PHILLIP McARDLE, as Successor Trustee of the Barbara M. McArdle Trust, Plaintiff-Appellee,
TAD CHRISTENSEN, as Trustee of the Raymond H. Christensen Irrevocable Trust and as Trustee of the Beverly J. Christensen Irrevocable Trust, Defendant-Appellant.
from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, Grundy
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 17-CH-69 The Honorable Lance R.
Peterson, Judge, presiding.
R. Geiger, of Malmquist, Geiger & Durkee LCC, of Morris,
N. King, of Hynds, Yohnka, Bzdill & McInerney, LLC, of
Morris, for appellee.
JUSTICE McDADE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Schmidt and Justice O'Brien
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 After a real estate purchase agreement failed to close, the
plaintiff, Phillip McArdle (McArdle), in his capacity as
trustee of the Barbara M. McArdle Trust (McArdle Trust),
filed a breach of contract and quiet title action against Tad
Christensen (Christensen) in his representative capacity as
trustee of the Raymond H. Christensen Trust and Beverly J.
Christensen Trust (collectively, Christensen Trusts). A
summons was issued, and substitute service was completed at
the address held out on earnest-money checks as that of the
two Christensen Trusts. Christensen neither appeared nor
responded, and a default judgment was entered. Christensen
filed a motion to quash service of process, alleging that he
was not properly served and that the circuit court never
obtained personal jurisdiction over him. The circuit court
disagreed and denied the motion; Christensen appealed.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 On January 28, 2015, the McArdle Trust, through McArdle as
trustee, entered into a contract to sell a 31.53-acre parcel
of unimproved agricultural land to the Beverly J. Christensen
Trust, through Christensen as trustee, for $197, 063.
Christensen did not list an address beneath his signature on
the contract although a line was provided for that purpose.
He did, however, sign two separate checks, one from each of
the Christensen Trusts, each in the amount of $5000. Each
check listed the address of the issuing trust as 7339 W.
154th Place, Orland Park, Illinois. More, specifically, the
following information was printed in the upper left hand
corners of the checks:
"Raymond H. Christensen Irrevocable Trust
Tad Christensen TRTEE
7339 W. 154th Pl.
Orland Park, IL 60462"
"Beverly J. Christensen Irrevocable ...