White v. Board of Appeals of Cook County

Decision Date20 May 1970
Docket NumberNo. 42511,42511
Citation45 Ill.2d 378,259 N.E.2d 51
PartiesClaron N. WHITE, Appellant, v. BOARD OF APPEALS OF COOK COUNTY et al., Appellees.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Claron N. White, pro se.

Edward V. Handrahan, State's Atty., Chicago (Daniel P. Coman, Chief of the Civil Div., James A. Rooney, and Thomas E. Brannigan, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for appellees.

WARD, Justice.

The plaintiff, Claron N. White, brought an action in the circuit court of Cook County against the Board of Appeals seeking a direct review by that court of the Board's assessment of certain real property for 1966. The complaint alternatively requested relief from the assessment under the Administrative Review Act and also asked that a writ of Mandamus be issued to compel the Board to conduct its hearings in conformity with certain statutory requirements. This original complaint of three counts was subsequently amended to include assessments made for the same property of the plaintiff for 1967 and 1968. The circuit court allowed the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint and, the revenue being involved, the plaintiff has brought his appeal directly to this court. Ill.Rev.Stat.1969, ch. 110A, par. 302(a).

The plaintiff, after receiving notices of the assessor's valuation of his property, filed complaints for each of the years in question with the Board of Appeals of Cook County and each requested a hearing on his complaint. His challenge to each assessment was that it was so excessive as to constitute a constructive fraud and a violation of the constitutional command of uniformity of taxation. On February 16, 1967, the plaintiff was afforded a hearing which he charges did not conform to the reqirements of section 118 of the Revenue Act, since only one member of the Board was present. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1969, ch. 120, par. 599.) Later that day the plaintiff returned to the hearing room of the Board and requested a hearing before both members of the Board of Appeals. A hearing before both members was held with respect to the 1966 assessment, after which the Board ordered a small reduction in this assessment. Concerning his 1967 and 1968 assessments, the plaintiff later appeared before the Board but refused the Board's offer of a hearing before both of its members. The Board ordered no change in the assessments for these years. The only reason given by the plaintiff for declining the hearing was that the hearing would have been illegal.

Count I of the complaint requested the circuit court to 'review' the decision of the Board of Appeals of Cook County. Specifically, the circuit court was requested to determine that the assessor's assessed valuation of plaintiff's real estate were 'excessive and thus based on constructive fraud,' and was requested to order the Board to direct the assessor to revise the assessed valuations to amounts the plaintiff contended were proper. The relief sought in this count would require a judicial determination of the correctness of the assessment placed on the plaintiff's property by the authorized officials. This court has held that no common-law authority to make assessments or re-assessments of property exists in any court of this State. (People v. Illinois Women's Athletic Club, 360 Ill. 577, 196 N.E. 881.) Taxation of property is a legislative rather than a judicial function, and under limitations expressed in section 1 of article IX of the Illinois constitution, S.H.A., the courts in the absence of legislative authority have no authority, except in cases of fraud, to review or determine the value of property which has been assessed for purposes of taxation by appropriate administrative officers. (People ex rel. Nordlund v. S.B.A. Co., 34 Ill.2d 373, 215 N.E.2d 233; People ex rel. Nordlund v. Lans, 31 Ill.2d 477, 202 N.E.2d 543.) Thus, the circuit court properly dismissed the count which asked for a direct review of the assessments.

Parenthetically, we observe that a taxpayer complaining of a fraudulently excessive assessment has remedies available in equity and under the Revenue Act. Equity may enjoin the collection of a tax which is levied upon a fraudulently excessive valuation. (People ex rel. Williams v. McDonald, 44 Ill.2d 349, 255 N.E.2d 400; Ames v. Schlaeger, 386 Ill. 160, 53 N.E.2d 937; Bistor v. McDonough, 348 Ill. 624, 181 N.E. 417.) Too, the Revenue Act provides a form of review for the taxpayer by his filing an objection to the county collector's application for judgment for taxes. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1969, ch. 120, pars. 675, 716.) Parenthetically, it appears from the record that during the pendency of this lawsuit, the plaintiff apparently paid under protest the taxes for the years in question and filed objections to the county collector's applications in the circuit court for judgment for the taxes. Hearings on these objections have been postponed until the disposition of this appeal.

Count II of the complaint alternatively requested relief from the action of the Board of Appeals under the provisions of the Administrative Review Act. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1969, ch. 110, par. 264 et seq.) However, the Act is not of universal application. As this court said: 'The act is not self-executing, but applies only to those cases where it is adopted, by express reference, by the act creating or conferring jurisdiction upon the administrative agency involved.' (People ex rel. Hillison v. Chicago, Burlington and Quincy R.R. Co., 22 Ill.2d 88, 92, 174 N.E.2d 175, 176.) The legislature has not made the Administrative Review Act applicable to actions of the Board of Appeals. Thus, judicial review of a decision of the Board of Appeals is not to be had under the Administrative Review Act. The second count of the complaint...

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28 cases
  • People v. Lang
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 20 Junio 1978
    ...a party to perform an act unless it is affirmatively made to appear that it is his clear duty to do so. (White v. Board of Appeals (1970), 45 Ill.2d 378, 381-82, 259 N.E.2d 51; People ex rel. Adamowski v. Dougherty (1960), 19 Ill.2d 393, 400, 167 N.E.2d 181; La Salle National Bank v. Villag......
  • Jackson v. Bd. of Election Comm'rs of Chi.
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • 7 Septiembre 2012
    ...Administrative Review Act, that Act's appellate review provisions were held to be inapplicable to the Code. See White v. Board of Appeals, 45 Ill.2d 378, 259 N.E.2d 51 (1970). ¶ 100 That the legislature did not expressly adopt the Administrative Review Act to the Election Code was viewed to......
  • People ex rel. Devine v. Murphy
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • 19 Marzo 1998
    ...direct relief for tax objectors was the courts' inherent, equitable authority to correct a fraud. See, e.g., White v. Board of Appeals, 45 Ill.2d 378, 380, 259 N.E.2d 51 (1970) ("[T]he courts in the absence of legislative authority have no authority, except in cases of fraud, to review or d......
  • County Treasurer and Ex Officio County Collector of Cook County v. American Nat. Bank & Trust Co.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 20 Febrero 1975
    ...of any allegation that objector attempted to file a complaint with the Board, mandamus was not yet necessary. (See White v. Board of Appeals (1970), 45 Ill. 378, 259 N.E.2d 51.) The reasons for requiring an exhaustion of statutory remedy still maintain and are applicable For the reasons set......
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