Automated Red Light Enforcement Program
What are my options to contest the violation?
Contest By Mail:
- Fill in the CONTEST BY MAIL circle on the notice stub and on the self-addressed return envelope.
- Enclose a letter signed by the registered owner of the vehicle setting forth facts that establish a defense.
- Enclose any supporting evidence, such as affidavits, photos, state vehicle registration, official police vehicle theft/or recovery reports with the Violation Notice Number indicated.
- Be certain these documents are legible and complete.
- Send copies, as original documents will not be returned.
- Enclose all evidence to support your defense as the hearing officer’s decision is final.
- All Contest By Mail materials must be submitted using the enclosed return envelope and must be received by the Pay or Contest By Date.
Requests to Contest Received AFTER the Pay or Contest By Date:
- If the Registered Owner is a resident of the municipality in which the violation occurred, the person must visit the Village Hall and complete a written petition form.
- If the Registered Owner is NOT a resident of the municipality in which the violation occurred, the registered owner (no one else) must send a document to the Village Hall and (1) explain why a reply was not sent prior to the Pay or Contest By Date and (2) state why the request to contest should be heard. Palatine Village Hall, 200 East Wood Street, Palatine, IL.
Contest / Request an In-Person Hearing:
- Fill in the IN PERSON HEARING circle on the return stub and on the return envelope. Mail the stub in the return envelope.
- Requests will only be honored if received by the Pay or Contest By Date
What are the allowable defenses for a Red Light Violation?
- Police officer already issued you a uniform traffic citation for the same violation (the citation issued by the police officer takes precedence over the Violation Notice).
- Vehicle or license plates were stolen and not recovered at the time of the violation
- Vehicle was leased or rented to another party, and a written affidavit of the lessee of the vehicle and a lease agreement were submitted
- Vehicle was lawfully participating in a funeral procession or yielding to an emergency vehicle
- Respondent was not the registered owner or lessee of the cited vehicle at the time of the violation
- Any other evidence or issues deemed as a defense by the Hearing Officer.
These allowable defenses as permitted pursuant to Illinois State Law 625 ILCS 5/11-208.6
What if I was not the operator of the car at the time the violation took place…am I still liable?
Under Illinois State Law, 625 ILCS 5/11-208.6, the registered owner of a vehicle is liable for any automated traffic law violations that occur to the vehicle. It does not matter who was driving the car, the law clearly states that the registered owner is liable.
What Should I Bring to My Hearing?
It is in your best interest to attend the hearing, along with your Notice of 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.
What Do I Do When I Arrive for My Hearing?
Arrive promptly at 200 East Wood Street, Council Chambers (Top Floor). Check in begins 15 minutes before the hearing. 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?
Who may participate in the hearing will vary, depending on the nature of the code violation.
Each hearing will be conducted by the Administrative Law Judge. The Administrative Law Judge is a licensed Illinois attorney appointed by the Mayor to preside over the hearing as an independent and impartial decision maker.
You may represent yourself. 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. Community groups, court advocates and 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 recorded.
- The Administrative Law Judge will begin by giving his or her opening remarks, which outlines the hearing process.
- The Administrative Law Judge will review the evidence provided by the Automated Red Light Photo Enforcement System. The evidence shall include the citation, electronic photos and video.
- After this review, you may present your defense to the Administrative Law Judge 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.
- After reviewing all evidence, the Administrative Law Judge will issue a verbal Determination of Liability. You will receive a written Notice of Determination of Liability in the mail.
What If I Am Found Liable?
If you are found liable, the fine of $100.00 is accessed.
What If I Am Found Not Liable?
If you are found not liable, the Administrative Law Judge will dismiss the case against you and will not impose any penalties or costs.
What If Either Side Disagrees with the Administrative Law Judge’s Decision?
You or the Village may appeal the Administrative Law Judge’s decision to the Circuit Court of Cook County (Third Municipal District, Circuit Court of Cook County, 2121 Euclid Avenue, Rolling Meadows, IL) within 35 days by filing a civil lawsuit for administrative review pursuant to the Illinois Administrative Review Act and by paying the appropriate state mandated filing fee.
What Happens I did not appear at my Hearing Date?
If you fail to appear, the Administrative Law Judge will review the evidence without your presence and render a decision on liability. You will receive a written Notice of Determination of Liability in the mail.
Are there any court costs to request a contest the violation?