• Overall Procedures
  • Ordinances, Rules and Regulations
  • Resources
  • Definitions
  • General Questions

Overall Procedures




The Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings does not issue tickets against citizens.  The Department of Administrative Hearings hears tickets issued against citizens by various County Departments.  When a County Department issues a citizen a ticket the Department of Administrative Hearings will assign an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to preside over that particular allegation.  Our ALJ’sundergo extensive training to ensure that the citizen’s of Cook County due process rights are not violated and that the County Department will lose any case where there is insufficient evidence to substantiate the allegation.


Every citizen issued a ticket has the Right to a Hearing. If you are issued a ticket please refer to the ticket for information on whether a court date was already assigned to you, if you have to make a formal request for a hearing, or if you can contest your citation by mail. If you are not sure about your court date or how to request a hearing please contact the Department of Administrative Hearings for assistance.

Please be aware that all cases heard at the Department of Administrative Hearings are civil in nature and not criminal actions so the penalty is never jail time. If you are contesting your citation by mail please make sure to submit all of your documentation exactly as instructed in your ticket. The Administrative Law Judge will verify that all of the documentation is submitted according to the instructions and then make a determination on your case based on the evidence your submitted.

If you are contesting your citation in-person please arrive to the hearings 20 – 30 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time to check in. The Department of Administrative Hearings will have trained staff ready to assist you, but we would like to be allowed the time to help you prior to your Hearing.



Before your case is called, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will make an opening statement identifying themselves, their role, your rights at the hearing the order in which the cases will be called. The ALJ will inform you that s/he does not work for the department making the allegation against you and that s/he is there to resolve a dispute between yourself and the county department.

At the Hearing, all live testimony is given under oath and is recorded. The County will present its evidence first.  This is because the County has to burden of establishing that what they alleged on the ticket is true.  Once you have heard the allegation, you will be given an opportunity to present your own evidence. Your presentation must specifically deal with the alleged violation.  You may represent yourself. You may also hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense or you may designate an authorized representative attend the hearing on your behalf (ex/ friend, relative, employee or agent).  Your version of the case may be presented by your own testimony, by using witnesses or physical evidence (such as bills, receipts or photos) or other documents. All documents presented are retained by the ALJ at the Hearing soplease make copies for your own records. The ALJ will then determine whether the County has met its burden. If the ALJ finds that the County met its burden, then fines, penalties and costs may be imposed according to the guidelines set forth in the Municipal Code The ALJs final order and decision will be in the form of a written document that you will receive at the end of your Hearing. Please make sure that you receive a copy of your decision at your Hearing.  An ALJ will never issue a fine against a citizen where the county has failed to meet its burden.


If you miss your Hearing date, you may be found liable by default. If this happens you will be sent a Notice of Default indicating that you have 21 calendar days from the date stamped on the notice to request a hearing to set-aside that liable by default judgment based on good cause (emergency or an illness). There is no time limit to file a Motion to Set Aside a Default Judgment if your reason for not appearing at your original court date is based on your not being properly noticed. The forms used to file a Motion to Set-Aside a Default Judgment may be found under the Forms Tab here, or may also be picked up in person at the Department of Administrative Hearings, 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1140, Chicago, IL between the hours of 9:00AM and 4:30PM.)


Once your motion has been submitted within 3-5 days you will receive in the mail notification of your newly scheduled hearing date for your motion to be heard. If your motion is granted, the County will then have the burden of proving its case against you as indicated above and you will be given an opportunity to present evidence regarding the violation of notice or ticket you received at that time. After you have had an opportunity to present your own evidence the ALJ will then determine whether the County met its burden. Again, an ALJ will never issue a fine against a citizen where the County has failed to meet its burden of proof.


Follow the information located on your ticket, complaint or notice regarding the date, time, address and room number of your scheduled hearing. The Schedule of Hearings are posted daily in the Department of Administrative Hearings offices. Please arrive to the hearings at 10:00AM on the day of your scheduled hearing. Once you enter the hearing room, please sit down until your case is called. Please arrive 20-30 minutes early to give yourself plenty of time to check in. Our Department staff is happy to help you and if you need an interpreter please contact us to schedule one for your Hearing at (312)603-2120.


