Welcome to the Ogle County Circuit Clerk's office
The mission of the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Ogle County is to serve the citizens of Ogle County and the participants in the Judicial System in a timely, efficient, and ethical manner. In accordance with statutes, all service's, information, and court records will be provided with courtesy and cost efficiency.
Duty of the Clerks
Illinois state statutes state that the Duty of the Court Clerk is as follows:
The clerks shall attend the sessions of their respective courts, preserve all the files and papers thereof, make, keep, and preserve complete records of all the proceedings and determinations thereof, except in cases otherwise provided by law, and do and perform all other duties pertaining to their offices, as may be required by law or the rules and orders of their courts respectively.
Areas of Responsibility
In order to efficiently and effectively manage these duties, the areas of responsibility have been divided into three primary divisions which are Traffic and Criminal, Civil, and Administration. In each area, the Chief Deputy is assigned to help facilitate communications of goals and objectives between the Circuit Clerk and the Deputy Clerks. The Circuit Clerk and the Chief Deputies meet regularly to review the current workloads, supplies, budget needs, and any other problems that may develop. The full communications cycle is completed at the monthly departmental meetings, which is attended by all the employees of the Circuit Clerk's office along with the Circuit Clerk. At this time, all issues have a format to be discussed and everyone can address any issue. Some key issues have been courtroom security, office automation, safety and first aid, Judicial Center Security, and Customer Satisfaction training. These meetings have been beneficial to everyone and will continue.
The Circuit Clerk has many different "constituencies' to serve including the Judges, the County Board, States Attorney and Public Defender, Court Services, Law Enforcement, the Ogle County Bar Association, Social Services Agencies, Civil Litigants, Criminal Defendants, Witnesses, Jurors, and the Voters. They have all come to expect world class professionalism in the Circuit Clerk's office. To maintain this high level of professionalism, the Circuit Clerk's office continually reviews laws, policies and procedures, staffing requirements, technology, and budgeting requirements to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
Until the end of 2005 the Circuit Clerk has been located on three floors of the 1890 courthouse, the Morgue building, and Child Support was located in the Health Administration Building. The Traffic division was located on the second floor, the Civil and Criminal divisions were on the first floor, while the records retention area was located in the basement of the courthouse. This configuration of work space had some inherent problems. The logistics to serve three courts on the second floor, one on the third floor, and four separate service counters required a minimum of eight Deputy Clerks at all times. To facilitate lunches, sick or vacation days, breaks, customer requests for searches, and phone calls we moved employees to meet these needs. These moves were hampered by the volume of stairs and various buildings that existed in the past configuration of the Circuit Clerk's office. In the final days of FY2005, we were able to begin to occupy the new Judicial Center and much improvement was anticipated when it opened in 2005.
In January 1994, the Ogle County Circuit Clerk's office implemented an automated database for all divisions. The terminals are available in all courtrooms, Probation Office's States Attorney offices, and Public Access is available in the resource room. While implementation of this massive database had the usual "glitches", it has been a great step forward for the Ogle County Judicial System. Significant time savings for Civil, Child Support, and Accounting divisions have been realized. Additional cost savings were realized in 1998 when the Graduated Drivers License went into effect. A large manual reporting system would have been required if the Circuit Clerk's Office were not automated. Instead, the Automated Reporting System was made to comply with these additional requirements with no additional manpower needed.
Several new technologies were incorporated in 1999 through 2001 to continue to enhance customer services. These products include: Public Monitors in the courthouse lobby to help customers find their courtrooms, Automated Disposition Reporting to electronically file case outcomes with the Secretary of State, Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, and the Bureau of Investigation.
The Ogle County Circuit Clerk database is now available on the Internet. After clicking on the link, go to "search for case information" and follow the simple program. This feature has saved much time for all the people needing this information as well as being available at any time it is desired. Future projects include "e-filing" of court documents, and data transmissions directly from Law Enforcement Agencies (e-citation), and electronic collection and storage of demonstrative evidence.
In 2002, the Ogle County Circuit Clerk began to scan images of documents from most case types into the database so judges and Court Personnel could now view the court pleadings without retrieving the paper copy. The images can be viewed through the computer system by everyone at the same time., This system enhancement has proven to be a great labor saver only for the Circuit Clerk's office, but for the judges, Probation office, States Attorney, and the Public users of the court files. It has received much acclaim from the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts, the Illinois State Bar, local Attorneys, and other court system personnel. Contingencies from Greene County Wisconsin, Boone, Stephenson, DeKalb Counties as well as the 2nd Appellate Court, and the 17th Circuit judges have come to review our systems to see if it would work for them.
Since the Ogle County board dedicated the Judicial Center in 2005, several further enhancements were incorporated for electronic presentation and storage of evidence, record storage, and customer service. In August 2007, the first e-warrant in Illinois was processed thru the Ogle County Courts and are waiting for implementation by the Ogle County Sheriff. The Circuit Clerk Staff continue to actively review policy and procedures to ensure continued efficiency to the future.