Oak Forest IL Lawyers
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Oak Forest is a suburb south of downtown Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, and is considered part of the Chicago metropolitan area. Its name derives from the fact that it is surrounded by the Cook County Forest Preserves.
Some popular sites to see when visiting Oak Forest include St. Damian’s Catholic Church, the Chicago Gaelic Park banquet hall, restaurant and bar, and the George W. Dunne Golf Course and Driving Range.
Oak Forest was recently rocked by news of a major criminal case in the area. 16-year-old Derek Grib of Oak Forest was charged as an adult with one count of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery. Grib allegedly stabbed to death 18-year old Felix Jimenez, who had military aspirations, and wounded another 17-year-old boy.
The acts supposedly occurred at a house party on the night of July 12, 2009. Grib was arrested and released on a bond for $100,000. After two years, a preliminary hearing was held on August 23, 2011. A bench trial is formally set to begin on February 14, 2012.
Felix Jimenez’ mother, Teresa Rivera, has also filed a civil lawsuit in March 2011 against the homeowners where the party was held. Rivera asserts that homeowners William and Deborah Flatley were negligent in allowing minors to consume alcohol and/or illicit drugs at their residence during the July 12, 2009 party. Prosecutors claim that the substances Grib consumed at the Flatley residence caused him to become intoxicated and attack Jimenez. However, the defense attorney claims that Grib was acting in self-defense, and will allege that Felix Jimenez belonged to a gang.
In Oak Forest and Illinois, a juvenile is anyone under the age of 17. However, anyone 13 or older can be tried as an adult if he or she has a record of previously breaking the law or commits a serious crime. Furthermore, minors who are 15 or 16 years old are automatically tried as adults for certain serious offenses, including murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and armed robbery with a firearm.
All legal matters arising out of Oak Forest belong to the Circuit Court of Cook County, which is organized into three departments. Juvenile delinquent cases are presided over by the Juvenile Justice and Child Protection Department, located in Chicago. The Juvenile Justice division can order programs and services for rehabilitation, and can monitor their progress through probation officers. The Child Protection division presides over issues such as child abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights.
Serious felony cases such as murder, armed robbery, and criminal sexual assault are heard by the County Department, located in Chicago. The County Department also handles domestic relations, probate, and civil suits exceeding $100,000.
Lastly, the circuit court is divided into multiple municipal districts, which preside over traffic and local ordinance violations, misdemeanors, preliminary hearings for felony cases, domestic violence matters, marriage court, and civil suits up to $100,000. Oak Forest belongs to the Sixth Municipal District, located in Markham.
The Circuit Court of Cook County is not only the largest circuit court in Illinois, it is also one of the largest unified court systems in the world. While the departmental divisions were designed to ease the confusion of Cook County’s court system, many people are still at a loss as to where to file their cases.
Hiring a local Oak Forest attorney with knowledge of the intricate court system will significantly ease the anxiety associated with legal matters and can save you valuable time and money. LegalMatch can help you find an Oak Forest attorney specializing in your case. Simply fill out our free and confidential online questionnaire and wait for attorneys in the Oak Forest area to respond to your inquiry.
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Last Modified: 02-23-2012 11:39 AM PST