Board approves $25 court filing fee
Expected $2 million in revenue will help fund new courthouse
“It’s a user fee for people who are accessing court services,” said Will County Board Speaker Jim Moustis (R-Frankfort). “This money will go toward building a much-needed new courthouse that can accommodate the continuing growth of Will County.”
When evaluating the need for space, a preliminary engineering study done by the county resulted in a proposed 400,000-square-foot facility with 42 courtrooms. Will County has 36 judges who handle 80,000 cases annually. The proposed judicial complex will house judges and numerous other departments including court clerk, state’s attorney, public defender, court administration, jury commission, court reporters, the probation department and the sheriff.
According to Will County Chief Judge Richard Schoenstedt, “Although the fee will only cover about 15 percent of the total cost, this is one step of many that will lead us to a new facility that is very much needed by the county.”
The City of Joliet has indicated that the judicial complex is vital to the city’s revitalization plan. The county has purchased the First Midwest Bank building at 50 W. Jefferson Street. The new courthouse could eventually be built on this parcel, which is across the street from the existing courthouse at 14 W. Jefferson St.
Will County Finance Committee Chairman Mike Fricilone (R-Homer Glen) said the fees are “Small steps and certainly a start to accumulating the funds needed for our courthouse.”
“This fee is one step in a comprehensive process,” said Will County Judicial Chair Darren Bennefield (R-
Aurora). “We will seek input from the public with the goal of building a complex for the people of Will County
that will serve them, and justice, for years to come.”