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Illinois State Courts

Courts – State Courts – Illinois

Highest Court

The highest court in Illinois is the Supreme Court of Illinois.  The Supreme Court consists of 7 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Discretional original jurisdiction in revenue, mandamus, prohibition, and habeas corpus. (2) Appeals as a matter of right from Circuit Court when death sentence imposed and from Appellate Court when federal or state constitutional question arises from the first time or on certificate by the Appellate Court. (3) Other appeals from Circuit and Appellate Court as provided by Supreme Court Rule. (4) Redistricting of General Assembly. (5) Ability of Governor to serve or resume office, admissions, and discipline of attorneys.

Intermediate Courts

Appellate Court
The Appellate Court consists of 52 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Appeals as a matter of right except in cases appealable directly to the Supreme Court or from judgments of acquittal in criminal cases. (2) Direct review of administrative actions as provided by law.

General Courts

Circuit Court
The Circuit Courts consists of 472 judges and 362 associate judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Exclusive jurisdiction and small claims up to $2,500. (2) Exclusive criminal jurisdiction. (3) Exclusive traffic/other violations jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Retirement of Judge
At the age of 75, all Supreme Court, Appellate Court, Circuit Court, and Associate Court judges are automatically retired at the expiration of the term in which the judge attains the said age.  The judge should conclude all matters pending unless the Supreme Court makes provisions for the disposition of such matters. (705 ILCS 55/1; from Ch. 37, par. 23.71)

Official Court Reporter Duties
Concerning an arraignment  in which the accused upon conviction shall/may be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary, the official court report is to take full stenographic notes of the proceeding.  These notes shall include the plea or change of plea by the accused, the receipt and entry by the court, the admonishment given by the court, the inquiries made by the court on the matters required by Rules 401 and 402, and the answer of the accused. Upon court rule or order, the notes shall be transcribed by the reporter and filed in the case to become part of the common law record. (705 ILCS 75/1) (from Ch. 37, par. 661)

Education Programs for Judges
Programs to educate Illinois Circuit and Associate Circuit judges of the techniques and methods to use for reducing or eliminating the trauma of children testifying as a witnesses or a victim in criminal sexual offense case shall be established by the Illinois Supreme Court.(705 ILCS 80/1) (from Ch. 37, par. 801)

Prohibition (Section 1 and 2)
It is unlawful for a person that is not an attorney at law to directly or indirectly solicit for money, fee, commission, or other type remuneration, a demand or claim for personal injuries or death for the purpose of bringing forth or settling an action. (705 ILCS 210/1) (from Ch. 13, par. 15)
Any person that violates Section 1, shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor  (705 ILCS 210/2) (from Ch. 13, par. 16)

Secrecy of Jury
A judge has the authority to prohibit the release of the identity of the members of a jury to the public, if the judge believes that there is a reasonable threat of harm to the jurors.(705 ILCS 315/2)

Medical Fees of State Inmate Escapees Act.
Concerning the injuries due to the process of recapturing an inmate of a controlled charitable, penal, or reformatory institution, a claim is filed with the Department of Human Services or the Department of Correction for payment of medical fees, charges, and/or hospitalization.  The Department of Human Services or the Department of Correction shall conduct an investigation to determine the cause and nature of the injuries sustained, whether proper care was given under the circumstances, and whether the fees or charges where reasonable.  The Department shall forward its findings to the Court of Claims. (705 ILCS 510/1) (from Ch. 37, par. 439.25)

Inside Illinois State Courts