Two Cents re Courts Sought

A press release from the McHenry County Circuit Court:

Illinois Circuit Courts Survey to Evaluate Access and Confidence in Court System

The Supreme Court of Illinois has authorized a statewide court user survey of the Illinois Circuit Courts. The Strategic Planning Committee of the Illinois Judicial Conference, in cooperation with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, has developed a survey that will ask court users to provide information about their personal experiences with local court systems.

McHenry County Courthouse

McHenry County Courthouse

The term “court user” applies to all courthouse users, including attorneys, litigants, witnesses, jurors, students, media, and members of the public who come to the courthouse for any reason.

The survey will enable each circuit court to assess the quality of services provided by that court.

Such matters may include users’ views on how well they were treated, how easily they were able to obtain information, whether they felt they were heard in court, whether they perceive the result(s) of their case(s) as fair, and other subjects. The survey forms will be in English, Spanish, and Polish.

Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court Rita Garman said, “Our goal is to measure court users’ opinions and gain insight into how courts are perceived. It is the court’s obligation to be accountable and to promote justice in a fair, equitable, and expeditious manner.

We, therefore, look forward to the results of the survey.

After the surveys are compiled and reviewed, we can then decide what action, if any, is necessary to prove and promote the public’s trust and confidence in the court system.”

Justice Carol Pope of the Fourth District Appellate Court, who chairs the Strategic Planning Committee, has advised that survey forms will be distributed to all chief judges across the state.

Each chief judge will decide which days between April 13 and May 1 surveys will be conducted in their respective circuits and courthouses. Chief Judge Michael J. Sullivan has announced that surveys will be conducted at the McHenry County Government Center on Tuesday, April 14; Friday, April 17; and Monday, April 20.

Designated Court Administration staff will be available in the courthouse to hand out and collect the surveys from court users before they leave the courthouse.

The survey form does not ask for the identity of the person completing it and all responses will be kept confidential.

The mission of the 22nd Judicial Circuit of McHenry County is to be the guardian of life, liberty and property to all seeking access to justice, by adhering to practices that ensure equality, fairness and confidence in the judiciary.

The survey being used is very similar to the Access and Fairness Survey developed by the National Center for State Courts, which has been used on multiple occasions in the Circuit Court of the 22nd Judicial Circuit of McHenry County to measure many of the same questions.

This is the first time that such a survey has been implemented on a statewide basis.

For more information regarding the survey, please contact Dan Wallis, Trial Court Administrator, at 815-334-4385.

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Too bad it is not available online.


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