Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown's main job is to keep accurate court records. That is what she was elected to do! If the information she sends to the Illinois and FBI criminal databases is inaccurate, then courts cannot do their jobs and individuals can be defamed for a lifetime, preventing them from obtaining a job.
A review of over 30 cases comparing judges orders with Clerk's records and then with Illinois State Police rap sheets (criminal histories) proves that more than 30 % of the rap sheets have gross errors.
Police and judges use the rap sheets to set bail and determine mitigating factors in sentencing decisions. They also can be detrimental to a person's ability to find a job when there is a background check.
The largest set of errors concerns the reporting of "bond forfeitures". Clerk Brown's office consistently fails to send to the Illinois State Police Criminal Database data that a large percentage of persons who failed to appear in court and had warrants issued against them as well as preliminary bond forfeiture orders issued against them had proven to the court they had a good excuse for not appearing and the warrants and bond forfeitures were quashed.
This is a frequent occurance in criminal court. For example, one man was with his wife who was delivering their baby when he missed court. Many others are ill in hospital, in ambulances, had flat tires, were stuck in snow storms, were attending to a suddenly ill family member or child, or other reasons why they couldn't appear in court, and later notified the court.
For a person to be labeled as unreliable because their "bond was forfeited" when this never happened is an injustice and can harm them the rest of their lives.
A > 30 % major error rate on rap sheets means they are not reliable and should not be used by police or the courts. One defendant who should have been issued a $1,000 bail on a misdemeanor battery charge which was later dismissed was ordered held on a $50,000 bail because there were four "bail forfeitures" on the rap sheet, all which had been quashed after she presented legitimate reasons to courts as to why she had not apeared. The judge ignored her attorney who told the court the rap sheet was in error and said she was a "flight risk".
This is a serious breach of Clerk Brown's statutory duty and the statutes describe this breach as a criminal act. The U.S. Department of Justice should investigate this and force Clerk Brown to correct this injustice.
Ask Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate this injustice and force Clerk Brown to institute procedures so that the Illinois and FBI criminal databases are accurate reflections of court procedings.