People ex rel. Royal v. Cain, 31976

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Citation410 Ill. 39,101 N.E.2d 74
Docket NumberNo. 31976,31976
PartiesPEOPLE ex rel. ROYAL, State's Atty. v. CAIN et al.
Decision Date21 September 1951

J. Richard Royal, State's Atty., of Vandalia, for appellant.

Sonnemann & Corbell, of Vandalia, for appellees.

BRISTOW, Justice.

In a quo warranto proceeding instituted by the State's Attorney of Fayette County, on behalf of the People of the State of Illinois, against defendants, members of the Board of Directors of The Fayette County Hospital District, the circuit court of Fayette County, in dismissing plaintiff's complaint, sustained the constitutionality of the Hospital District Law, and held that defendants were the legally appointed members of the board of a hospital district organized in accordance with the terms of the statute.

Inasmuch as the constitutionality of a statute is contested herein, plaintiff has prosecuted this appeal directly to this court.

From the record it appears that on April 6, 1950, the county judge of Fayette County entered an order declaring, in effect, that the Fayette County Hospital District was organized in accordance with 'An Act providing for the creation and operation of Hospital Districts,' approved on July 15, 1949. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1949, chap. 23, pars. 163.30-163.53, incl.) On April 26, 1950, the county judge appointed the nine defendants herein as the initial board of directors, and, after filing their acceptances, they have proceeded to act as members of the Board of Directors of the Fayette County Hospital District.

In September, 1950, quo warranto proceedings were commenced by the State's Attorney of Fayette County, demanding by what authority or warrant there is in existence the purported hospital district, and by what authority defendants were exercising powers as members of the board of directors thereof.

In their answer, defendants set forth the entire procedure followed in the establishment of the district in accordance with the terms of the Hospital District Law, and in reply thereto plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the act, and alleged that any procedure taken in conformity therewith was consequently void and without legal authority.

In the proceeding before the trial court, the parties entered into a stipulation that the only issue raised by the pleadings was the constitutionality of the Hospital District Law. On January 17, 1951, the circuit court of Fayette County entered a judgment dismissing the complaint and the cause and finding that the Hospital District Law was not unconstitutional, and that defendants are the legally appointed members of the board of Directors of the validly organized hospital district.

On this appeal, plaintiff has presented numerous grounds which allegedly render the statute unconstitutional. However, before adjudging the legal sufficiency of each of plaintiff's assertions, reference must be made to the salient provisions of the statute.

The act authorizing the creation of hospital districts in the interest of public health does not apply to counties having a population over 500,000. The act requires district to be contiguous and to include a population of at least 10,000; it prohibits a district from dividing a municipality, or one hospital district from being incorporated within an existing hospital district.

The organization of a hospital district may be initiated by the filing of a petition with the clerk of the county in which the territory is situated, addressed to the county judge, and signed by 200 or 10 per cent of the voters residing within the territory. The petition shall set forth a description of the territory to be embraced in the proposed district, the names of the municipalities located within the area, the name of the proposed district, the population, and a request that the question of establishing a hospital district be submitted to the electors residing within the limits of the proposed district. The petition must further designate one or more persons to represent the petitioners in the proceedings in the county court, with authority to amend or withdraw the petition.

The petition shall be set for hearing within not less than 30 nor more than 40 days after being filed, and notice of the hearing shall be given by the judge by publication in a designated manner. Upon the hearing, the petitioners may move to amend or dismiss the petition, and if it is not dismissed the judge shall determine the sufficiency of the petition. If the territory, petition, and proceedings are in accordance with the actThe judge shall make such a finding and order an election as prayed for in the petition, to be held not less than 30 nor more than 90 days after the entry of the order.

The statute requires that notice of the election shall state that any such district shall have the powers provided by the act, including the power to levy a tax not exceeding .075 per cent of the fair cash value, as equalized by the Department of Revenue, of all taxable property within the area, for the operation and maintenance of the hospital and other corporate purposes, and the power to issue tax-secured bonds in the manner provided in the act.

The statute thereupon sets forth the detailed election provisions, and provides that if a majority of the voters voting upon the question of the adoption of the act and establishment of the hospital district shall be in favor thereof, the inhabitants shall be deemed to have accepted the provisions of the act, and the territory deemed an organized hospital district, having the name stated in the petition, which shall be evidenced by an order entered by the judge of the county court.

