(30 ILCS 765/15)
(from Ch. 5, par. 2050-15)
Foundation; distribution of funds to legal information centers,
legal services hotlines, dispute resolution centers, self-help
assistance desks, or civil legal services providers.
(a) The Foundation shall establish and administer the
Illinois Equal Justice Fund. The Fund consists of all moneys
remitted to the Foundation under the terms of
this Act. The Foundation must deposit all moneys received
under this Act into interest-bearing accounts.
and distribution of these funds by the Foundation does not
alter their character as public funds or alter the fiduciary
responsibilities attendant to the administration of public
(b) The Foundation may annually retain a portion of the
amounts it receives under this Section, not to exceed 5% of the amounts
received by the Foundation under this Act,
to reimburse the
Foundation for the actual cost of administering grants and
making the distributions required under this Act during that
(c) The distribution of moneys available after
administrative costs shall be made by the Foundation in the
(1) The Foundation shall distribute moneys to legal
information centers that have demonstrated or demonstrate an ability to provide the services described in Section 10 of this Act and that otherwise comply with the requirements of this Act with the objective that one or more legal information centers will be operated in each judicial circuit of this State.
(2) The Foundation shall distribute funds to regional
legal services hotlines that have demonstrated or demonstrate an ability to provide the services described in Section 10 of this Act and that otherwise comply with the requirements of this Act.
(3) The Foundation shall distribute funds to
self-help assistance desks that have demonstrated or demonstrate an ability to provide the services described in Section 10 of this Act and that otherwise comply with the requirements of this Act.
(4) The Foundation shall distribute funds to dispute
resolution centers that have demonstrated or demonstrate compliance with the requirements of Section 5 of the Illinois Not-For-Profit Dispute Resolution Center Act.
(5) The Foundation shall distribute funds to
qualified civil legal services providers operating in one or more counties within this State. The Foundation shall determine the amounts to be distributed to each qualified civil legal services provider based upon the following criteria:
(A) the number of eligible clients served and the
nature of the civil legal services caseload of each qualified civil legal services provider compared to all other qualified civil legal services providers in this State;
(B) the qualified civil legal services provider's
satisfactory compliance with Section 50 of this Act; and
(C) the qualified civil legal services provider's
general compliance with the following standards:
(i) the quality, feasibility, and
cost-effectiveness of the civil legal services provider's legal services as evidenced by, among other things, the experience of the civil legal services provider's staff with the delivery of the type of legal assistance contemplated under the proposal; compatibility with the American Bar Association's Standards for Providers of Civil Legal Services for the Poor, where applicable; the civil legal services provider's compliance experience with other funding sources or regulatory agencies, including but not limited to federal or State agencies, bar associations or foundations, courts, IOLTA programs, and private foundations; the reputations of the civil legal services provider's principals and key staff; and the civil legal services provider's capacity to ensure continuity in representation of eligible clients with pending matters, including pending matters referred from other legal services providers;
(ii) the civil legal services provider's
knowledge of the various components of the legal services delivery system in the State and its willingness to coordinate with them as appropriate, including its capacity to:
(I) develop and increase resources from
funds other than those provided under this Act; and
(II) cooperate with State and local bar
associations, private attorneys, and pro bono programs to increase the involvement of private attorneys in the delivery of legal assistance and the availability of pro bono legal services to eligible clients; and
(iii) the civil legal services provider's
knowledge and willingness to cooperate with other civil legal services providers, community groups, public interest organizations, and human services providers in a manner that is consistent with the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.
(d) The Foundation must give annual notice of the
amount of moneys available for distribution; the procedure by
which legal information centers, regional legal services
hotlines, dispute resolution centers, self-help assistance
desks, and qualified civil legal services providers can apply
for moneys; and the schedule for review and distribution of
moneys under this Act.
(e) The governing board of the Foundation may adopt
regulations and procedures necessary to implement and enforce
this Act and to ensure that the moneys allocated under this
are used to provide services to persons in accordance with
the terms of this Act.
In adopting the regulations, the governing board must
comply with the following procedures:
(1) the governing board must publish a preliminary
draft of the regulations and procedures that must be distributed, together with notice of the comment period, to members of the Foundation, potential recipients of moneys, and other interested parties that the Foundation considers appropriate; and
(2) the governing board must allow a reasonable time
period for affected and interested parties to present written comment regarding the proposed regulations and procedures before the governing board adopts final regulations and procedures.
(f) The Foundation shall make payments to recipients on
a calendar-year basis in quarterly installments.
(Source: P.A. 91-584, eff. 1-1-00.)