Appellate Court Strictly Interprets Notice Provisions of Property Tax Code

In a case decided just last week on appeal in Illinois, In re Application of the County Treasurer, 2013 IL App (1st) 130103 (November 8, 2013) Cook Co., 5th Division, the potential purchaser of a tax deed lost the property because of a two-day discrepancy in the notice he provided. 

In August of 2008, the appellant bought delinquent real estate taxes from 2006 for real estate located in Cook County.  In December of that same year, the appellant filed a copy of it’s Section 22-5 notice, stating that the property owner had until February 12, 2011 to redeem the taxes.  February 12, 2011 happened to be a Saturday.   

No one attempted to redeem the taxes, and in August of 2011, the appellant petitioned for a tax deed.  Even though all parties were served, no one appeared in court.  Regardless, in July of 2012, the appellant’s tax deed petition was denied because the final date of redemption was listed as a Saturday on the Section 22-5 notice, instead of the following Monday, February 14, 2011.  Under Illinois law, when calculating time frames, if the last day to perform is a Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, the time frame is extended to the next business day.

The appellant filed a motion for reconsideration, was denied, and eventually appealed on various grounds and lost at appeal as well.  After extensive discussion, the bottom line is this — if your Section 22-5 notice puts the last day on a weekend or holiday, your notice is deficient.  Period.  The court felt that the burden of proper notice was a minimal one for the appellant to meet.