The statute further provides a procedure whereby an area may become detached from the district if 50 per cent of the voters within any municipality or township included in a hospital district file, within 60 days after the entry of the order evidencing the organization of a hospital district, a petition for the detachment of the territory with the county clerk, addressed to the county judge. However, such detachment is not permissible if it will destroy the contiguity of the territory of the district. A hearing shall be held thereon, as in the case of a formation petition, and if the county judge finds that the petition complies with the act, he shall call an election to be held within the territory proposed for detachment within 30 days, with notice thereof to be given in the manner prescribed in the statute, and with the ballot form designated. If the majority of the votes cast at such election are in favor of detachment, the judge of the county court shall by order declare the territory detached and shall prescribe the altered boundaries of the district.

The act further provides that in case any hospital district organized thereunder shall be coterminous with, or shall include within its corporate limits, in whole or in part, any pre-existing public agency authorized to own and maintain a public hospital and levy taxes for such purposes, then such public agency shall cease to exercise any power after it receives written notice from the Director of Public Health to cease operation of its hospital, which notice shall be given only after the hospital district has placed its facilities in operation. The pre-existing public agency, which is superseded, shall be reimbursed upon such terms as may be agreed upon by its corporate authorities and the board of directors of the hospital district, for its actual expenditures. The terms of payment and procedure in case of disagreement are specified in the statute.

The alleged unconstitutionality of the foregoing provisions is the basis for plaintiff's institution of this quo warranto proceeding. Plaintiff contends, first, that the provisions of the act requiring the county included beyond the requirements of is found to be sufficient, and giving the county judge no discretion as to the territory included beyond the reqirements of the act, violates section 2 of article II, the 'due-process clause,' of the Illinois constitution, S.H.A., and section 19 of article II, which declares that persons ought to find a certain remedy in the law for all wrongs they may receive.

Plaintiff next asserts that the statute delegates legislative powers to the county judge and individuals in violation of section 1 of article IV, and article III of the Illinois constitution, since the act contains no standard by which the judge may determine whether or not a petition for organizing a district should be granted.

Plaintiff further maintains that the act attmepts to vest in hospital districts power and jurisdiction coextensive with counties, whereby both political entities have the power to levy taxes agaisnt identical property for identical purposes, in violation of the 'due-process clause' of the Illinois constitution; that the provision requiring pre-existing public agencies operating hospitals within the district to cease operation also deprives persons of property rights without due process of law; that the act authorizes the levy of a tax and the issuance of bonds for a private purpose, and extends the credit of a municipal corporation to and for the use of a private corporation in violation of sections 9 and 10 of article IX, and separate section 2 of the Illinois constitution; that the detachment provisions violate the due-process clauses of both the Illinois and UnitedStates constitutions; that no reference to the issuance of the nonreferendum bonds is required in the ballot form prescribed by the act, thereby offending section 18 of article II, which declares that all elections shall be free and equal; that the subjects included in the act are not expressed in the title, contrary to the mandate of section 13 of article IV; and that the requirements for the organization of the hospital districts involve arbitrary classifications, prohibited, in effect, by section 2 of article II, and section 22 of article IV of the Illinois...

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19 cases
  • Young v. Red Clay Consol. Sch. Dist., C.A. No. 10847-VCL
    • United States
    • Court of Chancery of Delaware
    • 7 d3 Outubro d3 2015
    ...Rouse v. Thompson, 81 N.E. 1109, 1122-23 (Ill. 1907) (statute regulating nominating procedures); see People ex rel. Royal v. Cain, 101 N.E.2d 74, 78 (Ill. 1951) (act authorizing organization of hospital districts); see also Hulme v. Madison Cty., 188 F. Supp. 2d 1041, 1054 (S.D. Ill. 2001) ......
  • Young v. Red Clay Consol. Sch. Dist.
    • United States
    • Court of Chancery of Delaware
    • 7 d3 Outubro d3 2015
    ...v. Thompson, 228 Ill. 522, 81 N.E. 1109, 1122–23 (1907) (statute regulating nominating procedures); see People ex rel. Royal v. Cain, 410 Ill. 39, 101 N.E.2d 74, 78 (1951) (act authorizing organization of hospital districts); see also Hulme v. Madison Cty., 188 F.Supp.2d 1041, 1054 (S.D. Il......
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    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
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