On the day of your Hearing, and before your case is called, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will make an opening statement identifying themselves, their role, your rights at the hearing and the order in which the cases will be called. The ALJ will inform you that they do not work for the Department that is making the allegation against you and that you are resolving your dispute between yourself and the alleging Department.



When your case number is called, answer “here” or “present” and have a seat at the Respondent’s table facing the Administrative Law Judge. All live testimony is given under oath and recorded. The County will present its evidence first. This is because the County has the burden of establishing what they alleged on the ticket is true. Once you and the Administrative Law Judge have had an opportunity to hear the allegation, you will be given an opportunity to present your own evidence.

Your presentation must specifically deal with the alleged violation. You may represent yourself. You may also hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense or you may designate an authorized representative to attend the hearing on your own behalf (for example, a friend, a relative, an employee or an agent). Your version of the case may be presented by your own testimony, by producing witnesses or physical evidence (such as copies of your own records or photographs).


At that point, the Administrative Law Judge will determine whether the County has met it's burden of proof and render a decision. If the Administrative Law Judge finds that the County has met the burden and you are found liable, then fines, penalties and costs may be imposed according to the guidelines that are set forth in the County Code.

The Administrative Law Judge final order and decision will be in the form of a written document that you will receive at the end of your Hearing. Please make sure that you receive a copy of your decision. An Administrative Law Judge will never issue a fine against a citizen where the County has failed to meet its burden

Audio and video recording equipment is not allowed in the courtroom. Newspapers, magazines, food, drink and chewing gum are also prohibited in the courtroom. Disruptive people will be removed from the hearing room and risk having their cases heard without them.

All fines are payable to the County of Cook Department of Administrative Hearings, Department of Revenue. Payment may be made in-person at the Department of Revenue cashier station located at 118 N Clark Street, Room 1160.



If you disagree with the Administrative Law Judge’s decision, you have 35 calendar days to appeal to the Circuit Court of Cook County across the street from the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington (Clark and Randolph Streets).

Procedural Rules and Regulations

The Department of Administrative Hearings was established through County ordinance 09-O-03 on December 3, 2008, effective January 1, 2009. The Department of Administrative Hearings provides an independent central panel of adjudicators authorized to conduct administrative adjudication proceedings for departments, agencies, boards, and commissions of the County.

Rules and Regulations may be reviewed in person at our office located at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1140, Chicago, IL 60602 between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30pm.

Resources

ABA Administrative Procedure Database Archive site was designed to facilitate the exchange of information about federal and state administrative law among legislators, lawyers, hearing officers, judges, and citizens.
Click here to visit the website


The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation. Each volume of the CFR is updated once each calendar year and is issued on a quarterly basis. Click here to visit the website

Published by the Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.
Click here to visit the website


Legislative information from the Library of Congress. 
Click here to visit the website

Website with information about various Cook County Departments and Services.
Click here to visit the website


Official website for the Cook County Clerk.
Click here to visit the website


CARPLS' Legal Aid Hotline and court-based Advice Desks give low-income clients direct access to experienced attorneys who are trained to quickly assess and respond to a wide range of civil legal problems.
Click here to visit the website

Website with the Code of Ordinances of Cook County.
Click here to visit the website

Forest Preserve District Code, Cook County, IL Code Ordinances.
Click here to visit the website

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments before the Administration and Congress. NACo provides essential services to the nation's 3,068 counties.
Click here to visit the website

Definitions

A  B  C  D  E  F  I  J  L  M  N  P  R  S  T  V  W 

- A -


Administrative Adjudication

Depending on the usage it can mean the formal examination of evidence before an AdministrativeLaw Judge used to resolve a dispute. This is when the parties offer evidence (testimony, photographs, receipts, documents) and make arguments to convince the ALJ to rule in their favor. Also see Administrative Hearing.

