Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
In re APPLICATION OF THE COUNTY TREASURER AND ex officio COUNTY COLLECTOR, for Order of Judgment and Sale of Lands and Lots Upon Which All or Part of the General Taxes for Three or More Years are Delinquent, Including General and Special Taxes, Costs and Interest, Pursuant to Illinois Property Tax Code Eeservices, Inc., Petitioner-Appellant,
The Cook County Collector, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 15 COVT 1514 The
Honorable Maureen O. Hannan, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE COGHLAN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justice Lavin and Justice Pucinski concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 At the Cook County 2015 annual tax sale, GAN C LLC
purchased nearly $1.4 million in delinquent taxes on a
shopping center located in Calumet City, Illinois; the
purchase certificate was ultimately assigned to petitioner,
Eeservices, Inc. (Eeservices). Upon receiving the assignment,
Eeservices petitioned the circuit court to vacate the tax
sale, pursuant to section 21-310(a)(5) of the Property Tax
Code (Code) (35 ILCS 200/21-310 (West 2018)) because the Cook
County Assessor misidentified the property as located on
Dolton Avenue rather than Dolton Road on its website.
2 The trial court initially granted the petition for a sale
in error; however, on reconsideration, the court denied the
application. The court determined "there is no Dolton
Avenue; therefore, it wouldn't have been a mistake that
anybody would have relied on" and "[b]ased on this
instance, no one would have been misled ***. In
fact, this mistake would not have also affected a substantial
right of ownership." The court held that "it
certainly does not rise to the level of a sale in error that
was contemplated by the legislature." For the reasons
set forth below, we affirm.
4 On appeal, Eeservices contends that the Cook County
Assessor erroneously described the subject property and the
trial court improperly applied the plain language of section
21-310(a)(5) of the Code in refusing to declare a sale in
error. Petitioner's argument raises an issue of statutory
interpretation, which we review de novo. In re
Application of the Douglas County Treasurer & ex officio
County Collector, 2014 IL App (4th) 130261,
5 In construing a statute, our primary objective is to
ascertain and give effect to the legislature's intent,
and the best indicator of that intent is the language of the
statute itself. Carmichael v. Laborers' &
Retirement Board Employees' Annuity & Benefit
Fund, 2018 IL 122793, ¶ 35. A court may not depart
from that plain language by reading into the statute
exceptions, limitations, or conditions that are not
consistent with the expressed legislative intent. Town
& Country Utilities, Inc. v. Illinois Pollution Control
Board, 225 Ill.2d 103, 117 (2007).
6 However, a court will not read language in isolation; it
will consider it in the context of the entire statute.
Carmichael, 2018 IL 122793, ¶ 35. The court may
also consider the reason for the law, the problems sought to
be remedied, the purposes to be achieved, and the
consequences of construing the statute one way or another.
Id.; Bowman v. Ottney, 2015 IL 119000, ¶ 9. We
must presume that the legislature did not intend to produce
absurd, inconvenient, or unjust results. Carmichael,
2018 IL 122793, ¶ 35.
7 Section 21-310(a)(5) of the Code states, in pertinent part,
"(a) When, upon application of the county collector, the
owner of the certificate of purchase, or a municipality which
owns or has owned the property ordered sold, it appears to
the satisfaction of the court which ordered the property sold
that any of the following subsections are applicable, the
court shall declare the sale to be a sale in error:
* * *
(5) the assessor, chief county assessment officer, board of
review, board of appeals, or other county official has made
an error (other than an error of judgment as to the value of
any property)[.]" 35 ILCS 200/21-310(a)(5) (West 2018).
8 Petitioner directs us to the plain language of the statute
and two unpublished Rule 23(b) orders from this court in
support of his argument that the mistake in this case
warrants a declaration that the tax sale was made in error:
In re the Application of County Treasurer & ex
officio County Collector, 2014 IL App (1st) 132442-U,
and In re the Application of County Treasurer & ex
officio County Collector, No. 1-10-1754, slip order at
*1 (2011) (unpublished order under Illinois Supreme Court
Rule 23). Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23(e)(1) prohibits a
party from citing an order entered under subpart (b) except
to support contentions of ...