties Interested, and Non-Record Claimants, Respondents; SI Resources, LLC, Section 2-1203 Petitioner-Appellant; William Groome, Intervenor-Appellee.
23 Order Filed: October 13, 2016
to Publish Granted: November 22, 2016
from the Circuit Court of Washington County. No. 14-TX-11
Honorable Daniel J. Emge, Judge, presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant Mindy S. Salyer, Amanda L. Moressi,
Brittney B. Rykovich, Salyer Law Offices, LLC
Attorney for Appellee Paul T. Slocomb, Hoffman & Slocomb,
JUSTICE MOORE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Schwarm and Justice Goldenhersh
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 SI Resources, LLC, appeals the November 16, 2015, order of
the circuit court of Washington County which granted the
intervenor, William Groome's, motion to dismiss, pursuant
to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure (the Code)
(735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West 2014)), SI Resources' petition to
vacate, pursuant to section 2-1203 of the Code (735 ILCS
5/2-1203 (West 2014)), the circuit court's previous order
directing the issuance of a tax deed to the petitioner, Opal
Castleman. For the following reasons, we dismiss this appeal
for a lack of jurisdiction.
3 On September 19, 2014, Castleman filed a pro se
petition for tax deed in the circuit court of Washington
County, naming the following respondents: Jerry Jean, Stewart
Producers, Inc., Washington County Clerk, Evelyn M. Fair,
unknown owners or interested parties, and non-record
claimants. The petition alleged that Castleman had purchased
the delinquent real estate taxes with respect to all oil,
gas, and other mineral rights related to parcel number
07-72-23-000-052-00, located in Washington County. According
to the petition and the attachments thereto, the redemption
period for these mineral rights expired on February 25, 2015.
The circuit court issued an order directing the issuance of
the tax deed on March 4, 2015.
4 On April 2, 2015, SI Resources filed a petition, pursuant
to section 2-1203 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-1203 (West
2014)), to vacate the March 4, 2015, order directing the
issuance of a tax deed. According to the petition and
exhibits attached thereto, SI Resources purchased the mineral
rights to the subject real estate from Jean via quit claim
deed on March 27, 2015. The petition alleged that the order
directing the issuance of a tax deed must be vacated because
Castleman failed to strictly comply with the mandatory
notice, service, and diligence requirements set forth in
sections 22-5 through 22-40 of the Property Tax Code. 35 ILCS
200/22-5 to 22-40 (West 2014).
5 On July 1, 2015, Groome filed a motion to intervene in the
litigation, alleging that he obtained a quit claim deed to
the mineral rights in the subject property from Castleman,
and the circuit court granted the motion to intervene that
same date. On September 10, 2015, Groome filed a motion,
pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-619 (West
2014)), to dismiss SI Resources' petition to vacate the
order directing the issuance of a tax deed. On November 16,
2015, the circuit court entered an order granting the motion
to dismiss. SI Resources filed a notice of appeal on November
7 "As an appellate court, we have the duty to consider
our jurisdiction to decide an appeal and to dismiss the
appeal if we find that jurisdiction is lacking."
MidFirst Bank v. McNeal, 2016 IL App (1st) 150465,
¶ 12. In this case, SI Resources was not a party to the
proceedings resulting in the circuit court's order
directing the issuance of the tax deed on March 4, 2015,
having no interest in the subject property during the
pendency of those proceedings. On April 2, 2015, without
seeking leave to intervene using the procedures set forth in
section 2-408 of the Code (735 ILCS 5/2-408 (West 2014)), SI
Resources filed a postjudgment ...