CHICAGO (CBS) — A lawsuit filed against the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk and Cook County Treasurer alleges a $10 children’s waiting room fee paid by all plaintiffs and defendants is unconstitutional, because it must be paid even by those without kids.
Attorney Joseph Siprut represents Illinois Randall Gatz, who is seeking class action, and demanding a refund for himself and others who have paid the waiting room fee even if they don’t have children. The suit also seeks a court order blocking the fee from being collected.
“Once we became aware of it, and realized that there was this one isolated component that had no connection to the actual litigation charges, that’s when we knew there was something going on,” he said.
He said very few people pay attention to the breakdown of court fees when filing or responding to a lawsuit. He said, over the years, hundreds of people have been paying the $10 fee, even when they will never use the children’s waiting room.
Siprut also said it appears the waiting room fee is not used only for the costs of running the court system’s waiting rooms.
“Ten dollars times each that’s case filed, millions of dollars are being collected; and yet, if you look at the expenses that are allocated to the waiting room, it’s a much smaller number,” he said.