(55 ILCS 5/5-1121)
    Sec. 5-1121. Demolition, repair, or enclosure.
    (a) The county board of each county may demolish, repair, or enclose or cause the demolition, repair, or enclosure of dangerous and unsafe buildings or uncompleted and abandoned buildings within the territory of the county, but outside the territory of any municipality, and may remove or cause the removal of garbage, debris, and other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials from those buildings. If a township within the county makes a formal request to the county board as provided in Section 85-50 of the Township Code that the county board commence specified proceedings under this Section with respect to property located within the township but outside the territory of any municipality, then, at the next regular county board meeting occurring at least 10 days after the formal request is made to the county board, the county board shall either commence the requested proceedings or decline to do so (either formally or by failing to commence the proceedings within 60 days after the request) and shall notify the township board making the request of the county board's decision. In any county having adopted, by referendum or otherwise, a county health department as provided by Division 5-25 of the Counties Code or its predecessor, the county board of any such county may upon a formal request by the city, village, or incorporated town demolish, repair or cause the demolition or repair of dangerous and unsafe buildings or uncompleted and abandoned buildings within the territory of any city, village, or incorporated town having a population of less than 50,000.
    The county board shall apply to the circuit court of the county in which the building is located (i) for an order authorizing action to be taken with respect to a building if the owner or owners of the building, including the lien holders of record, after at least 15 days' written notice by mail to do so, have failed to commence proceedings to put the building in a safe condition or to demolish it or (ii) for an order requiring the owner or owners of record to demolish, repair, or enclose the building or to remove garbage, debris, and other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials from the building. It is not a defense to the cause of action that the building is boarded up or otherwise enclosed, although the court may order the defendant to have the building boarded up or otherwise enclosed. Where, upon diligent search, the identity or whereabouts of the owner or owners of the building, including the lien holders of record, is not ascertainable, notice mailed to the person or persons in whose name the real estate was last assessed and the posting of such notice upon the premises sought to be demolished or repaired is sufficient notice under this Section.
    The hearing upon the application to the circuit court shall be expedited by the court and shall be given precedence over all other suits.
    The cost of the demolition, repair, enclosure, or removal incurred by the county, by an intervenor, or by a lien holder of record, including court costs, attorney's fees, and other costs related to the enforcement of this Section, is recoverable from the owner or owners of the real estate or the previous owner or both if the property was transferred during the 15 day notice period and is a lien on the real estate; the lien is superior to all prior existing liens and encumbrances, except taxes, if, within 180 days after the repair, demolition, enclosure, or removal, the county, the lien holder of record, or the intervenor who incurred the cost and expense shall file a notice of lien for the cost and expense incurred in the office of the recorder in the county in which the real estate is located or in the office of the registrar of titles of the county if the real estate affected is registered under the Registered Titles (Torrens) Act.
    The notice must consist of a sworn statement setting out (1) a description of the real estate sufficient for its identification, (2) the amount of money representing the cost and expense incurred, and (3) the date or dates when the cost and expense was incurred by the county, the lien holder of record, or the intervenor. Upon payment of the cost and expense by the owner of or persons interested in the property after the notice of lien has been filed, the lien shall be released by the county, the person in whose name the lien has been filed, or the assignee of the lien, and the release may be filed of record as in the case of filing notice of lien. Unless the lien is enforced under subsection (b), the lien may be enforced by foreclosure proceedings as in the case of mortgage foreclosures under Article XV of the Code of Civil Procedure or mechanics' lien foreclosures. An action to foreclose this lien may be commenced at any time after the date of filing of the notice of lien. The costs of foreclosure incurred by the county, including court costs, reasonable attorney's fees, advances to preserve the property, and other costs related to the enforcement of this subsection, plus statutory interest, are a lien on the real estate and are recoverable by the county from the owner or owners of the real estate.
    All liens arising under this subsection (a) shall be assignable. The assignee of the lien shall have the same power to enforce the lien as the assigning party, except that the lien may not be enforced under subsection (b).
    If the appropriate official of any county determines that any dangerous and unsafe building or uncompleted and abandoned building within its territory fulfills the requirements for an action by the county under the Abandoned Housing Rehabilitation Act, the county may petition under that Act in a proceeding brought under this subsection.
    (b) In any case where a county has obtained a lien under subsection (a), the county may enforce the lien under this subsection (b) in the same proceeding in which the lien is authorized.
    A county desiring to enforce a lien under this subsection (b) shall petition the court to retain jurisdiction for foreclosure proceedings under this subsection. Notice of the petition shall be served, by certified or registered mail, on all persons who were served notice under subsection (a). The court shall conduct a hearing on the petition not less than 15 days after the notice is served. If the court determines that the requirements of this subsection (b) have been satisfied, it shall grant the petition and retain jurisdiction over the matter until the foreclosure proceeding is completed. The costs of foreclosure incurred by the county, including court costs, reasonable attorneys' fees, advances to preserve the property, and other costs related to the enforcement of this subsection, plus statutory interest, are a lien on the real estate and are recoverable by the county from the owner or owners of the real estate. If the court denies the petition, the county may enforce the lien in a separate action as provided in subsection (a).
    All persons designated in Section 15-1501 of the Code of Civil Procedure as necessary parties in a mortgage foreclosure action shall be joined as parties before issuance of an order of foreclosure. Persons designated in Section 15-1501 of the Code of Civil Procedure as permissible parties may also be joined as parties in the action.
    The provisions of Article XV of the Code of Civil Procedure applicable to mortgage foreclosures shall apply to the foreclosure of a lien under this subsection (b), except to the extent that those provisions are inconsistent with this subsection. For purposes of foreclosures of liens under this subsection, however, the redemption period described in subsection (b) of Section 15-1603 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall end 60 days after the date of entry of the order of foreclosure.
    (c) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, the county board of any county may petition the circuit court to have property declared abandoned under this subsection (c) if:
        (1) the property has been tax delinquent for 2 or
    
