Legal Resources

Northern Illinois University  -- NIU General Counsel's Office, for NIU constitution and by-laws.

Government – Local (City, County)  – Official Website of the City of DeKalb – City of DeKalb, Municipal Ordinances by Chapter – Subject arrangement of municipal ordinances (laws), click Titles and Sections.  – Website for the County of DeKalb, Illinois, includes county offices, judiciary, townships, elections, county board, etc.

Government – State of Illinois  – Office of the Governor of Illinois  – Official Website of the Illinois Courts  -- Illinois General Assembly, Illinois compiled statutes, state laws arranged by subject, list of state senators and representatives  -- city, municipal, and county ordinances for other states

Government – Federal  – On, you can search more than 51 million web pages from federal and state governments, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. FirstGov has the most comprehensive search of government services anywhere on the internet, including sections on historical documents, for the United States Code; federal laws arranged by subjects, and Code of Federal Regulations (CCRS) governing federal administrative agencies, executive orders, etc.  – Official Website of the President of the United States  – Official Website of the United States Senate  – Official Website of the United States House of Representatives  – Official Website of the Federal Courts. You can find links to all of the courts in the federal system as well as forms and information about cases on-line.  -- Website of the Federal Register.

Law Enforcement – City of DeKalb Police Department  – Illinois State Police Website: Find information about how to legally possess and transport a firearm, obtain a copy of a traffic crash report, schedule a safety education program, request criminal history information, file a citizen complaint, etc.

Legal Self-Help  – Website offering legal information for Illinois residents from the Illinois Technology Center for Law and the Public Interest. The ITC’s mission is to increase access to justice for low income and disadvantaged persons through innovative use of technology.  – The American Bar Association’s Consumer Guide to Legal Help on the Internet provides a wealth of self-help legal information for everything from hiring a lawyer to handling legal matters on a pro se basis (self-representation).  – Kane County self-help law center offers step-by-step information and forms specific to Kane Country on how to handle small claims cases files without lawyers. – Chicago Bar Association’s website is intended for public use. This site has general information on legal topics as well as attorney referral information for private attorneys and legal service offices. - DeKalb County, Illinois Small Claims Booklet.  This booklet is prepared to help you file a small claims case.  You do not have to be represented by an attorney.  The information in the booklet will help you prepare the necessary documents and explains the procedure.  The booklet also explains your rights and responsibilities both as a plaintiff and defendant in the Small Claims Court and answers most frequently asked questions.

Consumer Information

Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division. This office seeks to protect Illinois consumers and businesses victimized by fraud, deception, or unfair methods of competition. Within this division are the Franchise Bureau, Health Care Bureau, Charitable Trusts Bureau, and Consumer Fraud Bureau. The Consumer Fraud Bureau investigates acts and practices believed to violate the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. – The Illinois Commerce Commission is the state's Public Utility Commission. This agency holds authority in the public interest to oversee several financial and service aspects of investor owned electric, gas, telephone, water, and sewer utilities. The Illinois Commerce Commission also has direct involvement in trucking insurance certificates, household goods moving firms, towing relocation, rail crossing safety, telecommunications programs for the deaf and hearing impaired, and 9-1-1 emergency services systems.– Federal Consumer Information Center Website offering free on-line consumer information to help the public. You can read, print out, or save the current Consumer Information Catalog and the full text of all the publications listed in it. You can also find great information on a wide range of subjects by clicking on the topic area in which you are interested. Find out about the latest product recalls and scams on our Scams and Recalls pages. Additional features include updates of consumer news and notes from various Federal agencies, and a calendar of consumer-related events. – Website for the Better Business Bureau. The BBB’s mission is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence. The BBB's Core Services include: Business Reliability Reports; Dispute Resolution; Truth-in-Advertising; Consumer and Business Education; and Charity Review. – Website for the National Consumer Law Center. NCLC is America’s foremost advocate for low-income consumer justice and its leading expert on low-income consumer issues. The Website provides information about the financial and legal problems faced daily by low-income families - repossessions, debt collection abuses, electronic benefits transfers, home improvement frauds, usury, bankruptcy, utility terminations, school loans, payday loans, sustainable home ownership, inadequate fuel assistance benefits, and more. In doing so the NCLC intends to help vulnerable consumers resolve financial crises, gain control over their budgets and achieve economic independence.