It can also mean the formal giving or pronouncing of a judgment. It indicates that the claims of all the parties were considered and ruled upon. This is also the point in time when an ALJ tells the parties who won and why and issues the Parties copies of the ALJ’s order or judgment.

Administrative Hearing

The formal examination of evidence before a Law Judge used to resolve a dispute.  This is when the parties offer evidence (testimony, photographs, receipts, documents) and make arguments in an attempt to convince the Law Judge to rule in their favor.  Also see Administrative Adjudication.


Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
This refers to the person who determines and weighs the evidence presented by the Parties to the case. The Department of Administrative Hearings contracts with private attorneys who have at least five (5) years of legal experience and are licensed before the State Bar of Illinois. These attorneys must also undergo extensive training on due process and the law before they are allowed to serve as a Law Judge.




Administrative Record
This is the official record of the case and can be used for appellate review. This includes all arguments and exhibits offered whether admitted into evidence or not. Also see Appeal.




Appeal
This is the term used to describe when either party makes a request to a higher court (in this instance the Cook County Circuit Court) that a final ruling of an ALJ be changed.   Either party may appeal a final ruling to the Circuit Court of Cook County located at 50 W. Washington, Room 602 (Daley Center).

ANOV (Administrative Notice of Violation)

The name of a particular form used as a complaint.  The document sets forth the allegation made by a county department against a party.  Included in the document are the specific details of the allegation including the date, time and location of the alleged offense committed by the citizen.  Also see Complaint.


- B -


Burden of Proof

The burden of proof is the duty of the County to prove a certain set of facts by the assigned standard of proof outlined in that statute or ordinance.  It is a composite of two distinct evidentiary concepts:

  1. The burden of going forward with evidence
  2. The burden of persuasion


Generally, both the burdens of going forward and of persuasion initially rest with the County because they seek to change the status quo or the existence of a fact.



1. The burden of going forward.
The burden of going forward.
The burden of going forward with the evidence is the duty of a party (the County Department alleging the violation) to present sufficient evidence on an issue in order to have the issue considered by the Law Judge. It is commonly referred to as presenting a prima facie case (see also Prima Facie case). Absent a prima facie case, the opposing party need not present any evidence in order to prevail.



2 The burden of persuasion
The burden of persuasion is the duty of making the ALJ believe sufficient facts that have been asserted by the party seeking to prove an issue. The burden of persuasion entails more than merely producing evidence which would tend to put the ALJ’s  mind in a state of equilibrium with respect to whether a certain set of facts exist or not and if, at the close of the evidence, this is the situation, then the decision must go against the County department who has the burden of persuasion on the particular issue in question. The burden of persuasion remains with the County throughout the trial to prove the allegation in fact occurred.

- C -


Complaint

This is the initial pleading which initiates the case. In an administrative adjudication this is usually in the form of a notice of an Cook County Code notice of violation or a “ticket” that is written by an investigator or officer of Cook County, a police officer or other Cook County or Forest Preserve employee. The ticket alleges that the Respondent named in the ticket violated a section of the Cook County Code. A brief description of the supporting facts and what Cook County is asking (for example, a fine, repairs to property, or some other penalty that may be imposed against the Respondent) is usually written on the face of the citation (“the ticket”) or the notice of violation. See also ANOV.


Continuance

This occurs when the parties are required to return to court on a future date in order to have more time to gather evidence. Either party may request that the case be continued to a future date. A Law Judge may grant a request to continue a case upon the showing of good cause.



Cook County Code
Laws enacted by the Cook County Commissioners.  These laws make certain actions or inactions illegal. They are enacted with the goal of making Cook County safe and enjoyable for its citizens and visitors.


- D -


Default Judgment

A judgment entered by an ALJ stating that the County wins because the other party did not appear at their Hearing.   A Default Judgment may be set-aside by convincing the ALJ that you missed your court date for good cause or because you were not properly noticed to appear at your court date.  If a party seeks such a hearing, they should contact the Department of Administrative Hearing so that they can set up a hearing by filing a motion to set-aside the default judgment. Also see Motion to Set-Aside the Default Judgment and Vacate.