more years or bills for water service for the property have been outstanding for 2 or more years;
        (2) the property is unoccupied by persons legally in
    
possession; and
        (3) the property contains a dangerous or unsafe
    
building.
    All persons having an interest of record in the property, including tax purchasers and beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust having title to the property, shall be named as defendants in the petition and shall be served with process. In addition, service shall be had under Section 2-206 of the Code of Civil Procedure as in other cases affecting property.
    The county, however, may proceed under this subsection in a proceeding brought under subsection (a). Notice of the petition shall be served by certified or registered mail on all persons who were served notice under subsection (a).
    If the county proves that the conditions described in this subsection exist and the owner of record of the property does not enter an appearance in the action, or, if title to the property is held by an Illinois land trust, if neither the owner of record nor the owner of the beneficial interest of the trust enters an appearance, the court shall declare the property abandoned.
    If that determination is made, notice shall be sent by certified or registered mail to all persons having an interest of record in the property, including tax purchasers and beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust having title to the property, stating that title to the property will be transferred to the county unless, within 30 days of the notice, the owner of record enters an appearance in the action, or unless any other person having an interest in the property files with the court a request to demolish the dangerous or unsafe building or to put the building in safe condition.
    If the owner of record enters an appearance in the action within the 30 day period, the court shall vacate its order declaring the property abandoned. In that case, the county may amend its complaint in order to initiate proceedings under subsection (a).
    If a request to demolish or repair the building is filed within the 30 day period, the court shall grant permission to the requesting party to demolish the building within 30 days or to restore the building to safe condition within 60 days after the request is granted. An extension of that period for up to 60 additional days may be given for good cause. If more than one person with an interest in the property files a timely request, preference shall be given to the person with the lien or other interest of the highest priority.
    If the requesting party proves to the court that the building has been demolished or put in a safe condition within the period of time granted by the court, the court shall issue a quitclaim judicial deed for the property to the requesting party, conveying only the interest of the owner of record, upon proof of payment to the county of all costs incurred by the county in connection with the action, including but not limited to court costs, attorney's fees, administrative costs, the costs, if any, associated with building enclosure or removal, and receiver's certificates. The interest in the property so conveyed shall be subject to all liens and encumbrances on the property. In addition, if the interest is conveyed to a person holding a certificate of purchase for the property under the Property Tax Code, the conveyance shall be subject to the rights of redemption of all persons entitled to redeem under that Act, including the original owner of record.
    If no person with an interest in the property files a timely request or if the requesting party fails to demolish the building or put the building in safe condition within the time specified by the court, the county may petition the court to issue a judicial deed for the property to the county. A conveyance by judicial deed shall operate to extinguish all existing ownership interests in, liens on, and other interest in the property, including tax liens.
    (d) Each county may use the provisions of this subsection to expedite the removal of certain buildings that are a continuing hazard to the community in which they are located.
    If the official designated to be in charge of enforcing the county's building code determines that a building is open and vacant and an immediate and continuing hazard to the community in which the building is located, then the official shall be authorized to post a notice not less than 2 feet by 2 feet in size on the front of the building. The notice shall be dated as of the date of the posting and shall state that unless the building is demolished, repaired, or enclosed, and unless any garbage, debris, and other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials are removed so that an immediate and continuing hazard to the community no longer exists, then the building may be demolished, repaired, or enclosed, or any garbage, debris, and other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials may be removed, by the county.
    Not later than 30 days following the posting of the notice, the county shall do both of the following:
        (1) Cause to be sent, by certified mail, return
    
