JUSTICE NEVILLE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Chief Justice Burke and Justices Thomas, Kilbride,
Garman, Karmeier, and Theis concurred in the judgment and
1 Plaintiff, Lakewood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, LLC
(Lakewood), instituted administrative proceedings for the
involuntary discharge of Helen Sauvageau, one of its
residents. Sauvageau requested a hearing, and the Illinois
Department of Public Health approved the discharge. Lakewood
subsequently brought an action for administrative review
against the Department of Public Health and its director
(collectively, the Department), arguing that the hearing and
decision were not timely under the Nursing Home Care Act
(Act) (210 ILCS 45/1-101 et seq. (West 2012)). The
circuit court of Will County determined that the Department
did not violate the statutory time requirements. The
appellate court reversed, holding that the Department lost
jurisdiction over the involuntary discharge of Sauvageau
because it had not held a hearing within 10 days of her
hearing request. See 2018 IL App (3d) 170177. We allowed the
Department's petition for leave to appeal (Ill. S.Ct. R.
315(a) (eff. July 1, 2018)). For the reasons that follow, we
reverse the judgment of the appellate court and affirm the
judgment of the circuit court.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 In July 2012, Helen Sauvageau became a Lakewood resident
and paid for her residency through her pension and Social
Security income without the assistance of government
financial aid. Sauvageau stopped paying Lakewood in August
4 On October 28, 2013, Lakewood sent her a notice of
involuntary transfer or discharge for failing to pay for her
residency at Lakewood. On November 1, 2013, Sauvageau, acting
through counsel, filed a request for hearing on the notice of
involuntary transfer or discharge. The following day, she
filed an application for Medicaid benefits. Her Medicaid
application was denied on January 13, 2014, and on January
15, 2014, Lakewood's attorney informed the Department of
the denial and requested that a hearing on the notice of
intent to discharge be scheduled.
5 On February 10, 2014, a prehearing conference was held
before an administrative law judge (ALJ). At that time,
Lakewood presented a motion to dismiss contending that, under
the Act, the Department could not conduct a hearing more than
10 days from the date of a resident's request. Ten days
later, the ALJ denied Lakewood's motion based on the
determination that the Department had not lost jurisdiction
over the involuntary transfer proceeding.
6 The hearing was conducted on March 24, 2014, and
Sauvageau's counsel acknowledged that she owed Lakewood
money for her stay. In April 2014, the ALJ issued a report
and recommendation in which he recommended that the notice of
involuntary discharge be approved 30 days subsequent to the
receipt of the final ruling. On May 6, 2014, the chief ALJ
issued the Department's final administrative decision,
adopting the ALJ's recommendation and approving
Lakewood's notice of involuntary discharge within 30
days. Sauvageau left the facility on May 29, 2014.
7 Lakewood thereafter filed a complaint for administrative
review of the Department's final decision. Lakewood's
complaint asserted, inter alia, that the Department
lacked authority to exceed the statutory 10-day hearing time
and 14-day decision time for involuntary transfer or
8 The circuit court dismissed Lakewood's complaint as
moot because Sauvageau had already left the facility.
Lakewood appealed, and the appellate court reversed and
remanded based on its conclusion that the issues should be
considered under the public-interest exception to the
mootness doctrine. 2015 IL App (3d) 140899.
9 On remand, Lakewood argued that section 3-411 of the Act,
which requires that the Department conduct a hearing
"not later than 10 days" after a resident's
request and render a decision within 14 days after the
request, is mandatory. 210 ILCS 45/3-411 (West 2012).
Lakewood further claimed that section 3-413 did not give the
Department authority to approve the notice 30 days after its
final ruling. Id. § 3-413.
10 The circuit court determined that section 3-411 's
time requirements are directory because section 3-411 does
not include negative language or any consequence for
noncompliance that would overcome the presumption that
procedural commands are generally interpreted as directory.
The circuit court observed that the Act is intended to
protect nursing home residents, whose interests are better
protected by a directory interpretation of section 3-411. The
circuit court also determined that section 3-413 did not
prevent the Department from approving a notice of involuntary
discharge 30 days after its final decision. Lakewood
appealed, arguing that the circuit court's interpretation
of sections 3-411 and 3-413 was erroneous.
11 The appellate court reversed, holding that the Department
lost jurisdiction over Sauvageau's involuntary discharge
proceeding because it did not conduct a hearing within 10
days. 2018 IL App (3d) 170177, ¶ 24. The court concluded
that the phrase" 'not later than 10 days' in
section 3-411 constitutes negative language" that
requires a mandatory construction. Id. ¶ 23.
The appellate court also determined that section 3-413 did
not give the Department authority to approve the notice of
transfer and discharge 30 days after receipt of the final
ruling. Id. ¶ 27.
12 The Department appeals to this court. We also allowed
Prairie State Legal Services, LAF, Legal Council for Health
Justice, and Equip for Equality to file briefs as amici
curiae in support of the Department's position. Ill.
S.Ct. R. 345 (eff. Sept. 20, 2010).
13 II. ANALYSIS
14 The Department challenges the appellate court's
holding that the 10-day hearing period set forth in section
3-411 is mandatory and that noncompliance with that time
period deprives the Department of jurisdiction to conduct a
hearing on a notice of involuntary transfer or
discharge. In particular, the Department contends
that a mandatory construction undermines the
legislature's intent to protect a resident's
statutory right to an administrative hearing and decision
prior to involuntary discharge. The Department further
maintains that the terms of the Act, its underlying policies,
and its interplay with federal law demonstrate that section
3-411 must be given a directory construction.
15 Lakewood urges that the appellate court's judgment be
affirmed, asserting that section 3-411 contains negative
language requiring that it be given a mandatory construction.
Lakewood further contends that a mandatory interpretation is
justified because the specified time requirements affect the
private contract rights and property interests of nursing
home facilities as well as public interests.
16 The determination of whether a statutory command is
mandatory or directory presents a question of law involving
statutory construction. In re M.I., 2013 IL 113776,
¶ 15 (citing People v. Robinson, 217 Ill.2d 43,
54 (2005)). Consequently, our review is de novo.
Id.; see also In re M.M., 2016 IL 119932,
¶ 15; Slepicka v. Illinois Department of Public
Health, 2014 IL 116927, ¶ 13.
17 When construing a statute, this court's primary
objective is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of
the legislature. In re M.M., 2016 IL 119932, ¶
16. The best evidence of legislative intent is the language
of the statute, which should be given its plain and ordinary
meaning. Id. Because the statute is viewed as a
whole, words and phrases must be construed in light of other
relevant statutory provisions and not in isolation.
Id. Each word, clause, and sentence of a statute
must be given a reasonable meaning, if possible, and should
not be rendered superfluous. Id. In determining
legislative intent, a court may consider not only the
language of the statute but also the reason and necessity for
the law, the problems sought to be remedied, the purpose to
be achieved, and the consequences of ...