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Administrative Adjudication Program

The Village of Hoffman Estates' Office of Adjudication hears a wide range of cases involving violations of municipal ordinances that were once heard in the Cook County Circuit Court. Having hearings in the Village of Hoffman Estates expedites resolutions, reduces litigation expenses and allows the Circuit Court to focus on more serious offenses. Hearings in the Village of Hoffman Estates also are more convenient for residents who wish to contest a ticket or other citation.

An administrative hearing is a civil, not a criminal proceeding. Cases filed in adjudication are punishable by fines and a variety of other penalties, excluding jail time.

Under the administrative hearing system, an Administrative Law Judge, not the Village entity that issued the ticket, complaint, or notice of violation, hears cases. Law Judges, all of whom are experienced attorneys, are required to undergo state-mandated training to be professional, fair, and courteous.

The Office of Adjudication hears, or may hear in the future, the following types of cases:

  • Police issued tickets
  • Fire code violations
  • Parking tickets
  • Public passenger vehicle violations
  • False advertising/deceptive practices
  • Unlicensed businesses
  • Unsanitary food businesses
  • Village recycling violations
  • Code violations
  • Zoning violations
  • Lead paint in buildings with minors
  • Animal leash violations
  • Bicycle tickets
  • Compliance tickets

Administrative hearings: the procedure

The Village inspector, investigator, or police officer may issue a ticket or notice of violation, or file a complaint against you. A case also may be initiated following a citizen or community complaint.

If you receive a ticket, complaint, or notice of violation ordering you to appear at a hearing before the Office of Adjudication, you or your representative must be present on the date and time specified. If English is not your first language, you must bring someone to assist you.

Who must appear

The individual contesting charges may represent him or herself, hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense, or, in some instances, have an authorized representative attend the hearing on your own behalf. Your representative may be an employee or agent.

In police cases such as drinking on a public way or disorderly conduct, the accused must appear in person, without exception.

If you are in default due to illness or emergency, you have 21 days to request a new hearing. To request a new hearing you must call the Village Hall. Only one continuance is allowed.

Attending your scheduled hearing

Hearings are conducted at the Police Department, 411 W. Higgins Road. Your presentation must deal specifically with the violation before the court. A clerk at the entrance of the hearing room will have a list of hearings scheduled for that evening. All hearings start promptly at the time indicated on the notice. Therefore, it is recommended that you arrive in the hearing room a few minutes early. Once you enter the hearing room and you have checked in with the clerk, please sit down until your name is called.

The hearing process

When the Administrative Law Judge enters the hearing room, he or she will make an opening statement identifying themselves, their role, expectations of a hearing, and the order in which cases will be called. When your case is called, you should acknowledge and step to the podium in front of the Administrative Law Judge's bench. The hearing will begin immediately and both sides will be given an opportunity to present testimony and evidence. All live testimony is recorded.

The ticket, complaint, or notice of violation written against you may be enough evidence to prove or disprove the Village's case. By law, the Village representative who issued the ticket, complaint, or notice of violation does not normally have to appear in court.

You have the right to tell the Administrative Law Judge your side of the story. This includes using witnesses and physical evidence such as bills, receipts, or photos. Your presentation must deal specifically with the violation before the court. All documents presented may be retained by the Office of Adjudication as evidence. There are no public defenders and no right to a jury in these administrative hearings.

Audio and video equipment, newspaper, magazines, food, drink, and chewing gum are not allowed in the hearing room. Proper conduct must be maintained at all times. Disruptive people will be removed from the hearing room and risk having their cases heard without them.

The decision

After both sides have been heard, the Administrative Law Judge will make a determination based on the evidence presented. If you are found liable, fines, penalties, and costs may be imposed according to the guidelines set forth in the Village Code.

All fines are made payable to the Village of Hoffman Estates. Payment can be made with the cashier near the entrance of the court room by using cash, check, or credit card.

Written appeals for parking tickets

Illinois law and local ordinance allows parking tickets to be contested in writing. Written appeals should include all evidence you wish to be considered, such as pictures and documents. The appeal must be received by the hearing date written on the ticket. You will be notified of the judgment within 14 days of the hearing date.

Adjudication appeal process

If you are unsatisfied with the decision of the Adjudication court, an appeal may be filed in accordance with the Illinois Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/3-101 et seq.) which provides that reviews may be filed with the Circuit Court of Cook County within 35 days of the hearing.

You may contact them at: Rolling Meadows Court House; 3rd District of the Circuit Court of Cook County; 2121 Euclid; Rolling Meadows, IL 60008; 847-818-2300.

Please note ...

The information on this website merely summarizes procedure. Regulations, together with the Village of Hoffman Estates Municipal Code, control the conduct of hearings.

Adjudication: To hear, determine, and settle a case by judicial procedure
Contest: To challenge; dispute
Liable: Legally obligated; responsible

Last updated: 7/28/2010 11:40:27 AM