Supreme Court Summaries
Opinions filed January 25, 2008
No. 104469 Czarobski v. Lata
Appellate citation: 371 Ill. App. 3d 346.
JUSTICE FITZGERALD delivered the judgement of the court, with opinion.
Chief Justice Thomas and Justices Freeman, Kilbride, Garman, Karmeier, and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.
The plaintiffs in this Cook County suit purchased an Orland Park home in 2005. At the closing, real estate taxes were prorated based on an amount shown on the title commitment. Apparently, neither the buyers nor the sellers knew that this figure was based on only a partial assessment. Plaintiff buyers received a credit, but later discovered that the taxes they were required to pay were much higher due to the error. After the sellers refused to make up the difference, plaintiffs sued for a reproration.
Defendant sellers moved to dismiss the complaint under the doctrine of “merger by deed” and were successful in the circuit court. The appellate court, however, reversed.
In this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court, recognizing mutual mistake as an exception to the doctrine of merger by deed and finding the application of this exception appropriate in these circumstances. The court said that the complaint should not have been dismissed and that further proceedings on it should take place. As ordered by the appellate court, the cause was to be remanded.