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Wednesday, August 9, 2023

New Law Gives Non-Home Rule Municipalities Authority to Adopt Administrative Adjudication System

The General Assembly recently enacted Public Act 103-0260 to expand the authority of non-home rule municipalities to adopt administrative adjudication hearing systems. In the past, this power was reserved to home rule municipalities. Administrative hearing systems can be a cost effective and efficient method for municipalities to pursue local ordinance and code violations. There are a few violations that cannot be adjudicated through a local administrative hearing system such as moving vehicle offenses under the Illinois Vehicle Code, among others.

In order to operate a local administrative hearing system, a municipality must first adopt an ordinance establishing the system and outlining the municipal code violations that will be adjudicated through the system. The ordinance establishing the adjudication system must include due process provisions providing for advance notice and the opportunity for a hearing. Parties must be provided notice of a violation in a manner reasonably calculated to give them actual notice, including, as appropriate, personal service, service by mail, or service by posting on the property where the violation is found. The notice of violation must describe the nature of the alleged code violation, the date of the hearing, penalties for failure to appear at the hearing, and the jurisdiction under which the hearing will be held. The party may be represented by an attorney at the hearing and has the ability to present witnesses and cross-examine opposing witnesses. Adjudication hearings are presided over by a hearing officer appointed by the municipality who is an Illinois state licensed attorney who has practiced for at least three years and who has completed a formal training on rules of procedure and the subject area of the ordinance violations that will be adjudicated. 

Adopting an administrative hearing system under this Act does not prevent a municipality from using other methods of enforcement.

This Act takes effect on January 1, 2024.

Post Authored by Megan Mack, Ancel Glink


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