Illinois state court system
Understanding how the system of Illinois state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.
Illinois Courts Overview
The trial court system of Illinois State consists of Court of Claims, Administrative Adjudication, and Circuit Courts. The trial court system of Illinois is a unified one with Circuit Courts having general jurisdiction over majority of cases. Some towns and cities operate municipal courts that handle ordinance violation cases.
To make your work easier, start searching for court records in Illinois by simply going to courts by county.
Illinois Circuit Courts
Illinois Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all criminal and civil cases, with the exception of the cases that are handled exclusively by the Illinois Supreme Court or the Court of Claims.
Based on the type of case, such as juvenile, criminal, civil, domestic relations, traffic, and probate, Circuit Courts are either organized into departments or divisions. Some Circuit Courts have dedicated “Problem Solving Court” programs like Veterans Court, Mental Health Court, and Drug Court. These programs have the authority to establish treatment in lieu of incarceration for some criminals.
Circuit Courts provide a simplified Small Claims procedure for majority of civil cases involving up to $10,000 in dispute.
They share jurisdiction over cases related to habeas corpus, mandamus prohibition and revenue with the Illinois Supreme Court. However, if the Illinois Supermen Court can accept to handle a particular case, the Circuit Court will not have the authority to handle that case. Besides, Circuit Courts may not handle cases that are related to the ability of Governor to resume office or to serve or cases that are related to the General Assembly redistricting.
Illinois Administrative Adjudication
Several villages, towns, and cities in Illinois State have an administrative body which handles cases related to ordinance violation. These may be known as administrative hearing offices, administrative adjudication systems, municipal courts, adjudication courts, and similar designations.
Some of the ordinance violations handled by Administrative Adjudication include parking tickets, traffic tickets, disorderly conduct, littering, pet violations, curfew violations, red light camera tickets, property maintenance violations, derelict vehicles, alcohol and tobacco violations, and zoning and building code violations.
Violations of a speeding ticket and other state laws are typically adjudicated at the Circuit Court of the county. However, there are few exceptions. For example, Fox Lake’s Adjudication Court hears certain violations of the state motor vehicle laws.
These cases are not considered to be criminal, but civil in nature. Even though a defendant may choose to be represented or to hire an attorney, there is no right to an attorney or a jury. The decision of the presiding officer, who may be called an Administrative Law Judge or a Hearing Officer, may be appealed to the Circuit Court of the county, while City of Municipal Court hears certain state law violations including shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia, and assault.
Illinois Court of Claims
Illinois Court of Claims has offices in Chicago and Springfield and has exclusive and statewide jurisdiction over most types of civil cases that involve the state.
Cases that the Court of Claims handle hears include certain torts, contract disputes, some claims of time unfairly served in prison, majority of claims against the State of Illinois based on Illinois regulation or law, and all claims for recoupment made against any claimant by the State.
It handles majority of claims based on the Illinois National Guardsman’s Compensation Act, the Crime Victims Compensation Act and the Line of Duty Act.
The Official Website of Illinois County
Chicago City of Chicago
Aurora Aurora, IL | Official Website
Rockford City of Rockford
Joliet City of Joliet, IL
Naperville The City of Naperville This vibrant city offers acclaimed schools, the best public library system in the country, world-class parks, diverse worship options, an award winning hospital and an exceptionally low crime rate.
Springfield City of Springfield, IL City of Springfield – Home of Abraham Lincoln
Peoria City of Peoria, Illinois
Elgin City of Elgin, Illinois – Official Website
Waukegan Waukegan, IL – Official Website
Champaign City of Champaign – Champaign, IL official website
Bloomington City of Bloomington, Illinois
Decatur City of Decatur, IL
Evanston City of Evanston
Des Plaines Des Plaines
Berwyn Welcome to City of Berwyn | City of Berwyn
Cook County Cook County Government, Illinois | CookCountyIL.gov
DuPage County DuPage County IL Official Website DuPage County IL Government Website with information about County Board officials, Elected Officials, 18th Judicial Circuit Court Information, Property Tax Information, and Departments for Community Services, Homeland Security, Public Works, Stormwater, DOT, Convalescent Center, Supervisor of Assessments, Human Resources
Lake County Lake County, IL | Official Website
Will County Will County Illinois
Kane County Kane County
Winnebago County Winnebago County, Illinois Official website of Winnebago County, Illinois local government.
McHenry County McHenry County, IL
St. Clair County St. Clair County
Madison County Welcome to Madison County, Illinois
Champaign County Sheriff’s Office | Champaign County Illinois Champaign County Illinois Official Website, Champaign County Illinois Government
Sangamon County Paul Palazzolo Circuit Clerk Slider Revolution Example
Peoria County Peoria County, IL | Official Website
McLean County McLean County, IL – Official Website
Rock Island County Rock Island County Home Page
Kendall County Kendall County, Illinois
LaSalle County lasalle_county – Lasalle County Illinois Website
Kankakee County Kankakee County Government, Kankakee, Illinois
Macon County Macon County, Illinois
DeKalb County DeKalb County, Illinois Official Government Site DeKalb County operates under the township form of County Government. The governing body is the County Board. As the legislative element, the County Board is responsible for adopting all Ordinances for the governance of DeKalb County, which laws are contained in the DeKalb County Code; establishing budget for several funds as well as levying taxes, promulgating policies, rules and regulations for the management of County operations. The County is divided into twelve (12) Districts based on population. Members are elected for 4 year terms. One member is elected in each District every 2 years.
Vermilion County Vermilion County, Illinois
Adams County Adams County, IL – Official Web Site
Williamson County Williamson County, Illinois Official Williamson County Government website. Quickly and easily obtain a wide variety of information, from department services, to recreational activities and more!
Jackson County Jackson County, IL
Whiteside County Whiteside County, Illinois – Government Whiteside County, Illinois established in January 16, 1836. Morrison Illinois, the county seat, is centrally located on U.S. Route 30. The communities of Sterling and Rock Falls, located 15 miles to the east, comprise most of the county’s 60,000 population.
Boone County Boone County, Illinois
Coles County Coles County, Illinois
Ogle County Welcome to Ogle County, IL
Knox County Knox County,Illinois – Welcome to Knox County, Illinois. Established in 1825.
Henry County Welcome to Henry County Illinois Website
Grundy County Grundy County | Official Website of Grundy County Government Offices
Macoupin County Macoupin County Illinois Macoupin County Illinois Official Website with County Departments, Offices and Services.
Stephenson County Stephenson County, Illinois The official Website for Stephenson County, Illinois, government.
Franklin County Franklin County
Jefferson County Jefferson County, Illinois
Woodford County Woodford County, IL | Official Website