Discrimination– This form is used by the City of DeKalb Human Relations Commission to investigate discrimination complaints. The DeKalb Human Relations Commission operates under Chapter 49 of the City of DeKalb Municipal Code. Chapter 49 prohibits discrimination in real estate, financial transactions, public accommodations and employment based on race, creed, color, gender, religion, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, marital status, matriculation or sexual orientation. – Website of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. The Illinois Human Rights Commission adjudicates complaints of civil rights violations in employment and real property transactions. This website also furnishes access to financial credit and public accommodations. – The Department of Human Rights administers the Illinois Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status (with regard to employment), age 40 and over, marital status, physical or mental handicap, military service or unfavorable military discharge. – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission coordinates all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies. The EEOC interprets employment discrimination laws, monitors the federal sector employment discrimination program, provides funding and support to state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPAs), and sponsors outreach and technical assistance programs. Any individual who believes he or she has been discriminated against in employment may file an administrative charge with the EEOC. – The United States Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) is an independent, bipartisan, fact-finding agency whose mandate it is to investigate complaints alleging that citizens are being deprived of their right to vote by reason of their race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin, or by reason of fraudulent practices.

Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault – Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a member organization that provides local services to the victims of domestic violence, including crisis telephone counseling, and/or temporary shelter for the victim and their dependent children, and/or peer and professional counseling, and/or assistance in obtaining community resources, and/or help in acquiring employment skills, and/or work referral. The ILCADV’s local intervention program is SAFE PASSAGE; DeKalb County Domestic Abuse Program 815-758-7922.– The Interpersonal Violence Response Team at NIU provides emergency and follow-up services to student victims of sexual assault.  All such services are confidential.  These services include but are not limited to the following:

NIU Health Service will provide emergency treatment as necessary; and medical follow-up as needed (753-1311).

NIU University Police will provide investigation of reported cases of sexual assault by interviewing the victim and collecting on-site evidence, and follow-up investigation for possible prosecution (753-1212).  If the victim was sexually assaulted off-campus within the City of DeKalb, the DeKalb Police (748-8400) will provide these services.

NIU Counseling & Student Development Center will provide face-toface counseling and follow-up support for the victim; support during the medical examination and police investigation and support and counseling for secondary victims of sexual assault (753-1206).

NIU Office of Community Standards & Student Conduct (formerly NIU Judicial Affairs) will provide administrative disciplinary review of the sexual assault, and when judged appropriate, issue a temporary sanction to endavor assurance of the victim's safety (753-1571).

Safe Passage (an affiliated off-campus agency) provides 24-hour access to Counselor/Advocates for crisis intervention; in-person and/or telephone counseling and follow-up support for victims and secondary victims; support during medical examination, police investigation and legal proceedings; and referral services (758-7922).

Driver Services – The Illinois Secretary of State Website offers access to information about the state motorist services including driver’s license application and renewal, vehicle registration and licensing, business registration and regulation, and governmental records. – Website for the Illinois State Department of Insurance. The department is charged with protecting the rights of Illinois citizens in their insurance transactions and monitoring the financial solvency of all regulated entities through effective administration and enforcement of the Illinois Insurance Code, the Illinois Pension Code and related laws and regulations.

Employment – Website of the Illinois Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL enforces labor laws that regulate wages, hours of work and working conditions for all Illinois workers (organized and unorganized), resolves employee-employer disputes and enforces occupational safety and health standards, which protect public sector employees. – The Industrial Commission is the state court for workers' compensation cases. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system of benefits paid by employers to workers who experience job-related injuries or diseases. The information on this Web site will serve as a guide to the rights and responsibilities of injured workers and employers. – Website of the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL administers a variety of Federal labor laws including those that guarantee workers’ rights to safe and healthful working conditions; a minimum hourly wage and overtime pay; freedom from employment discrimination; unemployment insurance; and other income support. – Website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA's mission is to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions. This mandate involves the application of a set of tools by OSHA (e.g., standards development, enforcement, and compliance assistance) which enable employers to maintain safe and healthful workplaces.