- E -


Evidence

Testimony or tangible objects offered and considered by the ALJ to assist the ALJ in determining who should win the case.  Examples include oral testimony, documents, photographs and receipts.


- F -


Filing

A request made by either party that the court allows or disallows a certain action.  Examples of filings made by either party include requests to get their case into court, to have motions heard and to appear on behalf of a party. Also see Complaint, ANOV and Motion to Set-Aside the Default Judgment.

Final Order

Law Judges issue orders granting or denying relief sought by either party.  The order becomes final for the purpose of appeal.  Final orders may be appealed to the Circuit Court of Cook County by a party who wishes to change the order. Also see Appeal.


Freedom of Information (FOIA)

A request made to gain access to information held by a governmental entity.  If a FOIA request is made with the Department of Administrative Hearings please be aware that original records may not be removed from the premise. You may request paper and audio copies of public records. Written requests should be directed to the Department of Administrative Hearings, 118 N. Clark St., Room 1140 Chicago, IL 60602.  FOIA Request Forms are also available on-line at the Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings website.

Full Hearing

This refers to a hearing where the parties present evidence and make arguments as to why the ALJ should rule in their favor.  This is also referred to a hearing on the merits and is different than a default hearing where only the County appears to offer evidence.


- I -


Initial Order
This refers to an order of first review on any particular matter.  An example of an original order may be a default order in favor of the County stating that a citizen must pay a fine because the citizen did not appear at his hearing.  This order may later be vacated upon the showing of good cause by the citizen as to why he was not present at his hearing. Also see Motion to Set-Aside the Default Judgment.

- J -


Jurisdiction
This refers to the authority that a Administrative Law Judges have over the issues in dispute (subject matter jurisdiction) and the parties involved in the dispute (personal jurisdiction) in any particular case. As an example, a Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings Law Judge has subject matter jurisdiction over cases brought by the County of Cook and personal jurisdiction over the party named on the complaint.  A Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings Law Judge would not have subject matter or personal jurisdiction over a parking ticket issued in Vermont

- L -


Language Line
This is a foreign language interpretations service used by the Department of Administrative Hearings to ensure that non-English speaking Respondents are afforded their due process rights to fully par-ticipate in the Hearing. When necessary, the Administrative Law Judge is able to connect with interpreter services for approximately 174 languages. This is a service that is provided at no cost to the citizen. Respondents may also bring an interpreter with them to the Hearing and are encouraged to do so.

Liable

A determination that the County prevails in any of the following circumstances:

  1. The citizen admits to liability (see Stipulation).
  2. The County and the citizen offer evidence at a trial and the Law Judge determines that the County offered sufficient evidence to establish that the violation occurred (see Full Hearing).
  3. The citizen does not appear at the trial and the Law Judge determines that the County offered sufficient evidence to establish that the violation occurred (see Default).


- M -


Motion to Set-Aside the Default Judgment
A motion requesting that the Administrative Law Judge vacates a default judgment entered against a citizen for not appearing at his trial. Also see Default Judgment and Vacate.


- N -


Non-Suit Judgment
A judgment entered when the county acknowledges that it is unable to prove its case.  As an example, the county sends a parking ticket to a citizen who sold the car before the ticket was issued.  It would be futile to proceed to a full hearing because the county cannot win.

Not Liable Judgment

This refers to a finding that the county failed to meets its burden of persuasion in a particular case. Also see Burden of Proof.



Notary Public

This is a person who authenticates a signature by determining that the person signing the document is truly the person of that name that the document references. Most banks and currency exchanges have a notary public who can notarize your documents. The document must be signed in the presence of the notary public and/or witness. Do not sign the document until you meet with a Notary Public.

- P -


Party

The term referring to the county and the person who is charged with violating the Cook County Code.  


Petition to Vacate the Judgment

This is a request made by the county or a citizen asking that the court void a previous finding of liability. The county may ask to vacate a judgment when it discovers that they were granted a finding of liability against a citizen who should not have been charged in the first place because he sold his car or house before the date of the violation. Also see Motion to Set-Aside the Default Judgment and Vacate.

