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Legally – Related Websites For Cook County & Chicago, Illinois  

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Cook County Government Print Page

Cook County Government

Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 by an act of the Illinois State Legislature as the 54th county established in Illinois.  Cook County is an urban county in the upper northeastern section of the State of Illinois. Cook County contains 128 municipalities in its region, the most  well-known being the City of Chicago - which is the County seat where the central offices of Cook County are located.  

It is a home rule county pursuant to Article VII, Section 6 of the Illinois State Constitution and is governed by a 17-member Board of Commissioners who are elected from single-member districts. The Commissioners and a County Board President are elected to four-year terms by the citizens of the County.  

The City of Chicago and the suburban municipalities account for approximately 85% of the County's 946 square miles, while unincorporated areas make up the remaining 15%. The unincorporated areas of the County are under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.


Code Of  Ordinance of  Cook County, Illinois , including Zoning


Cook County Board of Commissioners

The Cook County Board of Commissioners is the legislative body of county government, and the President is the Board’s Chief Executive Officer. There are eleven additional Cook County governmental offices, run by their own, independently elected officials.

The Cook County Board has the authority to set policy, and pass ordinances & resolutions related to the responsibilities of county             government including approving certain county purchases, levying taxes and adopting the annual budget for the entire county government, including the budgets of the other independently elected county officials. For the unincorporated areas of the county the County Board also passes and enforces all regulatory ordinances on issues such as public health & safety and building & zoning.


Cook County Board of Commissioners RULES OF ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURE

The Board of Commissioners conducts its business at regularly held bi-monthly Board meetings as well as through its standing legislative committees and subcommittee.


Cook County Legislative Reference Service  -    Legislative Reference Services provides this online database of legislation introduced into the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Board of Commissioners. This searchable database includes both pending legislation and post-action legislation.


Cook County Board Meetings

Beginning with meetings in 2010, roll call votes are now available online. For years prior to 2010, roll call votes are detailed in the Post Board Action Agendas and the New Items Agendas


Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings

The Cook County Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) was established by Ordinance 09-O-03 on December 3, 2008, effective January 1, 2009. The DOAH began hearing cases in May 2009.

The Department was set up to provide expedient, independent and impartial hearings to citizens who are alleged to have violated a Cook County ordinance. The cases the Department of Administrative Hearings presides over are civil in nature and are not criminal proceedings. Many of these cases were previously heard by the Cook County Circuit Court.


Cook County Clerk Website

All records on final actions of the Cook County Board are housed with the Clerk of the Board. The Clerk of the Board records the    activity of the Cook County Board of Commissioners by preparing bi-weekly agendas and post-meeting reports and maintaining county board records.



Office of the Secretary of the Board

All records of items referred by the Board to its legislative committees or subcommittees are held by the Secretary to the Board. Any notice or report of a Committee’s action to be considered or taken on items in committee is prepared by the Secretary to the Board’s Office and are available for your review with the Secretary’s Office.

The Open Data Portal for Cook County  -  Cook County Register, County checkbook, searchable by payment amount, description, company name, and more.



    Selected Cook County Aministrative Offices

    Recorder of Deeds & Registrar of Titles

    The Office of the Recorder of Deeds records, stores and provides information that is accurate,legible, timely, and easily retrievable for public and private use. The office creates public records of land transactions as well as federal and State tax liens, articles of incorporation, and Uniform Commercial Code fillings.

    Frequently Asked Questions - Recording, Research, Forms, Other Documents .


    Cook County State's Attorney's Office  

      Cook County State's Attorney's Office is the second largest prosecutor's office in the nation, second only to Los Angeles County. The Assistant State’s Attorneys in the Office prosecute all misdemeanor and felony crimes committed in Cook County. The Office is divided into seven bureaus: Criminal Prosecutions, Juvenile Justice, Narcotics, Special Prosecutions, Civil Actions, Investigations and Administrative Services.


    Public Defender, Law Office of

      The Public Defender is appointed by the judge when an individual is not able to afford an attorney (55 ILCS 5/3-4006). A Public Defender should be available to individuals at the time of the first court appearance. The Public Defender provides legal representation in the areas of criminal, misdemeanor, juvenile justice, child protection, paternity, appeals, post-conviction and traffic cases.



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