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  1. #1
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    Default Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: IL

    rec'd notice to vacate our building located on municipal property. The disagreement between the city & group is who owns building & whether the lease for the land is valid. A notice to vacate (eviction) was sent by city lawyer with date to remove all group items from the building and leave. Group told: Then group may be allowed to use the building & be given a lease for 1 year - but only if the group acknowledges in the new lease that the city owns the building.

    Our lawyer has said let them take us to court - but how do we know when city is going to do this? Do we or our lawyer have to "officially say" we aren't leaving willingly? We have indicated to the council this - but no "official" piece of paper.
    The city council leader has stated he'd have the sheriff come/break the lock and drag everything out the next day after the deadline.

    The City Council leader is insistent that no new lease can be signed unless we say they own the building - if we don't sign they plan to allow other groups to put in proposals for the use of the bldg.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    This is a decision you have to make in consultation with your lawyer. We cannot make this decision for you. Obviously, there are significant risks if you choose not to either voluntarily relocate (under which circumstances your organization will presumably be permitted to take your buildings with you) or settle the matter.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Quote Quoting epic
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    The disagreement between the city & group is who owns building & whether the lease for the land is valid.
    Why is there a disagreement?

    Shouldn't be too difficult to trace the ownership of the property and the improvements through the county and city records.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    Why is there a disagreement?
    It does not appear that there is a dispute over ownership of the building, exactly. The city has apparently acknowledged that the group owns the building. The OP posted about it back in May and stated that expressly. That thread is here:
    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/show...096&highlight=

    And another thread presumably on the same matter is found here:
    http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192448&highlight=

    Evidently the problem instead is that the city has no lease with this group for the use of its land and thus presumably is getting no rent from it. The OP has also indicated that the group evidently is no longer favored by the city for some unknown reason. Ultimately without a lease the city likely can force the group out, and could force the group to either remove the building or abandon it so that the city can go forward with whatever plans it has for use of the land. Unless the group either can succeed in an adverse possession claim against the city to get the land (and in some states one cannot claim adverse possession against the state or local government) or can find some lease that is still in effect that gives it the right to operate there I don’t see it as likely that the group will win this battle. The group has consulted a lawyer and that lawyer’s advice ought to guide the group in what it does. But since this has been going on since at least May I’d hope that by now the group would have either filed the appropriate legal action to settle this dispute or come up with a contingency plan should the city move to evict.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Thank you
    We are concerned - that there is something we need to "do" besides just not budge from the building. The lawyer said it's better that they take us to court rather than we go after them? I think this was because of public opinoin. I don't want us to miss filing something. We had difficulty finding a lawyer who didn't have a conflict of interest with city.

    Yes, initially they acknowledged that we "owned" the building, however, now they are claiming that although the group paid for the building, and paid all expenses for many years it's now there's automatically because it's on city property.
    In records we found -- A lease for the land was presented to the city (before the building was built) - it was approved in their minutes and sent to their attorney for review. There's no record of anything to the contrary after that within their minutes. The building materials were ordered 20 days later and the building completed later. The lease of land (unsigned in city records) was very specfic as to what would be done by each party and what happens if the group no longer existed (building was given to city). There was a initial renewal after 10 years then at the groups priviledge, thereafter. When the group went back after 10 years to say they were renewing - the city said they couldn't find the old lease, but everything was fine and nothing needed to be changed.

    Since no one seems to have a "signed lease of land" that is why it's up for grabs - and this council seems to want our building or at least we out of it - they have no use for the land.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Quote Quoting epic
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    The city council leader has stated he'd have the sheriff come/break the lock and drag everything out the next day after the deadline.
    That would be illegal.

    Read and print out the following article:

    http://www.illinoislegaladvocate.org...&contentID=711

    In the following statute link, scroll down a little to Article IX - Forcible Entry and Detainer:

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs...l+Procedure%2E

    Have your lawyer send a strongly worded letter to the council leader about his threat and the consequences of taking such action.

