County Department Overview

The COUNTY DEPARTMENT is divided into the following eight divisions: Chancery, County, Criminal, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies, Law, and Probate.

The Chief Judge appoints a Presiding Judge to oversee each division. In addition to hearing cases, Presiding Judges are responsible for the day to day administration of the division and the assignment of judges within the division.

The types of cases heard in each division depend on the nature of the controversy.

Chancery Division hears matters concerning: 

  • injunctions
  • class actions
  • mortgage foreclosures
  • declaratory judgments
  • contract matters
  • creditors' rights
  • liens
  • construction of wills and trusts
  • trusteeships
  • receiverships
  • dissolutions of partnerships and corporations
  • statutory and administrative reviews
  • vehicle impoundment

The County Division hears matters concerning:

  • adoption
  • name changes
  • marriage of minors
  • annexation and deannexation of land to a tax body
  • elections
  • inheritance taxes
  • mental health proceedings
  • real estate taxes
  • municipal organizations
  • orders of protection filed in conjunction with a mental health proceeding


The Criminal Division hears cases in which the state alleges the commission of a serious criminal act such as:


  • armed robbery 
  • assault 
  • burglary
  • criminal sexual assault
  • murder


The Criminal Division also has specialty courts that provide mental health treatment, support for veterans, drug treatment, and support for women charged with prostitution. They are also known as problem-solving courts.

The Domestic Relations Division hears matters concerning:


  • dissolution of marriage (formerly divorce)
  • dissolution of civil union
  • legal separation
  • invalidity of marriage or civil union
  • civil orders of protection filed in conjunction with a domestic relations proceeding
  • child support
  • child custody and visitation
  • parentage
  • enforcement and modification of previously entered judgments in these matters


The Domestic Violence Division hears matters concerning: 


  • civil orders of protection
  • criminal actions involving relationships defined by the Illinois Domestic Violence Act including:
  • all matters through the preliminary hearing or indictment in which the most serious offense charged is a Class 1, 2, or 3 felony
  • Class 4 felonies
  • misdemeanors
  • aggravated stalking
  • civil no contact orders
  • stalking no contact orders

The Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies Division: announcement pending.

The Law Division hears civil suits for recovery of monetary damages in excess of $30,000 in Chicago and in excess of $100,000 in the court's five (5) suburban municipal districts, as well as many types of administrative reviews.

Cases heard include:


  • personal injury/wrongful death
  • motor vehicle injury
  • medical malpractice
  • legal malpractice
  • product liability
  • intentional tort
  • construction injuries
  • commercial litigation
  • fraud
  • breach of contract
  • breach of warranty
  • employment security
  • property damage
  • premises liability
  • miscellaneous remedies

The Probate Division hears matters concerning wills and administration of estates.

Cases heard include:



  • probate and contest of wills and testamentary instruments
  • claims against an estate arising in contract, tort or otherwise
  • administration of estates of decedents, disabled persons, minors and wards
  • contracts to make a will
  • construction of wills
  • actions arising under the Illinois Power of Attorney Act
  • orders of protection filed in conjunction with a probate proceeding



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