Archive for the 'Court Records' Category

Online Case Info Q&A

Have you ever looked up a case on judici.com, or some other site containing online case information, and wondered what the different words and acronyms  meant? (For example, what do the acronyms  “SA” and “PTR” mean?)  If so, this post is for you.  Post your questions in the comments section of this post and I will do my best to answer them.  Please be advised, however, that all comments on this site are moderated, so there will be a delay between the time you submit your comments and the time they appear on this site.

Jeremy Richey

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Update:

Since the comments on this post are now closed, please e-mail your questions to me at jr -at- jeremyrichey.com.  Please reference this blog post in your e-mail.

Court Information in Your Inbox

Judici, the entity that puts case information online for Coles County and 49 other Illinois counties, recently came out with a nifty new feature that makes it easy to monitor a case.  Judici calls the feature Judici Case Watch.  A user of Judici Case Watch will get an e-mail from Judici whenever a court uploads new information about a case the user is monitoring.  It costs $2.99 to subscribe to a case.

Subscribing to a case is easy.  First, search for a case you are looking for.  Second, click on the case number and then look for the following graphic.

When you find the graphic, click on it and then complete the checkout process. It’s that easy.

Now, who would be interested in this feature?  Off the top of my head, I think it would be useful to defendants, their family members, and victims.  For example, if a defendant uses this service, he will know when his attorney or the prosecution files a motion or other court document.  If family members use this service, they will be notified of the defendant’s next court date.   If a victim subscribes to the service, she will know when the case resolves and what the resolution is.

Jeremy Richey

Post Updated: 3/20/09

Erase Your Online Criminal History

If you read the last several posts on this blog, you will become aware that there is much publicly available information on criminal defendants that is only a few keystrokes away. If you have a criminal history on Judici or a site similar to Judici, you may be able to make that information disappear from the public eye. This can be done through the expungement and sealing processes. But, please note that not all cases are eligible to be expunged or sealed, but many certainly are. Click here for more information on expungement and sealing.

How to Understand Material on Judici — Part 4

The post will focus on the dispositions section of a case on Judici. You can reach this section by clicking the word “Dispositions” after pulling up a case. This section is about the final result in a case. You may encounter one or more of the following terms in any given case.

Supervision

This means that a defendant entered a guilty plea but did not receive a conviction. If the defendant complies with all the terms of his supervision, he will be successfully discharged from supervision without a conviction on his record. Furthermore, after a certain amount of time, he may be eligible to expunge (erase) his case.

Conditional Discharge

This means that a defendant received a conviction and is being monitored by the court, however, he does not have a probation officer. The state’s attorney will file a petition to revoke the defendant’s conditional discharge if he fails to do what he was ordered to do, or if he commits another crime. If the state’s attorney proves the petition or the defendant admits the petition, the defendant will be re-sentenced on the case.

Probation

The defendant received a conviction on his criminal record and he will be monitored by the probation department for a period of time.

Nolle Prosequi

The case was dismissed by the state’s attorney, however, the state’s attorney can re-file the case as long as the statute of limitations (the period of time in which a case must be filed) has not run.

Dismiss

The state’s attorney dismissed the case and the state’s attorney cannot re-file the case.

DOC

The court ordered the defendant to serve time in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Medical/Mental Treat

The defendant must go get a mental health evaluation from a licensed counselor and comply with any treatment the counselor recommends.

Drug Treatment

The defendant must go get a drug evaluation from a licensed counselor and comply with any treatment the counselor recommends.

Alcohol Treatment

The defendant must go get an alcohol evaluation from a licensed counselor and comply with any treatment the counselor recommends.

Public Service

The defendant must preform a certain number of hours of community service work.

Jail

The defendant received either actual or stayed time in the county jail. The time is stayed time unless the words “In Force” appear in the corresponding status section of the table.

Related Post: Online Case Info Q&A

How to Understand Material on Judici — Part 3

A helpful feature on Judici for a defendant is the fines-and-fees feature. This feature allows a defendant to see how much money he still owes on a case. (After pulling up a case on Judici, the “Fines & Fees” link appears towards the top of the page. Click that link.) The most important information on the fines-and-fees page is the total line. That line shows the total due, the total paid, and the balance owed. There is a bunch of other information on this page, but most of it is not likely to be important to a defendant. (This other information shows how the court costs break down.) One line, besides the total line, that a defendant might want to pay attention to is the line for probation fees, which vary from case to case. Probation fees are in addition to the fine and court costs a defendant must pay. In many cases, there are no probation fees and this line will not be present.

Related Post: Online Case Info Q&A

How to Understand Material on Judici — Part 2

On Judici, you can find clerk docket entries by clicking the “history” link after you have pulled up a case.  The history section can be a bit mysterious if you don’t understand the jargon and acronyms used. In this post, you will become familiar with some of the more common acronyms and words used in criminal cases on Judici, but, by no means is this an exhaustive discussion of terms that you might encounter.

