The Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court is a Constitutional Office. While the Clerk is elected on a County wide basis, it is not a county office as defined by the Illinois Constitution. It is a non-judicial office of the Judicial Branch of State government. The duties are set forth by Statute, Rules of the Supreme Court and Local Circuit Court Rules.
The Clerk is required to attend all sessions of Court, keep and preserve all records and files of the Court, issue process as required by law, and is the Keeper of the Seal of the Court.
The Circuit Court, under the Illinois Constitution, is the trial level court. It handles every type of case from a parking ticket to a murder case, from Small Claims to a multi-million dollar personal injury suit, and from adoption to the probate of an estate.
In 2015, the Circuit Clerk’s Office processed approximately 671 cases in its Civil Division, while the Traffic and Criminal Division of the office processed approximately 5,101 traffic, misdemeanor or felony matters.
The Circuit Clerk’s Office collected and disbursed over $2,000,000.00 in fines and fees in 2015. This money was distributed to the County, Municipalities and various State Agencies.
The Jo Daviess County Circuit Clerk’s office is proud of its modernized record-keeping systems. Its computer system has improved the efficiency and services in the Clerk’s office. Through the use of data processing, this office has met the challenge of an increased volume of paperwork at a minimal increase in costs.
The Circuit Clerk’s office handles over 1,000,000 documents each year and, with automation, has cut information retrieval time. Some of the documents filed in the Circuit Clerk’s office are wills, estates, guardianships and all court proceedings.
The Circuit Clerk’s office also helps with genealogical searches to local residents.