SW Legal studies in Business

Court System May Impose Fee to Support Mandatory Arbitration
Description Appeals court affirmed that it was constitutional for a county court system to impose a $10 fee on all civil cases filed to help support a court-annexed mandatory arbitration program to reduce the number of cases tried. The fee could be applied to cases that were not eligible for participation in the arbitration program.
Topic Alternate Dispute Resolution
Key Words Court-Annexed Mandatory Arbitration; Fee; Equal Protection
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Cook County, Illinois, imposes a $10 fee on all civil court cases filed to help fund a court-annexed mandatory arbitration program. Judges may order certain cases to arbitration prior to litigation. Plaintiffs here sued the court system over payment of the fee because they were involved in civil litigation that could not qualify for the benefits of the program. They contended that to be required to pay the fee but not use the program violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The trial court dismissed the suit; plaintiffs appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The imposition of the fee on all civil cases does not violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution or Illinois law regarding access to courts; nor does the fee violate Illinois law regarding the structure of fees and taxes.
Citation Rose v. Pucinski, - N.E.2d - (2001 WL 286116, App. Ct., Ill., 2001)

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