Lack of Space Drives Search for Branch Courtrooms

Because of population grown since the year 2000, McHenry County gets two new associate judges.

The selection process for these $171,000 jobs is in process. Twenty-nine lawyers have applied.

But now the County Board has to find a place to put two new judges.

Space is tight in the courthouse. You know government expands to fill all room available, a variation of Parkinson’s Law, I think.

So, what to do?

It appears that the County Board is about to do something logical, something that is should have done at least a decade ago.

What’s that?

Open branch courthouse in the population center of the county, southeastern McHenry County.

And, while most of Woodstock is in the southeastern McHenry County, the Courthouse is in the northern half of McHenry County. I refer to its inconvenient location as “the Hebron site.”

Crystal Lake City Hall is a potential site for a branch courthouse. One might think cities would be competing for a branch courthouse, hoping those with tickets would stay and do some shopping.

Court is already conducted in Crystal Lake’s City Council Chamber. It’s called Administrative Court and is a way the Home Rule City of Crystal Lake can extract money from people without sharing any with county government.

But that court certainly proves Crystal Lake has an adequate courtroom.

I see no reason that the Algonquin Village Board room wouldn’t work either.

Or the Huntley Village Board room. It was certainly big enough to hold close to 200 folks mainly interested in high tolls to fill their wallets.

So, move traffic court to the cities where the tickets have been written.

When I called the Crystal Lake City Manager’s Office I was told no inquiry has so far been made.

So, if you have an empty room that might work as a courtroom, raise your hand. You might get some rent for a room that otherwise might remain empty.

Oh, yes. Might be good to have plenty of parking.


Lack of Space Drives Search for Branch Courtrooms — 7 Comments

  1. Cal, Cal, Cal. Expanding government in a time of recession? Not prudent.

  2. Certainly sounds like saving taxpayers money, as well as holding court accessible to more people. I’m confused with what “concernced” has commented. Using branch courts isn’t “expanding government”, it’s sharing government/taxpayer resources, such as buildings, board rooms, etc., that are rarely used during the day.

  3. Why go into individual city hall buildings? Why not go into some of the township buildings instead as there are fewer of them and they overlap village boundaries? The new Grafton Township building would be a perfect venue… oh wait – nevermind.

  4. Thanks for my first good laugh of the day, Chef Boyardee.

    I imagine there would be room at the new Huntley Village Hall, however.

  5. @seenitall:
    Go to the “Courthouse” after 10:00 AM and you will see all of the courtrooms deserted unless there is a jury trial in progress. Neither the lawyers nor the judges want to work “late.” There is NO DOUGHT the this is an underused facility. Our lazy judicial system needs a good, swift kick in the tush.

  6. Concerned, just nailed it, but this is a story that will never get out there.

  7. Also, Woodstock and Algonquin have “administrative courts” and they are as about as Kangaroo as you can get …. but they make insane money …. Example case … 7 teenagers in a van, one can of beer, they are all charged with possession at $500 a pop … Yep, that’s $3,500 an arrest! Strong work Woodstock!

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