    I suggest you do that quickly so the council leader rethinks sending the sheriff out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Although Illinois does not permit self-help evictions in commercial cases, it's important to note that residential tenancies involve a level of protection generally not extended to commercial tenants unless incorporated into the lease agreement. Generally speaking, a Sheriff's Department will inform a landlord, "You can't do that," if asked to carry out an eviction without a proper court order.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Thank you - I read the link provide & understood some the gist is if we are hold over - not budge (not give up building) - the city goes to court to get a judgement of possession and then we get tell the judge why we believe that the group owns the building and the judge decides.
    Ways it might be decided - yes the group built believing they had a lease of land & building is groups - city you're stuck with them, or, 2. yes group built building - city pay them something for it, then group go find somewhere else, or, 3. group leave take your building or leave it but if left it'll be city or, 4. group you just go no building, no money, you're gone.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    There are really only two ways this could be decided. The first is that the city is trying to prematurely end your tenancy, and either needs to allow you to remain in place through what the court determines to be the end of the tenancy or come to a financial settlement pursuant to which you agree to leave. The second is that the city is properly terminating your tenancy, and if you don't want to make a gift of your buildings to the city you need to remove them when you vacate. As your lawyer has no doubt already explained to you, the idea that a court is going to allow you to lease the land in perpetuity is a fantasy.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Should You Settle an Eviction Case or Wait for a Lawsuit

    Quote Quoting epic
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    Thank you - I read the link provide & understood some the gist is if we are hold over - not budge (not give up building) - the city goes to court to get a judgement of possession and then we get tell the judge why we believe that the group owns the building and the judge decides.
    The group does not own the building in spite of having built it. I suggested that back in May and The Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District explains that as follows:

    "In Illinois, a fixture is real property that is incorporated into or attached to realty. A & A Market, Inc. v. Pekin Insurance Co., 306 Ill.App.3d 485, 488, 239 Ill.Dec. 349, 713 N.E.2d 1199, 1202 (1999). A fixture is deemed a part of the real estate and therefore cannot be removed by a tenant without incurring liability. Whether something is a fixture rather than a piece of personal property depends upon the nature of its attachment to the real estate, its adaptation to and necessity for the purpose for which the premises are devoted, and whether or not it was intended that the item should be considered to be a part of the realty. Harrisburg Community Unit School District No. 3 v. Steapleton, 195 Ill.App.3d 1020, 1024, 142 Ill. Dec. 726, 553 N.E.2d 76, 79 (1990). Intent is the critical factor to be considered in determining whether the item is a fixture or personal property. Harrisburg Community Unit School District No. 3, 195 Ill.App.3d at 1024, 142 Ill.Dec. 726, 553 N.E.2d at 79. The intent at issue is the intent to permanently improve real estate. B. Kreisman & Co. v. First Arlington National Bank of Arlington Heights, 91 Ill.App.3d 847, 852-53, 47 Ill.Dec. 757, 415 N.E.2d 1070, 1074-75 (1980)." Nokomis Quarry Co. v. Dietl, 775 NE 2d 669 - Ill: Appellate Court, 5th Dist. 2002

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ca...en&as_sdt=4,14

    A building built on the land is part of the land and owned by the owner of the land.

    Quote Quoting epic
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    1 - yes the group built believing they had a lease of land & building is groups - city you're stuck with them
    I agree with Mr K that that's not going to happen. The group is nothing more than a tenant at will whose tenancy can be terminated at will with proper notice.

    Quote Quoting epic
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    2. yes group built building - city pay them something for it, then group go find somewhere else
    The group doesn't own the building so I don't see the city owing the group anything for it.

    Quote Quoting epic
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    3. group leave take your building or leave it but if left it'll be city
    I think the city's "acknowledgment" that it's the group's building is meaningless since I don't see any way that the group can remove (with the city's consent) and relocate the building as well as restore the land to its condition as it existed prior to the building's presence without spending barrels full of money.

    Quote Quoting epic
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    4. group you just go no building, no money, you're gone.
    I suspect number 4 is going to be the likely outcome and the group will spend many thousands on litigation and still be faced with number 4 at the conclusion.

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