Mr. JUSTICE EBERSPACHER delivered the opinion of the court:
This is the second appeal to this Court in this matter, an earlier decision having been rendered in Waller v. Board of Education of Century Community Unit School District (1973), 13 Ill.App.3d 1056, 302 N.E.2d 190.
In the first action the facts were that the plaintiff, Waller, was dismissed from his position as superintendent of schools, and reassigned as a teacher. Later, the Board of Education voted to dismiss plaintiff as a teacher as well. The decision of the Board of Education was affirmed by the trial court in April of 1972. On appeal, the judgment of the trial
Then, plaintiff, in accordance with section 24-12 of the School Code, filed a motion for damages in the circuit court requesting reinstatement as a teacher, lost wages, and various costs and expenses, including attorney's fees in the amount of $2450. The circuit court granted the items of damage in the motion except for attorney's fees. The court held that attorney's fees are not damages under the School Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 122, par. 24-12). From this judgment, the plaintiff has brought this appeal seeking the award of attorney's fees. There is no dispute as to the facts which preceded this appeal.
The issue presented by this appeal is whether a wrongfully discharged teacher may recover attorney's fees as damages under section 24-12 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 122, par. 24-12), which reads in pertinent part:
• 1, 2 It is clear that at common law in Illinois a successful litigant is not entitled to recover costs and expenses of litigation from the other party. In Ritter v. Ritter (1943), 381 Ill. 549, 46 N.E.2d 41, the supreme court stated at pages 552-554:
In the cases that have followed Ritter, the basic principles of that case have been reaffirmed. The statutes which the party seeking fees have sought to use as a basis for recovery have been strictly construed. In People ex rel. Henderson v. Redfern (1968), 104 Ill.App.2d 132, 243 N.E.2d 252, two statutes were involved. One statute, section 41 of the Civil Practice Act (Ill. Rev. Stats. 1967, ch. 110, par. 41), provided specifically for attorney's fees but was inapplicable on the facts of the case. That statute provides:
In the alternative, plaintiff sought to rely on section 6 of the Quo Warranto Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 112, par. 14) which the court quoted and discussed at page 136:
The legislature has in the past specifically provided for attorneys' fees where it wished to, and the courts have refused to interpret imprecise language as permitting attorneys' fees.
The appellant here argues that the language of section 24-12 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 122, par. 24-12) requires or allows the trial court to grant attorney's fees. The language he relies upon is that the trial court is "* * * not limited to loss of income and costs incurred therein" in awarding damages.
In Miller v. Board of Education (1968), 98 Ill.App.2d 305, 240 N.E.2d 471, the statute presently under consideration was applied, and court reporter's fees were granted. It is important to note that the court specifically found that the order of the trial court did not include any attorney's fees, and that only court reporter's fees were being considered. The court in that case phrased the issue as whether court reporter's fees were "costs" as that term is used in the statute. At page 312, the court made the following observations:
Appellant here argues that if the court reporter's fees are "costs," then some additional elements of damages are permissible, and that attorney's fees would be an additional element of damages that "must have been contemplated by the legislature." They also argue that court reporter's fees and attorney's fees are similar, and have received similar treatment at the hands of the court, and that if court reporter's fees have been allowed, attorney's fees should be allowed as well. If attorney's fees are not allowed, it is argued, the language of the statute is mere surplusage, and that construction must be avoided.
The legislature has determined when attorney's fees should be awarded. It has been done by specific language such as listing "attorney's fees" to overcome the common law rule. Where they have not used such specific language, the courts have consistently refused to give an expanded reading to the legislative language used. See State ex rel. Henderson v. Redfern
The rationale for the position of the courts was restated in House of Vision, Inc. v. Hiyane (1969), 42 Ill.2d 45, 245 N.E.2d 468. In that case the appellant asked for an award of attorney's fees by the court on the basis of the court's rule-making power. The court's answer is given at pages 51-52:
Although the appellant here does not ask for attorney's fees on the basis of rule-making powers of the court, House of Vision, Inc. v. Hiyane, (1969), 42 Ill.2d 45, 245 N.E.2d 468, is indicative of refusal which attempts to obtain attorney's fees have met where the legislature has not specifically granted attorney's fees.
If the court reporter's fees are "costs" as the court seemed to indicate in Miller by its framing of the issue, then attorney's fees are not comparable to them. In Ritter v. Ritter (1943), 381 Ill. 549, 46 N.E.2d 41, the court specifically stated the rule applicable to costs, and separately stated the rule applicable to attorney's fees and expenses. They are not the same.
If the court reporter's fees are not "costs" as might be indicated by the quoted language, and come under the broad view that "some additional damages must have been contemplated by the Legislature," the argument
If the legislature had intended to allow attorney's fees under this statute, they would have used specific language as they have in the enactment of other statutes where a grant of attorney's fees was allowed. Appellant argues that the legislative intent to include attorney's fees in the section is provided by the legislative history of the section. However, we find no merit to that contention. The changes in the statutory drafts consisted of a change from enumeration of specific items, to a broader expression. (See Senate Bill 596, 73rd General Assembly, and Senate Bill 596 in House, 73rd General Assembly.) Attorney's fees are not mentioned in the historical materials presented. The inference appellant attempts to draw from the broadening is unwarranted in view of the strong policy in this State against awarding attorney's fees without specific language permitting the award.
For the reasons stated herein, we affirm the judgment.
JONES, P.J., and CARTER, J., concur.