Updates on cases, laws, and other topics of interest to local governments

Subscribe by Email

Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Subscribe in a Reader

Follow Municipal Minute on Twitter


Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Court Decides Annexation Dispute Between Competing Municipalities

In a Rule 23 order, an appellate court recently addressed an annexation dispute involving competing municipalities.  People v. Village of Glendale Heights, 2013 IL App (2d) 13-0472-U (Rule 23 Order).
On August 22, 2012, the Village of Glendale Heights provided notice to taxpayers of record that it intended to forcibly annex certain properties to the Village by ordinance at a meeting scheduled for September 6, 2012.  The day before the meeting, the owners of those same properties filed a petition for annexation with the Village of Bloomingdale asking that Bloomingdale annex the property.  On September 6, 2012, Glendale Heights adopted an ordinance annexing the properties and recorded a certified copy of that ordinance on September 12th. 
The owners filed a quo warranto lawsuit against Glendale to challenge the annexation. The owners claimed that the voluntary annexation petition submitted to Bloomingdale took priority over the involuntary annexation by Glendale Heights. 
The trial court agreed, finding that the Bloomingdale annexation had priority.  The trial court ruled on the basis of the common law rule of "priority of annexation" that annexation proceedings must be considered and completed in the order in which they are initiated.  Voluntary annexations are considered initiated when an annexation petition is filed.  Involuntary annexations, on the other hand, are not "initiated" until the municipality adopts the annexation ordinance.  According to teh trial court, because the voluntary annexation was initiated the day before Glendale Heights adopted its ordinance, the annexation petition filed with Bloomingdale had priority and Glendale Heights' annexation was void.
On appeal, the appellate court first reviewed the various methods of annexation permitted by state law.  The process used by Glendale Heights (65 ILCS 5/7-1-13) allows a municipality to forcibly annex territory that is 60 acres or less in size and is wholly bounded by one or more municipalities upon providing mailed notice to the taxpayers of record and others, and publication of notice in the newspaper.  That statute also provides that "no other municipality may annex the proposed territory for a period of 60 days from the date the notice is mailed or delivered to the taxpayer of record."  There is an exception allowing another municipality to annex the property if a voluntary annexation procedure is initiated prior to publication and mailing of the notices for the involuntary annexation.
Although the trial court based its ruling on "priority" rules, the appellate court determined that priority was not at issue in this case.  Instead, the appellate court determined that the question at issue was simply whether Glendale Heights had the authority to annex the territory.  The appellate court said yes, finding that Glendale Heights met its burden of showing it complied with 7-1-13 in annexing the territory.  The court further stated that it need not address the priority issue because priority only becomes relevant when two municipalities have annexed the same territory - here, only Glendale Heights completed annexation.  Consequently, Bloomingdale had no rights in this case, and Glendale Heights' annexation was valid.
Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink


Post a Comment