What is an Administrative Hearing?
An Administrative Hearing, also referred to as local adjudication, is an alternative to the Cook County Circuit Court process for municipal code violations. Administrative Hearings are an expedient, convenient, and less costly opportunity to hear cases at the local level.
During each hearing, the Village must establish a prima facie case meaning it must set forth the necessary allegations that a violation occurred. If the Hearing Officer determines the Village has not presented a prima facie case, the case may be dismissed. If the Hearing Officer determines the Village has presented a prima facie case, the respondent will have an opportunity to present a defense. The Hearing Officer will issue a written order stating whether or not the Village demonstrated the case. At these hearings, the Village's burden of proof is "by a preponderance of the evidence", which means the Hearing Officer must believe that the alleged violation(s) "more likely than not" occurred.
If found liable, penalties may be imposed as set forth in the Annual Fee Ordinance. Penalties may include fines, paying restitution, and/or an administrative court cost. If found not liable, the case will be dismissed and no penalties will be imposed.
Appeals can be made to the Circuit Court of Cook County within 35 days.
Cases heard at an Administrative Hearing will include:
- Non-moving traffic violations (i.e. parking and vehicle sticker tickets)
- Local ordinance violations (i.e. shoplifting and cannabis cases)
- Nuisance and code enforcement cases
- Fire, building, and health code infractions
- Unlicensed businesses
- Water, sewer, and stormwater issues
- Underage curfew, tobacco, and alcohol violation
State law violations, including moving violations, will continue to be resolved at the Cook County Circuit Court.
Administrative Hearings Logistics
Administrative Hearings will take place in the Board Room at Village Hall, 1225 Cedar Lane. Respondents are encouraged to bring all evidence (photos, receipts, permits, etc.) and witnesses to a hearing. The Village will have a representative at each hearing to present its case. You may represent yourself, hire an attorney to represent you, or, in some cases, have an authorized representative attend the hearing your behalf. Administrative Hearings are open to the public.
I Received a Citation. What Do I Do Now?
The citation will include 1) the alleged violation(s); 2) the date, time, and place the alleged violation(s) took place; 3) your options with regard to payment, compliance, mandatory appearance at a hearing, or the opportunity to request a hearing.
Appearance at a hearing is not required for all citations. If you are required to appear at a hearing, the citation will state the date, time, and place of your hearing.
If a citation is ignored or the respondent fails to appear, the Hearing Officer can enter a default judgement and, as necessary, penalties. Within 21 days of a default judgement, respondents may file a written motion to set aside the order. The motion must provide good reason for not responding to the citation. If granted, respondents will be given a new hearing date.
If appearance is not required but you would like to contest the citation, you can request a hearing in person at Village Hall.
Payments are paid directly to the Village of Northbrook. Payments can be made in person to the Village Hall cashier or by mail to: Village of Northbrook, 1225 Cedar Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062.