The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office is the legal advisor for the County and its elected and appointed officials. As legal advisor the State's Attorney's Office performs services similar to those of general counsel to a large corporation or municipal attorney.
The State's Attorney's Office is also the county's civil trial attorney. As such the State's Attorney brings and defends civil actions and appeals in state and federal courts. Defense actions range from alleged violations of civil rights, personal injury and zoning disputes.
The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office has an integral role in assuring that persons who need mental health treatment, but are resistant to it, in fact do receive it. This in one part of the broad responsibility of this office is to protect the safety and welfare of the citizenry of this area. The role of the Winnebago County State's Attorney Office in respect to involuntary admissions to mental health facilities has three main components. First, we present the evidence and arguments to a judge that justifies issuance of an order for involuntary admission. Second, we present the evidence and arguments to a judge in opposition to a recipient's (i.e., patient's) motion for discharge from an involuntary commitment when appropriate to do so. And finally, we present the evidence and arguments to a judge in support of a petition for an order that a recipient be involuntarily treated with medications and/or electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) by the provider.
The Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office handles the asset seizure and forfeiture of property in this county. Property which is used to facilitate the commission of criminal acts or which is the proceeds from criminal activity, is subject to seizure and forfeiture to the seizing law enforcement agencies. Annually, many thousands of dollars are seized and forfeited from drug traffickers and other criminal enterprises. In addition to money, numbers motor vehicles, computers and other equipment are forfeited to law enforcement agencies each year. Portions of these forfeited funds are used to support community preventive education programs, such as DARE or other programs designed to educated adults or children with respect to the dangers associated with the use of drugs.
Since 1991 the Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office has engaged in an aggressive program to combat the problem of bad checks being passed to local merchants. The original Check Offender Program (COP) was one of the first in the nation to combine education, restitution and prosecution in an effort to discourage the use of bad checks and respond to the thousands of dollars that are lost every year by the merchants of our community. Those losses affect everyone in terms of higher consumer costs that must be passed on in the form of higher prices for goods and services and increased taxes to cover the cost of investigation and prosecution of the offenders.
In continuing an expanded effort to combat this serious problem, the Bad Check Restitution Program was organized. As with COP, the primary goal is to maintain a self-supporting program that obtains restitution for the victim while deterring repeat offenders.
FOIA List Information
Pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/3.5, the following is a list of documents available from the office of the Winnebago County State’s Attorney, copies of which may be inspected or copies requested subject to any copying fees permitted under FOIA:
Office administrative files
Criminal case files
Check enforcement program files
Civil case files
All documents in the possession or control of the office of the Winnebago County State’s Attorney are subject to review for exemptions permitted under FOIA and any redactions necessary to effectuate those exemptions. Due to the sensitive information handled by the office of the State’s Attorney, all requests must be reviewed by an office FOIA officer prior to their production.
David J. Kurlinkus is the Deputy State's Attorney for the Civil Bureau