Trustees Vote to Implement Administrative Adjudication

Trustees Vote to Implement Administrative Adjudication

At the March 20 budget hearing, Village Trustees voted to implement an Administrative Adjudication program. The new system would take advantage of legislation allowing local units of government to create an Administrative Adjudication system to bypass using the County Circuit Court, and provide a local, quasi-judicial method to prosecute and litigate local ordinances violations.

This new system will provide defendants with a more convenient location and lower court costs than a hearing in Skokie Circuit Court.  An administrative hearing would be a civil, not a criminal, proceeding. Under an administrative adjudication System cases would be heard by an Administrative Hearing Officer, who is required to be an experienced attorney meeting certain state-mandated requirements, to impartially render case decisions in a professional and fair manner. The Administrative Hearing Officer may hear cases in the following categories: Non-moving traffic violations (such a parking and vehicle sticker violations); Local ordinance violations (including certain shoplifting and cannabis cases that Circuit Courts are reluctant to hear); Nuisance and code enforcement cases; Fire, building, and health code infractions; Unlicensed businesses; Water, sewer, and storm water issues; Underage curfew, tobacco, and alcohol violations.

Preliminary estimates show that it would cost less than $9,000 to implement the new system, and around $26,000 annually for personnel and other costs. As a local system would allow the Village to retain 100% of the fees collected, the new system could generate between $61,000 and $87,000 in new revenue. Additional savings would be achieved by decreasing police overtime costs and savings on prosecutorial services.

To implement an official Administrative Adjudication system, the Village Board needs to amend the municipal code to establish the system, determine the scope of citation and fine amounts that would be handled through the Hearing Officer, complete an RFP process and appoint a Hearing Officer, and train officers in administration of the program. This process will take several months to complete. The Village will provide additional information as it gets closer to implementation.

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