WILLIAM N. ALWAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
KICKAPOO-EDWARDS LAND TRUST, CENTENNIAL TRUST, VILLENEAUVE TRUST and DENNIS P. LAHOOD, Defendants. THOMAS RAFOOL, Executor of the Estate of Joseph E. Rafool, Deceased, and WILLIAM N. ALWAN, Plaintiffs,
DAVID COURI, VILLENEAUVE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY PARTNERSHIP, CENTENNIAL LAND TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP, and KICKAPOO-EDWARDS LAND TRUST AND PARTNERSHIP, Defendants, Phillip E. Couri, Intervenor-Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit Nos.
07-L-334 08-L-20s., Peoria County, Illinois.Honorable Lisa Y.
Wilson Judge, Presiding
JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices McDade and Schmidt concurred in the
judgment and opinion. _
1 Plaintiff William N. Alwan brought actions alleging
defendant partnerships, Dennis LaHood, and David Couri
improperly terminated him from the partnerships. The trial
court found that the Uniform Partnership Act (1997) (805 ILCS
206/100 et seq. (West 2016)) applied to the
complaint. Phillip E. Couri (Couri), who is representing his
interests pro se as a partnership member, argued the
Uniform Partnership Act (805 ILCS 205/1 (West 1996)) applied.
The trial court certified a question for appellate review
regarding which act applied and Couri appealed under Illinois
Supreme Court Rule 308 (eff. July 1, 2017). We affirm.
3 Plaintiff William Alwan filed a complaint against the
defendant partnerships, Kickapoo- Edwards Land Trust,
Centennial Trust, Villeneauve Trust, and Dennis LaHood, the
partnerships' managing partner (No. 07-L-334). In his
complaint, Alwan alleged he was improperly terminated as a
partner and denied income, profits, and access to the
partnership records. Alwan, along with plaintiff Thomas
Rafool, executor of the estate of Joseph E. Rafool, deceased,
filed a second complaint against defendants Kickapoo-Edwards
Land Trust and Partnership, Centennial Land Trust and
Partnership, Villeneauve Development Company Partnership, and
David Couri (No. 08-L-20). Both complaints are filed against
the same partnership defendants, despite the differences in
the names in the captions. The cases were consolidated in the
4 Centennial Trust ceased doing business in 2013, and
Kickapoo-Edwards Land Trust stopped operations in 2014. In
June 2015, Alwan moved to disqualify Couri from representing
the partnerships due to a conflict of interest. Following a
hearing, the trial court granted Alwan's motion and
disqualified Couri from representing the partnerships. Couri
and the partnerships moved for reconsideration, which was
heard and denied. A new attorney filed an appearance for the
partnerships and Couri filed an appearance as an interested
party as a member of two of the partnerships. Alwan moved to
strike Couri's pro se appearance.
5 The trial court entered an order on October 24, 2016, with
the following findings: the partnerships were created under
the Uniform Partnership Act (805 ILCS 205/1 (West 1996))
(1917 Act); none of the partnerships took affirmative steps
to fall under the Uniform Partnership Act (1997) (1997 Act)
(805 ILCS 206/100 et seq. (West 2016)); and the 1917
Act governed. The trial court also found that Couri was an
interested party and denied Alwan's request to strike
Couri's appearance. Alwan moved for reconsideration,
which the trial court granted in part. On reconsideration,
the court found that the 1997 Act applied and certified a
question for appellate review:
"Whether application of the Uniform Partnership Act of
1997, 805 ILCS 206/1206(b), becomes mandatory for all
partnerships, including existing partnerships formed in
1976-1978, pursuant to the Partnership Act of 1917, 805 ILCS
205/1 et seq., that failed to take any action or elect to be
governed by the Uniform Partnership Act of 1997."
6 Couri sought leave to appeal to this court pursuant to
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 308 (eff. July 1, 2017). We
granted leave. No other parties have appealed.
8 On appeal, Couri argues that the 1917 Act applies and the
trial court erred when it determined that the 1997 Act was
applicable. Couri submits that the trial court's
retroactive application of the 1997 Act served to diminish
vested rights he had under the 1917 Act, thus making the
trial court's application of the 1997 Act improper and
violative of his due process rights.
9 A party may appeal an interlocutory order not otherwise
appealable when the trial court finds the order involves a
question of law on which there is substantial ground for a
difference of opinion and the termination of the litigation
will be materially advanced by an immediate appeal. Ill.
S.Ct. R. 308(a) (eff. July 1, 2017). When considering a
certified question on review, the court is limited to the
question presented. McGurk v. Lincolnway Community School
District No. 210, 287 Ill.App.3d 1059, 1062-63 (1997)
(citing Thompson v. Walters, 207 Ill.App.3d 531, 533
(1991)). We review de novo questions certified under
Rule 308. Merritt v. Department of State Police,
2016 IL App (4th) 150661, ¶ 13.
10 When interpreting a statute, the court gives the statutory
language its plain and ordinary meaning to determine the
legislature's intent. Hayashi v. Illinois Department
of Financial & Professional Regulation, 2014 IL
116023, ¶ 16. Where the language is unambiguous, a court
should not read exceptions, limitations, or conditions into
the statute's plain language. Id. Clear and
unambiguous language must be applied without relying on other
aids of ...