In this segment, I have posted a clerk docket entry (modified from a real misdemeanor case) and provided commentary on it. Please note that I have added numbers inside brackets (for example, [1]) in the below material — my commentary follows and corresponds with the inserted numbers.

02/06/2008 [1] ASA [2] Jones present. Deft [3] present with Atty Darrow [4]. Deft enters vol. GP [5] to both counts [6]. Pursuant to plea, Deft sentenced to 2 years probation, $1,250 F&C [7], $60.52 Restitution [8], undergo an alcohol/ drug eval within 30 days and comply with rec. treatment [9], 90 days in CCS&DC stayed pending compliance [10], and not be present at any Walmart Store. Factual basis established [11]. Judgment entered. Judgment of Restitution entered and on file. Deft ordered to report to probation upon leaving the courtroom.
01/09/2008 ASA Jones present. Deft present with Atty Darrow and provided a copy of the Information [12]. Deft waives formal reading, enters plea of NG, and requests JT [13]. Status set Feb. 6, 2008 at 10 am. DOTA [14].
12/07/2007 Entry of Appearance filed. Motion For Discovery filed. [15]
12/05/2007 Information filed. (2 Counts)
  1. This docket entry is in reverse chronological order.  In other words, the newer material appears at the top of the page and the older at the bottom.
  2. Assistant State’s Attorney.  An assistant state’s attorney is a criminal prosecutor who works for the elected state’s attorney.
  3. Defendant
  4. In this case, attorney Darrow is the defendant’s attorney.
  5. The defendant is entering a voluntary guilty plea. Instead of going through a trial and a sentencing hearing, the defendant decided to admit his guilt.  He will receive the sentence he negotiated for.
  6. In this case, two counts (or two different ways the defendant violated the criminal law) were filed against the defendant.
  7. Fine and court costs
  8. Restitution is money paid to a victim to cover the victim’s losses resulting from the crime.
  9. This defendant is required to visit an alcohol and drug counselor, obtain an evaluation, and complete any treatment recommended by the counselor.
  10. This defendant received a 90-day jail sentence, however, he will not have to serve it if he stays in continual compliance with his probation order.  The jail time is stayed (suspended) for the time being.  If the judge receives a bad report from this defendant’s probation officer, the judge can order the defendant to serve some of (or the entire) 90-day jail sentence.
  11. The State gave a brief factual summary of the actions of the defendant and the judge agreed that those facts supported the charges filed against the defendant.
  12. In many criminal cases, the Information is a document the State files with the court.  It contains the charge or charges against the defendant.  This document is one way that a criminal case can get started in the court system.
  13. At this point in time, the defendant pleaded not guilty and requested a jury trial.  This is very common at this stage in a criminal case.
  14. The defendant was ordered to appear in court on February 6, 2008 at 10 a.m.
  15. These are documents filed by a defense attorney.  The first lets the court and the state’s attorney know that the defendant is represented by counsel.  The second seeks information possessed by the State about the defendant’s case.

Related Post: Online Case Info Q&A

How to Understand Material on Judici — Part 1

In my last post, I wrote about Judici.  Now that you know that it exists, you may want help understanding it.

This post will focus on the case numbers found on Judici. As far as criminal and traffic case numbers are concerned, your primary focus needs to be on the following letters: CF, CM, TR, DT, CV, and OV.

CF

If a case number contains these letters, then the case was filed in the criminal-felony division.  For example, “2008CF999” would be a typical felony case number on Judici.  The “2008” part of the number tells you that the case was filed in the year 2008.  The “999” tells you that this particular case was 999th felony case filed in the year 2008.

Felonies carry the most severe criminal penalties.  They are the crimes that can land a person in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

CM

If a case number contains these letters, then the case was filed in the criminal-misdemeanor division.  Misdemeanors are generally less serious than felonies.  A misdemeanor conviction can result in a person serving time in the county jail, however, that person cannot be sent to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

TR

If a case number contains these letters, then the case was filed in the traffic division.  Traffic offenses can be petty (fine only) offenses or misdemeanors.

DT

If a case number contains these letters, then the case was filed as a DUI — the defendant was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

CV

If a case number contains these letters, then the case filed was filed as a conservation violation.  When you read the word “conservation,” think things like fishing licenses, wildlife, and game wardens.  These cases are often petty offenses, but not always.

OV

If a case number contains these letters, then the case was filed as either a city or county ordinance violation.  These cases often times could have been filed as state charges, but the police chose to have them prosecuted in ordinance court rather than state court.  A good example is underage drinking.  All underage-drinking charges can be filed in state court, but, a large number of them end up being filed as city-ordinance violations rather than state misdemeanors.

Related Post: Online Case Info Q&A


BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Jeremy J. Richey, Attorney at Law
© Jeremy J. Richey and The East Central Illinois Criminal Law & DUI Weblog, 2008-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.