Law Practice

Lawyer Sues Over Court Entry Fee

If Illinois put attorneys’ photos on their law licenses, life would be easier for those who regularly go to court. Picture identification is required to stand in the fast-lane entry that many courthouses maintain for lawyers as well as court workers.

But, in the absence of a statewide attorney ID system, each county sets its own rules about what is required to qualify for expedited entry into its courthouses. And in Will County, the group of authorized fast-lane attorneys is limited to lawyers who have paid at least $145 to join the county bar association and are carrying its picture ID. That policy, as attorney Peter Ferracuti sees it, discriminates against nonlocal attorneys, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Not one to suffer in silence about perceived unfairness, the 82-year-old Ottawa, Ill., practitioner filed suit over the practice—and lost. Following an adverse decision by the state’s 3rd District Appellate Court earlier this year, however, he has filed suit again, this time alleging state constitutional violations. The defendants are the county sheriff and bar association.

Other counties in the state reportedly make it easier for lawyers to make speedy entries into local courthouses. Grundy County, for instance, reportedly provides free photo IDs to all lawyers, upon request. Cook County, where Chicago is located, charges attorneys a $20 fee for an ID that allows them to bypass courthouse metal detectors.

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