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Landis v. Marc Realty, L.L.C.

Supreme Court of Illinois

May 21, 2009, Opinion Filed

Docket No. 105568

Opinion

 [**301]   [*3]   [****582]  More than four years after they vacated their apartment, plaintiffs Ken and Ana [**302]   [****583]  Landis filed suit against defendants Marc Realty, L.L.C., and Elliott Weiner, for [*4]  the damages provided for in subsection (f) of section 5-12-080 of the Chicago Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance (RLTO) (Chicago Municipal Code §5-12-080(f) (amended May 14, 1997)), based on the defendants' failure to return their security deposit and interest accruing therefrom. The circuit court of Cook County dismissed plaintiffs' complaint as untimely, finding that the two-year limitations period in section 13-202 of the Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/13-202 (West 2004)) applied to section 5-12-080 of the RLTO. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the circuit court. No. 1-06-3028 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).  [***2] We granted plaintiffs' petition for leave to appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 315 (210 Ill. 2d R. 315).

The question before this court is whether subsection (f) of section 5-12-080 of the RLTO imposes a "statutory penalty" within the meaning of section 13-202 of the Code. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the appellate court.

BACKGROUND

On April 30, 2001, plaintiffs signed a two-year residential lease for an apartment. The lease term ran from June 1, 2001, to May 31, 2003, with monthly rent in the amount of $ 4,500 for the first year, and $ 4,600 for the second year. Pursuant to the lease, plaintiffs tendered to defendants a security deposit in the amount of $ 8,400.

According to the record, plaintiffs alleged that during the term of their lease, they reported a leak in the apartment, which defendants were unable to repair; that defendants agreed to release plaintiffs from their obligations for the remainder of the lease term; and that defendants agreed to return plaintiffs' security deposit. On November 16, 2001, plaintiffs returned their keys to defendants and moved out of the apartment.

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235 Ill. 2d 1 *; 919 N.E.2d 300 **; 2009 Ill. LEXIS 390 ***; 335 Ill. Dec. 581 ****

KEN LANDIS et al., Appellants, v. MARC REALTY, L.L.C., et al., Appellees.

Subsequent History:  [***1] Dissent added on Denial of Rehearing on October 16, 2009.

Rehearing denied by Landis v. Marc Realty, 2009 Ill. LEXIS 1922 (Ill., Oct. 16, 2009)

Prior History: Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District.

Landis v. Marc Realty, LLC, 2007 Ill. App. LEXIS 3452 (Ill. App. Ct. 1st Dist., Aug. 10, 2007)

Disposition: Affirmed.

CORE TERMS

ordinance, statutory penalty, municipal, Dictionary, municipal ordinance, two-year, security deposit, plaintiffs', damages, limitations period, act of the legislature, tenant, landlord, terms, appellate court, statute of limitations, actual damage, encompass, dictionary definition, legislative intent, ambiguous, imposes, lease, city ordinance, state statute, state law, the will, Bouvier's Law

Real Property Law, Landlord & Tenant, Landlord's Remedies & Rights, Security Deposits, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Time Limitations, Torts, Begins to Run, General Overview, Interpretation, Local Governments, Ordinances & Regulations