Pre-Trial Conference

This refers to a discussion between the county and a citizen that occurs before a hearing.  The goal is to settle any outstanding issues and discuss the possibility of the party’s entering into a settlement. Also see Stipulation.


Probable Cause Hearing

A preliminary hearing conducted to determine whether a full hearing is necessary. A citizen may request an immediate probable cause hearing in a case where his vehicle was impounded.  A Law Judge will find no probable cause where it is obvious that the county cannot win its case.  The goal of a probable cause hearing is ensure that a citizen is deprived of his property for the shortest time possible.

Previously Liable

The term used to refer a previous judgment finding that the county met its burden of persuasion or was previously granted a default judgment. Also see Burden of Persuasion, Motion to Set-Aside the Default Judgment and Vacate.



Prima Facie Case

Latin for "at first view” or “on its first appearance.”  This refers to a finding that the county’s evidence is sufficient to require that a citizen to respond to it. If the county fails to present a prima facie case, the citizen wins without the need to present any evidence at all. However, if the Law Judge finds that the county has established a prima face case, the citizen must present his own evidence such as testimony, photographs, documents, or receipts to rebut the prima facie case. Also see Burden of Proof.


Pro Se Respondent

The term used to describe a citizen who represents himself in court without the help of a lawyer.

- R -


Representative

A term used to describe a person who manages the legal affairs of another. 


Respondent

A term used in court to describe the person who is alleged to have violated a county law.  The Cook County Department making the allegation is referred to as the petitioner.


Rules & Regulations

This refers to instructions and guidelines issued by the Department of Administrative Hearing. These instructions and guidelines address the procedures of the Department of Administrative Hearings. The Rules and Regulations of the Department of Administrative Hearings are posted on the Department of Administrative Hearing’s website.

- S -


Service

The term used to describe the delivery of a complaint or other documents to the parties named in a case.  Types of service include personal service (hand-delivered), posting (on a door or on a business), certified mail return receipt, or regular United States posted mail. Also see Complaint and ANOV.


Standing

The term used to identify when a party is sufficiently affected by the issues in a case so that they are made part of that case. Also see Party.



Stipulation

The term used to describe when the parties agree to the existence or denial of certain facts.  The parties offer stipulations to save time.  There is no need to call a witness to testify to offer testimony on an issue that both parties agree.  

Stricken With Prejudice

This refers to a situation where a case is dismissed and the county is not allowed to bring a new action on the same claim as opposed to “without prejudice” where the county is allowed to bring a new action on the same claim.

- T -


Testimony

A statement made orally or in writing.  The statement is offered as evidence in an attempt to convince a Law Judge to rule in a particular way.  If the testimony is admitted as evidence it will be considered when a Law Judge decides who wins on a particular matter.

- V -

Vacate

This describes when an order or judgment against or in favor of a party is voided by a Law Judge.  An example of when a Law Judge will vacate a judgment occurs when a default judgment of liability is vacated because a citizen establishes good cause as to why he was not present at his hearing. Also see Default, Motion to set-aside the Default Judgment and Petition to Vacate the Judgment.

- W -


Waive

The term used to describe when a party voluntarily relinquishes a right.  An example of a waiver occurs when a party chooses to plead liable as opposed to exercising his right to proceed to a hearing.  See Administrative Adjudication, Administrative Hearing, Party and Stipulation.

General Questions

  • Who is the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)?

An Administrative Law Judge is a specially trained licensed attorney who conducts administrative hearing. Administrative Law Judge’s have at least 5 years of legal experience and undergo training to ensure that citizens are treated fairly in the administrative proceedings. The Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings currently contracts with Administrative Law Judge’s to conduct hearings in five facilities located throughout Cook County. To ensure independence Administrative Law Judge’s are not employees of Cook County.


  • What is an Administrative Hearing?