receipt requested, a notice to all owners of record of the property, the beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust having title to the property, and all lienholders of record in the property, stating the intent of the county to demolish, repair, or enclose the building or remove any garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials if that action is not taken by the owner or owners.
        (2) Cause to be published, in a newspaper published
    
or circulated in the county where the building is located, a notice setting forth (i) the permanent tax index number and the address of the building, (ii) a statement that the property is open and vacant and constitutes an immediate and continuing hazard to the community, and (iii) a statement that the county intends to demolish, repair, or enclose the building or remove any garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials if the owner or owners or lienholders of record fail to do so. This notice shall be published for 3 consecutive days.
    A person objecting to the proposed actions of the county board may file his or her objection in an appropriate form in a court of competent jurisdiction.
    If the building is not demolished, repaired, or enclosed, or the garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials are not removed, within 30 days of mailing the notice to the owners of record, the beneficial owners of any Illinois land trust having title to the property, and all lienholders of record in the property, or within 30 days of the last day of publication of the notice, whichever is later, the county board shall have the power to demolish, repair, or enclose the building or to remove any garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials.
    The county may proceed to demolish, repair, or enclose a building or remove any garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials under this subsection within a 120-day period following the date of the mailing of the notice if the appropriate official determines that the demolition, repair, enclosure, or removal of any garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials is necessary to remedy the immediate and continuing hazard. If, however, before the county proceeds with any of the actions authorized by this subsection, any person has sought a hearing under this subsection before a court and has served a copy of the complaint on the chief executive officer of the county, then the county shall not proceed with the demolition, repair, enclosure, or removal of garbage, debris, or other substances until the court determines that that action is necessary to remedy the hazard and issues an order authorizing the county to do so.
    Following the demolition, repair, or enclosure of a building, or the removal of garbage, debris, or other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or materials under this subsection, the county may file a notice of lien against the real estate for the cost of the demolition, repair, enclosure, or removal within 180 days after the repair, demolition, enclosure, or removal occurred, for the cost and expense incurred, in the office of the recorder in the county in which the real estate is located or in the office of the registrar of titles of the county if the real estate affected is registered under the Registered Titles (Torrens) Act. The notice of lien shall consist of a sworn statement setting forth (i) a description of the real estate, such as the address or other description of the property, sufficient for its identification; (ii) the expenses incurred by the county in undertaking the remedial actions authorized under this subsection; (iii) the date or dates the expenses were incurred by the county; (iv) a statement by the official responsible for enforcing the building code that the building was open and vacant and constituted an immediate and continuing hazard to the community; (v) a statement by the official that the required sign was posted on the building, that notice was sent by certified mail to the owners of record, and that notice was published in accordance with this subsection; and (vi) a statement as to when and where the notice was published. The lien authorized by this subsection may thereafter be released or enforced by the county as provided in subsection (a).
    (e) In any case where a county has obtained a lien under subsection (a), the county may also bring an action for a money judgment against the owner or owners of the real estate in the amount of the lien in the same manner as provided for bringing causes of action in Article II of the Code of Civil Procedure and, upon obtaining a judgment, file a judgment lien against all of the real estate of the owner or owners and enforce that lien as provided for in Article XII of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(Source: P.A. 97-549, eff. 8-25-11; 98-138, eff. 8-2-13.)