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Public Act 101-0200


 

Public Act 0200 101ST GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 101-0200
 
SB1114 EnrolledLRB101 04096 AWJ 49104 b

    AN ACT concerning local government.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Counties Code is amended by changing Section
5-1121 as follows:
 
    (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.
    (f) In addition to any other remedy provided by law, if a
county finds that within a residential property of 1 acre or
less there is an accumulation or concentration of: garbage;
organic materials in an active state of decomposition
including, but not limited to, carcasses, food waste, or other
spoiled or rotting materials; human or animal waste; debris; or
other hazardous, noxious, or unhealthy substances or
materials, which present an immediate threat to the public
health or safety or the health and safety of the occupants of
the property, the county may, without any administrative
procedure to bond, petition the court for immediate injunctive
relief to abate or cause the abatement of the condition that is
causing the threat to health or safety, including an order
causing the removal of any unhealthy or unsafe accumulations or
concentrations of the material or items listed in this
subsection from the structure or property. The county shall
file with the circuit court in which the property is located a
petition for an order authorizing the abatement of the
condition that is causing the threat to health or safety. A
hearing on the petition shall be set within 5 days, not
including weekends or holidays, from the date of filing. To
provide notice of such hearing, the county shall make every
effort to serve the property's owners of record with the
petition and summons and, if such service cannot be had, shall
provide an affidavit to the court at the hearing showing the
service could not be had and the efforts taken to locate and
serve the owners of record. The county shall also post a sign
at the property notifying all persons of the court proceeding.
Following the abatement actions, the county may file a notice
of lien for the cost and expense of actions taken under this
subsection as provided in subsection (a).
(Source: P.A. 97-549, eff. 8-25-11; 98-138, eff. 8-2-13.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2020