In every case heard before an Administrative Law Judge the County must meet its burden of offering sufficient evidence to establish that a violation occurred. An Administrative Hearing is where the County must present sufficient evidence to support that a violation occurred.  The accused citizen is given an opportunity to offer evidence as to why the County did not prove its case. After the County and the citizen have had an opportunity to tell the Administrative Law Judge why they should win, the Administrative Law Judge will make a ruling. The County will never win a case if it does not meet its burden. 

The Administrative Law Judge decision is an independent intellectual judgment, based solely upon the applicable law and the evidence contained in the record.


  • Why did I receive a notice to appear for a hearing? Who reported me?

A code enforcement officer from a County Department is alleging that s/he witnessed a violation and that you are responsible for the violation.  You are given notice of this allegation so that you may challenge the charge.  Please refer to the ticket for the name of the County Department who made the allegation against you.  If you cannot find the representative’s name or Department on the ticket please make the Administrative Law Judge aware of your question(s) during your hearing.  You have the right to know who issued the ticket before you are expected to respond to the ticket.

  • How do I request a hearing?

You have the right to challenge every ticket that is issued against you.  In most cases the ticket will have your hearing information on it.  Simply refer to the ticket for the date, time and location of your hearing. In a few cases you must or may request a hearing in writing.  The Department of Administrative Hearings has trained staff available to assist you in scheduling a hearing.  Please call at (312)603-2120 for assistance or visit the Departments tab on our website for more information about the alleging County Department.


  • How do I prepare for my hearing? May I send someone on my behalf? Representative

The County has the burden of presenting enough evidence to establish that a violation occurred. The burden is by a preponderance (more likely than not). The ticket will tell you what the County will allege at your hearing. To prepare for your hearing consider what the County will allege and bring in any witnesses, documents, photographs or whatever else you have that will assist you in telling the Administrative Law Judge why the County did not meet its burden. Please make copies as any relevant or admissible evidence will be retained by the DOAH. You may represent yourself, hire an attorney to represent you or authorize someone else to represent you during the proceedings.

  • Who can appear on my behalf at the hearing other than the attorney and what type of documentation is required?

You may send any competent English speaking person to represent you.  All that is required is that your representative has your authorization in writing. Your representative will be required to file an appearance form. The appearance will state that you gave that person authorization to represent you. Please instruct your representative that they will be required to fill out an appearance form when they check in.


  • What do I need to bring to the Hearing?

You are not required to bring anything with you. You will have an opportunity to explain why you think you should win. Therefore, you may want to bring photographs, receipts, documents or witnesses that you believe will assist you in convincing the Law Judge that you should win your case.


  • Who can I contact in order to find out the date and time of my hearing?

Please contact the Administrative Hearings general information line at (312)603-2120. Trained staff is available to assist you. For faster service, please have your ticket number available when you call.


  • What happens during my Hearing? How long will it last?

When you arrive you will be asked to check in. Trained staff is available to assist you. You will then be directed to your court room. Please be seated and wait for the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to introduce him/herself. The Administrative Law Judge will then give opening remarks informing those in the room of the general overview of the hearing process. The ALJ will then introduce the first case and describe the procedure that will be followed. Each party will have an opportunity to: 


  1. Present their own witnesses and to question witnesses presented by the other party, and,
  2. Present documents and challenge those presented by the other party.

Finally, each party will have an opportunity to present a closing argument as to why they should win or be found Not Liable.

The length of your case will depend upon the complexity of your case. Generally, most of the hearing take no longer than 30 minutes to complete.

  • What happens after my Hearing? If I am found liable, how long do I have to pay the fine?

At the conclusion of a hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will close the evidence, consider the evidence that was presented and decide whether the County met its burden of establishing by a preponderance that the violation occurred.  The ALJ will give both parties a copy of the order.  If either party is unhappy with the order they may file an appeal within 35 days at the Circuit Court of Cook County, 50 W Washington, Room 602.  If a fine is imposed you will be expected to pay the fine immediately unless you make other arrangements with the Department of Revenue. Please make sure you receive your copy of the order from the ALJ.

  • Do I have to come to court? I live far away, can’t I have my hearing over the phone?

