Administrative Adjudication Process
The Village of Lincolnwood offers Administrative Adjudication as an alternative to Circuit Court. This process allows appeal of a wide range of municipal Ordinance complaints. All hearings are held at the Lincolnwood Village Hall Council Chambers. They are intended to expedite resolutions, reduce litigation expenses, and allow the Circuit Court to focus on more serious allegations. These hearings are also more convenient for residents and businesses who wish to contest a citation or notice because they are heard in the Village of Lincolnwood.
An Administrative Hearing is a civil (not a criminal) proceeding. Persons found liable through an adjudication process may only be fined and/or ordered to comply with the Village Code. Under the Administrative Hearing system an Administrative Hearing Officer determines if ordinance citations are valid. Hearing Officers are required by the State of Illinois to undergo training and are required to be professional, fair, and courteous. The Administrative Adjudication Process hears violations of the following codes and ordinances: Red Light Camera, Parking, Curfew, Nuisance, Alcohol and Tobacco, Property Maintenance, Building Code, Fire Code, Zoning Code, and others.
Administrative Adjudication Process Procedure
A Village inspector, community service officer, police officer, or other designated official may issue a ticket, notice of violation, or a complaint against an individual or business. Any person who has received a parking ticket and has not paid the fine within 10 days will automatically receive a hearing notice in the mail. Any person or business that has received a notice of violation of the Village Code will automatically be assigned a hearing. This notice will inform the individual of their hearing date and time to appear. If you have any questions about your hearing date, call the Finance Department at (847) 673-1540.
A continuance is not allowed unless the Administrative Hearing Officer finds “good cause.” Lack of preparation is not considered good cause. If an individual (or his representative) fail to appear for the scheduled hearing, they may be found in default, and the Administrative Hearing Officer may conduct the hearing in their absence. All fines double for default judgments.
When a party is found to be guilty of a violation, an administrative cost of $40 will be assessed (except for Red Light Camera Violations). Only in the case of parking tickets does the Hearing Officer have the option to waive the administrative cost. A 5% late payment fee is applied to the total every 10 days after a rendered decision by the Hearing Officer if payment is not received up to 30 days. If payment is not received within 30 days, the matter will be sent to the Village’s collection agency or, where applicable, a lien may be applied to the affected property.
Attending an Administrative Hearing
Anyone receiving a hearing notice should review the schedule and location information on the notice. All hearings will be held on the fourth Tuesday of each month no earlier than 9:30 AM for parking tickets, 10:30 AM for Red Light Camera violations, and 1:00 PM for all other violations. The location is the Village Hall Council Chambers. All hearings start promptly at the time indicated on the notice. It is recommended that individuals arrive a few minutes early. Upon entering the hearing room, individuals must check in with the code enforcement official and wait until their case is called.
Non-residents appealing a Vehicle Sticker, Parking Ticket, or Red Light Camera Violation may mail-in their appeal. Non-residents that are interested in a mail-in appeal should follow the instructions that are included in the Non-Resident Appeal Procedures.
Administrative Hearing Process
At the beginning of the hearing, the Administrative Hearing Officer will make a brief opening statement. Then, he or she will identify himself/herself, his/her role, expectations, and the order in which cases are called. When a case is called, the individual should acknowledge it and step to the podium in front of the Administrative Hearing Officer’s bench. The hearing begins immediately and individuals are given an opportunity to present testimony and evidence. All testimony is given under oath and recorded. The ticket, complaint, or notice of violation may be enough evidence to prove the Village’s case.
By law, the Village representative who issued the ticket, complaint, or notice of violation is not required to appear in court. The ticket, complaint, or notice of violation must properly cite several pieces of information, including the date, time, and location of the offenses, the Ordinance violated, and the identity of the person named.
Anyone has the right to tell the Administrative Hearing Officer his/her side of the story. This includes using witnesses and physical evidence such as bills, receipts, photos, or graphs. That presentation must deal specifically with the alleged violation being heard. The Village may retain all documents presented as evidence, and they will not be returned. There are no public defenders and no right to a jury in administrative hearings. Audio and video equipment, newspapers, magazines, food, drink, and chewing gum are not allowed in the hearing room. Disruptive people will be asked to leave the room and risk having their cases heard without them.
Decision by an Administrative Hearing Officer
After the Administrative Hearing Officer views the evidence and hears the respondent, the Administrative Hearing Officer will make a determination. If he/she finds the individual liable, fines penalties, and costs may be imposed according to the guidelines set forth in the Village Code. The Administrative Hearing Officer’s decision is a written document provided to the individual at the end of the hearing. To avoid a late fee, liable persons should make payments to the Finance Department on the date of the hearing. Acceptable forms of payment include MasterCard, Visa, personal check, cash, and/or money order. Anyone who disagrees with the Administrative Hearing Officer’s decision has 35 days to appeal the decision to the Circuit Court of Cook County in Skokie, Illinois.