The Illinois Supreme Court handed down seven opinions on Thursday, September 20. The court unanimously upheld a state law that established rules for not-for-profit hospitals to avoid paying property taxes and ruled that law firms bringing qui tam actions against a corporation are entitled to attorney fees for outside counsel, but not fees for work done by the firm’s own attorneys. It also upheld the statutory summary suspension of a man’s driver’s license following his arrest for DUI drugs, dismissed a defendant’s appeal on procedural grounds, affirmed a modified appellate court judgment considering fee assessments, upheld an appellate court’s decision to not award a man additional days of credit against his prison sentence, and upheld a defendant’s conviction of drug-related homicide.
Oswald v. Hamer
By Michael T. Reagan, The Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan
Oswald v. Hamer, 2018 IL 122203, holds that Section 15-86(c) of the Property Tax Code, which provides for property tax exemptions for not-for-profit hospitals and their affiliates for specific property, is not unconstitutional on its face. More specifically described, Section 15-86(c) provides that such a hospital “satisfies the conditions for an exemption under this Section with respect to the subject property, and shall be issued a charitable exemption for that property, if the value of services or activities listed in subsection (e) for the hospital year equals or exceeds the relevant hospital entity’s estimated property tax liability....” Whether the word “shall” in the statute is to be regarded as mandatory or permissive was a key issue in the case.