In certain cases like parking tickets, you have the right to appear in person or you may submit evidence through the mail.  In other cases you may only appear in person.  If you cannot attend the hearing you may send a representative to argue on your behalf.  Please refer to your ticket for more information or contact the Department of Administrative Hearings at (312)603-2120 for assistance.

  • Can I change the location of my hearing? Can I change the date of my hearing over the telephone?

The hearing location cannot be changed. If an unexpected emergency arises and you are unable to attend your hearing please contact the Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) at (312)603-2120 for assistance on rescheduling your Hearing date. All parties must be notified of the change of date, so you should contact the DOAH immediately.


  • Can I pay for this ticket instead of attending the hearing?

Please refer to your ticket for information as to whether you may avoid coming to court by prepaying your ticket.  Pre-payable citations are listed on the back portion of your ticket. If your violation is not listed on the back then you must appear for your hearing on the day and time indicated.  Please contact the Department of Administrative Hearings at (312)603-2120 for assistance or contact the Department of Revenue at (312)603-6870.


  • How long do I have to pay for a ticket that is pre-pay eligible?

If the ticket is pre-pay eligible, you may pay the fine indicated instead of attending the hearing within seven (7) days of the date the violation was issued. Please thoroughly read the back of your ticket for further information.

  • What is the fine amount for a violation written on my citation when it is not a pre-payable offense?

At the conclusion of your hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will tell the parties if the County Department case is dismissed or if you have been found Liable or Not Liable, and if a fine will be  assessed against you and what the amount of the fine is. If, during the Hearing, you and the County alleging the violation agree to an alternative amount, the ALJ will determine if that is acceptable and fair to both Parties and will approve that agreed upon fine or penalty amount.

  • Why did the police office inform me that my violation is pre-payable, when in fact it’s not?

To determine if the violation is pre-payable or not, it is your obligation to thoroughly read any ticket or notice violation issued to you by a police officer, investigator or inspector. The police officer is the code enforcement officer and witness to the violation. Pre-paid options are listed on the back of your ticket. If you are not sure whether you must appear at your hearing please contact the Department of Administrative Hearings at (312)603-2120 for assistance.


  • What is a default judgment?

If you do not appear at your Hearing the only evidence that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider is what the County Department alleging the violation offers. This usually results in a default judgment against you. We understand that emergencies arise that will cause you to miss your hearing. Therefore, please request that the default judgment be set-aside and you will be given another chance to defend yourself.


  • I missed my hearing, how do I file a motion to set-aside the default judgment? Can I reschedule with you over the phone? How much does it cost?

You may obtain a motion to set-aside a default judgment on-line.  Simply click on the Forms link.  You may submit the motion to set aside a default judgment by filling out the form and mailing, faxing, submitting it in person, or emailing it to the Department of Administrative Hearings. To fax the motion to the Department of Administrative Hearings please fax it to (312)603-2125. If you wish to email the form please send the email to elia.montejano@cookcountyil.gov . If submitting the motion by mail or in-person, the motion must be filed at the Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings,118 N. Clark Street, Room 1140, Chicago IL., 60602. If you are mailing, faxing or emailing the motion please call (312)603-2120 the day after the motion has been sent to verify that the Department has received the form. A verification of your submitted motion should be received in the mail after 3-5 business days. There is no fee to file the motion.

 

  • Can you fax or mail me a motion to set-aside form? Do I have to file it in-person?

A motion to set-aside the default can be obtained on-line, through fax, by mail or in-person. To obtain the motion in person you must go to the Department of Administrative Hearings Office at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1140, Chicago, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00p.m. To obtained a faxed copy of the motion please call (312)603-2120.

  •  Why do I file a motion to set-aside the default? 

If you do not appear at your hearing the only evidence that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will consider is what the County Department offers. This usually results in a default judgment being entered against you. If this happens, you may file a motion to set-aside the default judgment requesting that an Administrative Law Judge allow you to present evidence as to why you did not appear at your hearing. If the Administrative Law Judge grants your motion you will at that point be given a second chance to defend yourself.

  • If I file my motion today, how come I cannot have my hearing today?

