Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Robert J. O'Connor

Property Code Adjudication

Property code violation hearing

The city of Aurora was the third municipality in the state of Illinois to establish a property code adjudication court. Implemented in August of 1994, and presided over by an administrative hearing officer, this local court system hears animal control, historic preservation, property maintenance, sign and zoning ordinance prosecution cases—as well as criminal nuisance cases brought by the Aurora Police Department. Prosecutions are held every Thursday morning at 9 the City Council Chambers at Aurora City Hall.

The City’s hearing officer is a state-licensed attorney. All witnesses are sworn in before testifying. The City’s case is presented first along with all testimony and evidence. The property owner then presents their case along with all supporting information.

The cases usually result in a compliance order with a mandated, yet realistic, time frame for correction. If the violations are corrected by the compliance date, the fine is for a lower amount. Compliance is the goal, but if the hearing officer’s order is not followed, the fine amount is usually increased. If necessary, per day fines of up to $500 can be assessed as an incentive to get the work done.

For cases where prosecution becomes necessary, Aurora’s adjudication system has been an extremely successful tool in the enforcement of quality of life standards. Other Illinois municipalities have visited Aurora and patterned their local court after ours.