Administrative Adjudication Hearings

Overview
The Village of Buffalo Grove’s Administrative Adjudication Program hears a wide range of cases involving violations of municipal ordinances that were once heard in the Cook or Lake County Circuit Court.

Hearings at Village Hall, 50 Raupp Blvd., expedite resolutions, reduce litigation expenses, and are more convenient for residents and visitors who wish to contest a ticket or other citation.  The information on this page merely summarizes procedures.

The complete rules and regulations, located in the Village of Buffalo Grove’s Municipal Code, are available for review on the village website.

Types of Cases Heard
An administrative hearing is a civil, not a criminal proceeding.  Cases are punishable by fines and a variety of other penalties, excluding jail time.  Under the administrative hearing system, an Administrative Hearing Officer, not the Village entity that issued the ticket, complaint or notice of violation, hears cases.  Law Judges, all of whom are experienced attorneys, are required to undergo state-mandated training to be professional, fair, and courteous.

The Administrative Adjudication Program hears, or may hear in the future, the following types of cases:
  • Police issued tickets
  • Parking tickets
  • Unlicensed businesses
  • Village recycling violations
  • Zoning violations
  • Animal leash violations
  • Compliance tickets
For more information about the adjudication program, please e-mail hearings@vbg.org.  This email address may not be used to contest a parking ticket.

Hearings Procedure

A Village inspector, parking enforcement officer, investigator, or police officer may issue a notice of violation.  Once you receive a notice of violation, you have the option to pay the associated fine immediately or appear at a hearing before the Hearing Officer.  You or your representative must be present on the date and time specified.  If English is not your first language, you must bring someone to assist you.

Who Must Appear
The individual contesting charges may represent him or herself, hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense or, in some instances, have an authorized representative attend the hearing on your own behalf.  Your representative may be an employee or agent.

In certain police cases, such damage to village property or disorderly conduct, the accused must appear in person, without exception.  A continuance is not allowed unless the Hearing Officer finds good cause.  Lack of preparation is not considered good cause.

If you or your representative fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, or if you do not respond to a parking citation issued to you within 14 days, you are in default, and may be found liable in your absence.  You will then be subject to any fines or penalties.

Attending a Hearing
Hearings are conducted in the Council Chambers at Village Hall, 50 Raupp Blvd.  A clerk outside the hearing room will have a docket of hearings scheduled for that day.  All hearings start promptly at the time indicated on the notice.

It is recommended that you arrive in the hearing room a few minutes early.  Once you enter the hearing room, please sit down until your case is called.  Cell phone usage, audio, and video equipment, newspapers, magazines, food, drink, and chewing gum are not allowed in the hearing room.  Proper conduct must be maintained at all times.  Disruptive people will be removed from the hearing room and risk having their cases heard without them.

The Decision
After both sides have been heard, the Hearing Officer will determine whether you are liable based on the preponderance evidence presented.  Simply, it is more likely that not the violation took place in the manner attested to by the village.  If you are found liable, fines, penalties and costs may be imposed according to the guidelines set forth in the Village Code.

The Hearing Officer’s decision will be in the form of a written document you receive at the end of your hearing.  Please ensure you receive a copy of your decision.  All fines are payable to the Village of Buffalo Grove.  Payments can be made at the Finance Department near the entrance of Village Hall.  If you disagree with the decision, you have 35 days to appeal the decision to the Circuit Court of Cook County.

FAQ

Q.) What is an Administrative Adjudication Hearing?
A.) An administrative adjudication hearing is a civil, not criminal proceeding.  Cases filed for a hearing  are punished by fines and a variety of other penalties, excluding jail time.

Q.) What type of cases is heard by an Administrative Hearing?
A.) The Administrative Adjudication Program hears, or may hear in the future, the following types of cases:
  • Police issued tickets
  • Parking tickets
  • Unlicensed businesses
  • Village recycling violations
  • Zoning violations
  • Animal leash violations
  • Compliance tickets

Q.) How are participants notified that a hearing has been scheduled?
A.) Parties directly involved in the hearings receive a written notice of the hearing via their ticket.

Q.) Where do hearings take place?
A.) Scheduled hearings are held at Village Hall, 50 Raupp Blvd, in the Council Chambers room.

Q.) What time do the hearings begin?
A.) Hearings begin promptly at the time indicated on the Notice of Violation.

Q.) Are hearings open to the public?
A.) Yes.  In general, hearings are open to the public.  Disruptive people will be removed.

Q.) Do I need to be present at the hearing?
A.) Yes.  You must attend the hearing.  If you fail to attend, you may have a default judgment entered

Q.) What if I miss my hearing?
A.) If the individual or a representative fails to appear for the scheduled hearing, the individual is found in default and the Administrative Hearing Officer will conduct the hearing in their absence.  Any fines and penalties will still be levied on the individual.  If the individual is a default due to illness or emergency, they will have 21 days to request hearing.

Q.) What should I bring to the hearing?
A.) You should bring any documents or materials you want to present to the Administrative Hearing Officer as evidence.  If English is not your primary language, you should arrange to have a translator present.  

Q.) Do I need an attorney?
A.) The individual contesting charges may represent him or herself, hire an attorney to represent them at their own expense or, in some cases have a representative attend the hearing on their behalf.

Q.) When will the Administrative Hearing Officer issue a decision in my case?
A.) The decision will be given at the end of the hearing and in a written form.

Q.) What if I have questions not addressed here?
A.) You can always contact the village at hearings@vbg.org