Depending on the type of case, you may not be able to have your motion heard on the same day the motion is filed. The reason for this is the County department that processed the case does not have notice of the hearing and therefore may not be prepared to proceed. Also, due to scheduling requirements, some types of cases are only heard on certain days of the week or month and therefore the County attorneys or representatives and/or witnesses may not be present in the hearing facility on the particular day that the motion is filed.

  •  I filed a motion to set-aside the default. Can I change the date?

After you filed your motion to set-aside the default judgment, the other party to the action was notified of the specific date, time and location of your new hearing.  You will have to notify and ask the other Party for another opportunity to reschedule this Hearing date.

  • My child is away at school. My spouse is working. My parents are elderly. Can I come in to file a motion to set-aside the default on their behalf?

Yes, you can file a motion on behalf of another person.  If you also represent that person at a hearing you will be required to complete an appearance form at the time of the hearing.  Please go to our Forms Tab to download and review the Appearance Form.



  • Why don’t you go by postmark date for a motion to set-aside the default filing deadline?

The motion to set-aside the default filing deadline is set by ordinance. According to the County Code Section 2-922, an Administrative Law Judge may set aside any order entered by default and, if granted, set a new hearing upon a motion filed within 21 days after the issue of the default order.

  • I missed my motion to set-aside a default judgment hearing. Can I reschedule? Why not?

If you do not attend the hearing on your motion to set-aside a default determination of liability your motion will be stricken with prejudice and your only option will be to appeal the decision at the Circuit Court of Cook County, Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., in Room 602.

  • I received a collection notice from the Cook County Department of Revenue or a law firm. I don’t know what it’s about. What can I do?

You may contact the telephone number indicated on the notice for further information. If the collection notice was sent as a result of a Department of Administrative Hearings matter, you may file a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1140, to obtain copies of the court file. Depending on the status of the case as indicated in the court file, you may be able to request a motion to set-aside the default judgment. 
The FOIA request form is available under our Forms Tab.
 

  • Why can’t I speak to the Administrative Law Judge outside the hearing?

It would be unfair for the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to discuss a case with one party without the other party being present. 
 

  •  What can I do to request a copy of my hearing and paper work?

Through the Freedom of Information Act (F.O.I.A.) you can request a copy of your file at 118 N. Clark Street, Room 1140 (Chicago). Download the form here.

 

  • Why does the County keep sending notices to my old address, when I gave my new change of address many times? Why can’t anyone change my address in the Administrative Hearing’s department system if it’s incorrect?

The Department of Administrative Hearings records must reflect the information that the enforcement department filed as part of the case, including any address listed. Please contact that Department to request an address change.

For non-vehicle cases, the best way to resolve an incorrect address is to request at the hearing that the correct addresses be reflected on the hearing record. To ensure that you receive proper notification, it is your responsibility to make forwarding/change of address arrangements with the United States Post and/or Secretary of State office(s). You should also contact the County department that cited you for further information.


  •  Can the department staff translate/interpret for customers?

Department staff can translate/interpret for customers for general information only. Additionally, if you require foreign language translation at a hearing please inform the Administrative Law Judge (Administrative Law Judge).  Our Administrative Law Judge’s have interpreters available who can assist you.  Hearing impaired customers in need of American Sign Language Assistance can contact our office at (312)603-2120 with their hearing date information in order to request an interpreter.  If you prefer you may bring an interpreter with you to the hearing.

  • Do you provide attorneys?

No, we do not provide attorneys. However, there is free legal consultation through Coordinated Advise & Referral Program for Legal Services (CARPLS).

  • How do I get to my Hearing Facility? Is there parking?

We are located in the Daley Plaza at 118 N. Clark Street. The main cross streets are Clark St. and Dearborn Avenue. The closest freeway exist is the Lake Street ramp off of the I-90 expressway. There is metered parking and parking garages one block west of Clark Street. All other hearings locations have public parking lots.

  • Why do I have to pay a fee to file an appeal?

The Circuit Court of Cook County determines their filing fee schedule. Please contact them at (312)603–5116 or 5122 for further assistance. www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.gov



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