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Courthouse History

Will County Courthouse

Will County Courthouse in 1873.


The third Will County Courthouse from the corner of Jefferson and Chicago Streets looking southwest. Built between 1884-87.



Joliet, Built 1969, Arch- Otto Stark of C. F. Murphy Assoc.and Healy, Moore & Assoc., Contr- Gawley Constr. Co. Inc. 


Serving Will County Since 1836

Will County was incorporated in 1836 and is over 845 square miles in area.  According to the 2010 census, the population of Will County is currently 684,000 people.  Per the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Will County is projected to have a population in excess of 1.1 million people by the year 2030.

Currently, the 12th Judicial Circuit has 33 total Judges of which 16 are Circuit Judges and the remaining 17 are Associate Judges.  The primary difference between these Judges are that Circuit Judges are elected (or appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court if a vacancy exists) whereas the Associate Judges are allocated by population and are appointed by the Circuit Judges.  Associate Judges are allocated by the Illinois Constitution at the rate of 1 : 35,000 in population.

Currently, the 12th Circuit has been tentatively approved for an additional 5 Associate Judges based on 2010 census figures.  We are currently attempting to address our space needs in advance of filling these new Judgeships.

The 12th Judicial Circuit Court has a long and proud history of serving the citizens of Will County. 

Did You Know...

The estimated population of Will County as of 2010 677,560 according to census figures.  The population of Will County is projected to be approximately 1.2 million persons in the year 2030!

That in 2010, over $90,000,000 dollars were handled by the Circuit Clerk's office?  This includes fees paid, victim restitution, bonds and child support.

Approximately 164,945 new cases were filed in the 12th Judicial Circuit Court during 2012.  Far and away the most new filings were simple traffic violations (approximately 68%).  The 2nd most filings were Small Claims cases. 

Over 753,000 people walked through the metal detectors at the Will County Courthouse, Will County Court Annex and River Valley Justice Center during 2012!  The figure does not include persons not subject to security screening such as employees or properly credentialed attorneys.  The actual figure is over 1 million people used the Courthouse last year!

The current Courthouse was built in 1968 when Will County had a population of an estimated 220,000 citizens.  County Officials at the time contemplated a 5 (rather than 4) story building.  The 5th story was eventially eliminated as it was thought to be excessively large at the time.  The Courthouse contained all Will County Offices and the meeting room for the Will County Board.

That in 1870 the salary of a Circuit Judge was $3,000 per year.  The salary was increased to $3,500 per year in 1897 and $5,000 per year in 1915.

That Will County became a single-county Circuit on November 20, 1985 (Public Act 84-1030).  Previously the 12th Circuit was comprised of Will, Kankakee and Iroquois Counties.  Kankakee and Iroquois County now comprise the 21st Circuit in Illinois. 

That the large granite statute that currently sits in the courtyard area just north of the courthouse commemorates civil war soldiers.  It was erected in 1889 at a cost to the county of $10,000.  The relative value of $10,000 is $238,000 in today's dollars!