In Palos Bank & Trust Co. v. Illinois Property Tax Appeal Boardthe Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of a complaint for administrative review of a PTAB decision due to the taxpayer’s failure to properly serve all parties to the action. Palos Bank and Trust sought review of three PTAB decisions finding that no change in the assessment of the property was warranted for tax years 2008-2010. 

A party seeking to challenge a PTAB decision where a change of less than $300,000 in assessed valuation was sought must file a complaint in circuit court and issue summons to all affected parties within 35 days from the date of the decision. When the Palos Bank & Trust Co. filed its complaint, it named the Property Tax Appeal Board and the Board of Review as defendants, but served summons on the PTAB and the State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez. The Board of Review brought a motion to dismiss based on a failure to serve all affected parties. The bank argued that it substantially complied with the service requirements and that a good faith exception should apply. It also argued that the Board of Review waived service because it sought substantive relief from the court by voluntarily appearing on the consolidated case. The circuit court dismissed the action citing a failure to strictly comply with the notice requirement.

On appeal, the Court also found in favor of the PTAB and Board of Review holding that strict compliance with the notice requirements is required and that no good faith exception applied in this case because the bank took no affirmative steps to rectify the problem once it realized that the Board of Review had not been served. Secondly, the Court found that the Board of Review never requested substantive relief from the court, and more importantly, the service requirements of Section 3-103 cannot be waived. This decision is a victory for the taxing agencies involved, and it reaffirms the importance of strict compliance with the requirements of the Administrative Review Law in relation to PTAB appeals.