Circuit clerk's office unveils new website, court case lookup program

URBANA — The Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s office has a new website and court case lookup system.

The new website has been designed to provide a user-friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, allowing customers to access detailed court case information, as well as resources for those who choose to represent themselves in court.  The new site went live Aug. 10.

The project began with a user survey that yielded more than 750 responses.

“Though we knew that our site experienced far more traffic than the average local government website, we were astounded at the response, and the feedback we received really informed our development strategy,” Circuit Clerk Katie Blakeman said.

She said her office worked with a team of writers and developers at Urbana-based Pixo to create the site that they hope meets the needs of a wide variety of users in Champaign County.

The new site involves changes at every level, including a new handle: the site URL will be, rather than the previous Frequent users need not worry, though. Both URLs will point to the new site for at least a while.

The new site is also Apartments with Disabilites Act-compliant, providing an improved experience for users who have visual impairments. For users who do not speak English, a plug-in allows for basic information to be translated into their native language.

Public access to court records
Champaign County was the first in the state to provide court case information on the web, in 1994. Theservice was created by J.T. Smith and Associates, based in Philo.
The new public access portal was developed by current court case management system vendor, JANO Justice Systems, which will allow users to view changes to the record in real time. The new system also allows users to print docket sheets and fines and fees information, as well as customize their view of court calendar dates.

Electronic pleas of guilty
One of the biggest changes to the site involves convenient new payment options, including the ability to enter a plea of guilty for traffic cases. This will allow traffic defendants to plead and pay online, all in one step.
Pleas of guilty are restricted to cases that do not require a court appearance, but payments may be made in any criminal or traffic case.

The Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s Office is now live, with permissive efiling for civil cases.
“Thanks to several months of work, our county is the first in the Illinois to be fully integrated with the statewide system,” Blakeman said. “This provides several months for attorneys and pro se litigants to become comfortable with electronic filing before the Illinoia Supreme Court’s Jan. 1, 2018, mandate.
For more information on the state efiling initiative, visit eFile Illinois.






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