|Financing the state court system is a shared responsibility of the state and the 102 counties of the state. Revenue to provide court services to the people of the state comes from a variety of sources: the state income tax, county property taxes, case filing fees, court-imposed fines and assessments, and other fees.
State government pays for the salaries, benefits,
and office expenses of supreme and appellate court
judges, and salaries and benefits of circuit court
judges. Effective July 1, 2012, judicial salaries, as
determined by the legislature, were: Supreme Court
justices, $211,228; appellate court judges, $198,805;
circuit court judges, $182,429; and associate judges,
$173,308. The state also pays for support staff of
supreme and appellate court judges, staff in other units
of the supreme and appellate courts, a small number
of other personnel in the circuit courts, and mandatory
arbitration staff in several counties. Part of the cost
of operating the mandatory arbitration program is
offset by fees paid by participants in the program.
During Calendar Year 2012, the arbitration filing and
rejection fees collected amounted to $5,739,518.
State funding for probation departments currently
covers approximately 2,600 probation personnel,
for which the counties receive partial salary
reimbursement on a monthly basis. At the present
time, state funding provides for about 22% of the
total cost of probation and court services in the state.
County governments pay part of the cost of financing
circuit court operations. Counties provide office and
courtroom space, maintenance, and support staff to
assist the circuit court judges. Circuit clerks collect
money to help pay for their operations and some court
operations. They also collect and disburse revenues
to help fund local and state government programs, as
The circuit clerk’s office in each county provides a
variety of court recordkeeping and financial accounting
services. Circuit clerks are elected for four-year terms
by the voters in each county. Circuit clerks, with help
from deputy clerks, attend sessions of the court,
preserve court files and papers, and maintain complete
records of all cases. Employees of the clerks’ offices are
appointed by and are accountable to the circuit clerk,
with the county board having budgetary authority.
During 2012, the total number of full-time employees
in all 102 circuit clerk offices was 3,367, assisted by a
total of 156 part-time employees. The cost of operating
all circuit clerks’ offices totaled $208,761,380 in 2012.
Revenue to pay for these court-related services comes
primarily from property taxes, filing fees, and court-ordered
fines and costs. Fines, fees and other costs
collected by circuit clerks are governed primarily by
statute and Supreme Court rule.
Revenue to Finance Local Improvements
Fees and court-ordered fines were collected in 2012 by
circuit clerks and earmarked for improvements in the
clerks’ offices and to help defray the cost to the county
of operating the courts at the local level.
|Court Document Storage Fund
is used for any costs relative to the storage of
|Court Automation Fund
is used to establish and maintain automated
systems for keeping court records.
|County Law Library Fund
helps defray the costs of maintaining a law
library in the county for judges, attorneys, and
|County Fund To Finance the Court System
is available from fees collected by circuit clerks
to help finance the court system in the county.
|Circuit Court Clerk Operations
and Administrative Fund
is used to offset costs incurred for collection
and disbursement of State and local funds.
The Administrative Office, the Supreme Court Clerk,
the Supreme Court Library, and the Clerks of the five
Appellate Districts are responsible for collecting certain
fees. Outstanding accounts receivable are normally
collected by the unit to which the account is owed.
Additionally, a small number of accounts receivable are
turned over to the State Comptroller’s offset system.
At the end of FY12, there were 97 claims due and
payable, totaling $664,220.36.
Revenue to Finance Other Programs
In addition to collecting fees for local improvements,
circuit clerks receive, account for, and distribute
millions of dollars to county governments, various local
governmental entities, and various state funds. Some of
the programs and dollars collected in 2012 by circuit
clerks are listed below:
Child Support and Maintenance: Court ordered
payments collected and distributed by Circuit
Clerks and the State Disbursement Unit.
Drug Treatment Fund: Court ordered drug
assessments are used to pay for treatment
programs for people addicted to alcohol,
cannabis, or controlled substances.
Violent Crime Victims Assistance: Court
ordered penalties in criminal and certain traffic
cases are used to support victim and witness
assistance centers throughout the state.
Trauma Center Fund: Fees collected in certain
traffic, DUI, and criminal cases are used to
support Illinois hospitals that are designated
as trauma centers.
Traffic and Criminal Conviction Surcharge: An additional penalty imposed in traffic and
criminal cases is used for training of law
enforcement and correctional officers.
Drivers Education Fund: Penalties and
forfeitures in offenses reportable to the
Secretary of State are used for driver education
programs in high schools. $4,533,371