On November 19, 2019, the Village Board adopted Ordinance 2019-134 amending the Vernon Hills Municipal Code creating the Administrative Adjudication process and setting fines and fees.
This Administrative Hearing process is a form of a court diversion program, which allows for the expedient, independent and impartial adjudication of municipal ordinance violations that were previously heard only in the Lake County Circuit Court.
The Administrative Hearing process is independent from the Village Departments that investigate, initiate, and prosecute the Code violations. It currently hears violations cited by the Police Department for parking, personal conduct and certain non-moving traffic offenses.
An Administrative Hearing is not as complex as a judicial court proceeding and is more time and cost effective for both parties. While the strict and often complex rules of evidence and procedure are not applicable, hearings still follow a basic structure to ensure fairness and due process of law.
Under this system, an Administrative Hearing Officer hears cases. The hearing officer is not a Village employee, but rather an impartial, licensed Illinois attorney, who must meet strict State requirements to serve in this capacity.
Secure Internet payments can be made via the Online Payment Center for a $3.00 surcharge. PLEASE NOTE, tickets normally take 1-2 business days from issuance to be posted online.
Call (888) 291-0378 to make a payment over the phone. Pay by credit or debit card. Secure payments can be made via this number for a $3.00 surcharge. PLEASE NOTE, tickets normally take 1-2 business days from issuance to be posted in this system.
Make your check or money order payable to the Village of Vernon Hills and write the ticket number in the memo field. Payments must be received by the due date to avoid additional penalties. DO NOT MAIL CASH.
Use the envelope provided or mail to:
VILLAGE OF VERNON HILLS
740 Lakeview Parkway
Vernon Hills, IL 60061
You may pay in person during regular business hours or insert your payment in the drop box located at the Vernon Hills Police Department, 740 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills, IL.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If your citation is marked as “Appearance With Parent/Guardian Required,” you CANNOT make a payment in lieu of an appearance - you MUST appear at the time and date specified WITH A PARENT/GUARDIAN to have the citation adjudicated by a Hearing Officer.
DROP BOX LOCATION
Waiver of Appearance
By following this process, you do not need to show up in person and can present your explanation for why you are not liable for the violation. ALL such requests are read by a hearing officer and decided on in the same manner as an in-person hearing (see our FAQ tab for further information).
Citations that are marked as "Appearance With Parent/Guardian Required" are mandatory appearances and are not eligible for this process.
If you are found liable, you will be held responsible for the fine amount PLUS the hearing cost of $25.
To contest a violation without a hearing, click here.
Hearings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 9am at the Vernon Hills Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive.
2022 Hearing Dates:
Thursday, January 20 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, February 17 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, March 17 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, April 21 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, May 19 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, June 16 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, July 21 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, August 18 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, September 15 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, October 20 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, November 17 at 9:00 a.m.
Thursday, December 15 at 9:00 a.m.
To request a hearing date, click here .
WHY WAS I ISSUED A CITATION?
Village Departments charged with protecting the public safety, health and welfare may file a case to be heard by the Administrative Hearing Judge based on the observations of or investigation by a police or service officer. When the officer determines that an Ordinance violation has occurred, it will serve the party responsible for the alleged violation with a Citation outlining the Village’s allegations. Any questions as to why you were cited must be directed to the issuing officer. You may call (847) 362-4449 with any questions.
WHAT DO I DO IF I WAS ISSUED A CITATION?
In general, the Citation will inform you of: 1) the alleged violation(s); 2) the date, time and place that the alleged violation(s) occurred; and 3) what your options are with regard to payment, compliance, mandatory appearance at a hearing, or the opportunity to request a hearing to contest (fight) the violation. If you are required to appear at a hearing, the Citation will state the date, time, and place of hearing.
If you believe that the wrong person or property was cited by mistake, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Police Department. Ignoring a Citation may result in a default judgment being entered against you.
DO I HAVE TO GO TO A HEARING?
Only citations that are marked as "Court Appearance With Parent/Guardian Required" are mandatory appearances. Juveniles will not be allowed to appear without a parent or guardian and they may not pay for their citation ahead of time.
All other citations can be either paid for or contested by your choice.
SO HOW DO I FIGHT MY TICKET?
As long as your citation is not a must appear (as defined above), you have two options to contest the violation:
WAIVE YOUR APPEARANCE AND CONTEST THE VIOLATION WITHOUT A HEARING
By following this process, you do not need to show up in person and can present your explanation for why you are not liable for the violation. ALL such requests are read by the hearing officer and decided on in the same manner as described below. Please note, if you are found liable, you will be held responsible for the fine amount PLUS the hearing cost of $25.
To contest your violation without a hearing, click here.
REQUEST A HEARING DATE AND CONTEST THE VIOLATION IN PERSON
Prior to requesting a hearing date, please read further to understand the process.
To request a hearing date, click here.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MY HEARING?
You are strongly encouraged to bring all of your evidence (photos, receipts, invoices, permits, etc.) and witnesses with you. If English is not your first language, please bring a friend or family member to help translate.
If you wish to obtain a copy of a police report, copies of reports are generally available, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, five (5) business days after submitting a written request to our Records Department. Please visit the Copy of Police Report or Records page for a convenient FOIA form or send a detailed request via email.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I ARRIVE FOR MY HEARING?
Arrive promptly at the Vernon Hills Village Hall Board Room, 290 Evergreen Drive. Please check in with the Hearing Clerk when you arrive for your hearing. After checking in, please take a seat until your case is called.
WHO MAY PARTICIPATE IN THE HEARING?
This will vary, depending on the nature of the Code violation. Each hearing will be conducted by the Hearing Officer, who is a licensed Illinois attorney appointed by the Village Manager to preside over the hearing as an independent and impartial decision maker.
The Village, as the petitioner, may have a representative there to present its case. The Village may also bring witnesses to support its case. You may represent yourself or you may also hire an attorney to represent you at your own expense.
The hearings are open to the public, therefore other respondents may be present in the hearing room waiting for their case to be called. Other interested members of the public may also be present to observe the proceedings.
HOW IS THE HEARING CONDUCTED?
The hearing follows a basic trial structure to ensure fairness and due process of law. All testimony is under oath and audio recorded.
The Hearing Officer will begin by giving his or her remarks, which outlines the hearing process.
The Village will present its evidence first before you are even asked to present a defense. The Village must establish a “prima facie case.” Simply stated, it must set forth the necessary allegations that a Code violation has occurred. The Village may: introduce the certified Citation of the officer, call witnesses, and offer other evidence such as photographs or other documents. If the Village presents its case through the in-person testimony of a officer or other witness, you have the right to ask questions of the Village’s witness. Please note, however, Federal and State case law allows the Village to present its case solely by introducing the certified Citation as evidence, without requiring the presence of the ticketing officer or additional evidence.
If after reviewing the Village’s case the Judge determines the Village has not presented a prima facie case, the case may be dismissed. If the Village has established a prima facie case, the hearing will proceed and you will have the opportunity to present your case.
You may present your defense to the Hearing Officer through your own testimony, the testimony of witnesses; a sworn affidavit, and other evidence (such as photos, invoices, receipts, etc.). You are expected to bring all of your witnesses and evidence with you to your hearing date.
After both sides have had an opportunity to present their case, the Hearing Officer will issue a written order stating whether the Village has demonstrated the case against you. The Village’s burden of proof in these matters is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” That means, the Judge must believe, after considering all of the evidence, that “it is more likely than not” that a Code violation has occurred.