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NCJ Number: 64349 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: SHORT HISTORY OF THE ILLINOIS JUDICIAL SYSTEMS
Author(s): D F ROLEWICK
Corporate Author: Illinois Administrative Office of the Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 52
Sponsoring Agency: Allstate Foundation, Allstate Insurance Co
Northbrook, IL 60062
Illinois Administrative Office of the Courts
Springfield, IL 62706
Illinois Bar Foundation
Springfield, IL 62710
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE ILLINOIS JUDICIAL SYSTEM FROM THE LATE 1600'S TO THE PRESENT IS TRACED; COURT STRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION, STATUTORY MANDATES, AND SOCIAL IMPORTANCE OF THE SYSTEM ARE EMPHASIZED.
Abstract: PRIOR TO THE FIRST EUROPEAN EXPEDITIONS INTO ILLINOIS IN 1673, INDIAN TRIBAL CODES OF CONDUCT COMPRISED A SIMPLY STRUCTURED JUDICIAL SYSTEM. TRIBAL LEADERS PERFORMED THE LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL ACTIVITIES NECESSITATED BY COMMUNCAL LIFE. IN 1778, GEORGE ROGERS CLARK TOOK POSSESSION OF ILLINOIS COUNTY FOR THE REPUBLIC OF VIRGINIA. HE INTENDED TO MAINTAIN THE ENGLISH COURT SYSTEM; HOWEVER, IT QUICKLY BECAME NECESSARY TO ALTER THE PLAN AND THE FIRST ILLINOIS JUDGES WERE ELECTED FOR EACH OF THE SEVEN MAJOR SETTLEMENTS. AFTER VIRGINIA RELINQUISHED CONTROL OF ILLINOIS, A MORE FORMAL COURT SYSTEM WAS ESTABLISHED WITH THE FORMATION OF COURTS OF COMMON PLEAS, THE COURT OF GENERAL QUARTER SESSIONS, PROBATE COURTS, AND JUSTICES OF THE PEACE OFFICES. IN 1818, THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM FOR THE NEW STATE OF ILLINOIS WAS DESCRIBED IN ARTICLE IV OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION. A SUPREME COURT OF FOUR JUDGES WAS ESTABLISHED. BY 1838 THERE WERE NINE CIRCUIT COURTS AND NINE CIRCUIT COURTS JUDGES IN THE STATE. ILLINOIS' GROWTH FROM A RURAL AREA TO A MIXED RURAL-URBAN STATE NECESSITATED A MORE ADEQUATE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. AN ENTIRELY NEW CONSTITUTION MANDATING A MORE RESPONSIVE SYSTEM WAS WRITTEN IN 1870. THE SYSTEM MANDATED HEREIN REMAINED THE LAW OF ILLINOIS UNTIL THE ADOPTION OF THE 1970 CONSTITUTION. THE STATE WAS DIVIDED INTO SEVEN DISTRICTS FOR ELECTION OF THE SUPREME COURT JUDGES. THE CONSTITUTION ALSO PROVIDED FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF APPELLATE COURTS AS WELL AS CIRCUIT COURTS. PROBATE COURTS WERE SUBSEQUENTLY ESTABLISHED, AND PROVISIONS WERE MADE FOR THE REMOVAL OF JUDGES FROM OFFICE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES. THE JUDICIAL ARTICLE OF 1964 REMEDIED INSTANCES OF OVERLAPPING JURISDICTION AND CONFUSION AS TO ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY IN COURT MANAGEMENT. NUMEROUS CHANGES WERE EFFECTED BY THE 1970 CONSTITUTION, INCLUDING A DECREASE IN THE SUPREME COURT'S MANDATORY APPELLATE JURISDICTION. APPENDIXES, MAPS, AND A BIBLIOGRAPHY ARE INCLUDED IN THE WORK. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Court structure; Court system; Illinois; Judges; State courts
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