If you're slapped with a parking ticket in Bartlett, you often have to travel to the Cook County circuit court branch in Rolling Meadows to challenge your case.
After talks with other area departments, Bartlett police want the village to handle cases involving minor village offenses locally, a move that would speed up decisions and bring more convenience to residents, officials say.
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An administrative hearing officer would preside over monthly proceedings and would have the power to hand down penalties like fines and community service, but not jail time. The village also would no longer have to share a portion of proceeds from fines with the county, where cases can drag on for months, officials say.
"To overburden them with citizens who could just be charged locally -- it's better for the whole system," Police Chief Kent Williams said. "It's better for the citizen."
Curfew, truancy, and health and building code citations are the types of cases that would move through a village adjudication system. Drivers ticketed with moving violations would still be handled by courts in Cook, DuPage or Kane counties (the village's borders fall into all three).
"This is not an opportunity to try and make more arrests, to write more tickets or anything," Trustee Eric Shipman said. "This is just a better way of processing what is generally the same number of arrests and tickets."
The hearings would likely take place at village hall, 228 S. Main St.
The village board is expected to vote on a measure paving the way for the adjudication process at its next board meeting. Then, Mayor Kevin Wallace would appoint a hearing officer, who must be an attorney licensed in the state for at least three years. Trustees would have to approve his pick.