Freedom of Speech Rights – Website of the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that defends against violations of civil liberties to preserve individual rights in any forum: courts, legislatures, and communities. – The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. This website is an information service for everyone who cares about freedom. The Web site makes available a source of news, analysis and other information about the First Amendment and newsroom diversity. It also provides information about the Freedom Forum, its programs and its events. – The Student Press Law Center is an advocate for student free-press rights and provides information, advice and legal assistance at no charge to students and the educators who work with them.

Government Benefits – Illinois Department of Human Services. Administers the state welfare programs, Rehabilitative Services for the physically and mentally challenged, the Office of Mental Health, and the Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse. – Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA). The IDPA provides medical assistance to low income, elderly and disabled individuals and ensures that children receive the financial support they are entitled to from absent parents. The three primary program areas within the department are Medical Assistance, Child Support Enforcement and administration of KidCare, the children's health care initiative. The Office of Inspector General (maintained within the agency) functions as a separate, independent entity, reporting directly to the Governor's office. – Official Website of the Social Security Administration. The SSA is the Nation's primary income security Agency. It administers the Federal retirement, survivors and disability insurance programs, as well as the program of supplemental security income (SSI) for the aged, blind and disabled, and performs certain functions with respect to the black lung benefits program.

Housing – The Illinois Housing Development Authority offers a variety of programs to help with a mortgage loan, down payment and closing cost assistance. The IHDA has developed programs to assist the first-time buyer in at least overcoming some of the financial issues that arise in purchasing a home. – Website for the National Housing Law Project. The NHLP is a national housing law and advocacy center. The goal of NHLP is to advance housing justice for the poor by increasing and preserving the supply of decent affordable housing, by improving existing housing conditions (including physical conditions and management practices), by expanding and enforcing low-income tenants' and homeowners' rights, and by increasing opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities.

Immigration – U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS). The USCIS, an agency of the Department of Justice, is responsible for enforcing the laws regulating the admission of foreign-born persons to the United States and for administering various immigration benefits, including the naturalization of qualified applicants for U.S. citizenship. Information is provided regarding admission to the United States, application for citizenship, and permanent residency , etc. – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national bar association of over 7,200 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. AILA Member attorneys represent tens of thousands of U.S. families who have applied for permanent residence for their spouses, children, and other close relatives to lawfully enter and reside in the United States. – The National Immigration Project is a network of immigration lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers, and legal workers who work to end unlawful immigration practices, to recognize the contributions of immigrants in this country, to promote fair immigration practices, and to expand the civil and human rights of all immigrants, regardless of their status in the United States. - Immigration assistance by not-for-profits - search by zip code.

Juvenile Services – Illinois Department of Children and Family Services website provides useful basic organizational information to help you navigate the state's child welfare system. – The Adoption Information Center of Illinois (AICI) is an adoption resource exchange with four primary service programs: adoption listing and matching services, adoption information and referral services, post adoption and guardianship information and referral services, and foster parent information and referral services. – Court Appointed Special Advocates Association is a non-profit membership organization, which advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA provides trained volunteers who work cooperatively with the juvenile services in DeKalb County and who advocate for the child's best interests in the juvenile court. – The Children’s Bureau (CB) is responsible for assisting States in the delivery of child welfare services. The agency provides grants to States, Tribes, and communities to operate a range of child welfare services including child protective services (child abuse and neglect), family preservation and support, foster care, adoption and independent living. In addition, the agency makes major investments in staff training, technology and innovative programs.

Substance Abuse Counseling (Drugs/Alcohol) – The Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) provides confidential, individualized substance abuse evaluations of drug and alcohol use. – The Ben Gordon Center (BGC) has provided and continues to provide mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment services to the DeKalb County area since 1968. The organization is Accredited with Commendation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and holds all the licenses required for operation. – Official Website of Alcoholics Anonymous – Illinois Department of Human Services

Student Resources –The Illinois Student Assistance Commission acts as the centralized source of student financial aid information and guidance. In Illinois, ISAC administers most of the key state and federal grant, scholarship, loan and prepaid tuition programs available to postsecondary students. - Student Loan Borrower Assistance is a great resource for specifically targeting questions about understanding student loans. – Information is presented in multiple ways, including in five categories: grants and contracts, financial aid for students, education resources, research and statistics, and policy.