Skip to main content

Full text of "Administration of the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court, and of the office of Clerk of the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois : report"

See other formats


GIFT .OF 



(jJWa ^^S^io^c^^ 




k 



ADMINISTRATION 

OF THE OFFICE OF 

CORONER of COOK GOUNI 
ILLINOIS 



REPORT PREPARED FOR r, 

JUDGES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

BY THE 
CHICAGO BUREAU OF PUBLIC EFFICIENCY 



DECEMBER. 191 



r* 



at: 



lering the Budget of 

/ iae Board of 
Chicago. May, 



ty of ChJcago : An Inquiry 
iho<lR nnd Results. June, 



City of Oldcago. July, 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2007 with funding from j| 
IVIicrosoft Corporation ^ 



^County, 
mty Treasurer. 



Pass Jv 



rt: Work done for the City of 

''■"^■U October, 1911. 

Two Keiated Propositions 

,• Chicago Will Be Asked to 

ie Election of November 7— 

ji lilt. Oivy of Chicago, By Dab- 
ber, 1911. 

: vil Service Commission ; and Special 
ting System of the City of Chicago. 



http://www.archive.org/details/administrationofOOchicrich 



ADMINISTRATION 

OF THE OFFICE OF 

CORONER of COOK COUNTY 
ILLINOIS 









REPORT PREPARED FOR THE 

JUDGES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

BY THE 
CHICAGO BUREAU OF PUBLIC EFFICIENCY 

315 PLYMOUTH COURT 



^ADMINISTRA 1 lOK 



OF TMF, Cmc 



CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

AND OF THE OFFICE OF 

CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT 



OF 



COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS 



REPORT PREPARED FOR THE 

JUDGES OF THE CIRCUIT COi; 

BY THE 
CHICAGO BUREAU OF PUBLIC EFFIC ; : 



DECEMBER 191! 



pi 1 R PU B Llt5 ATI N S 



Method of Preparing and Administering the Budget of 
Cook County, Illinois. January, 1911. 

Proposed Purchase of Voting Blaohines by the Board of 
Election Commissioners of the City of Chicago. May, 
ISll. 

3 Street Pavement LsJd m the City of Chicago: An Inquiry 

Into Paving Materials, Methods and Results. June, 
1911. (Out of print.) 

4 Electrolysis of Water Pipes in the City of Chicago. July, 

1911. (Out of print.) 

6 Administration of the Office of Recorder of Cook County, 

Illinois, September, 1911. 

* A Plea for Publicity in the Office of County Treasurer. 
October, 1911. 

7 Repairing Asphalt Pavement: Work done for the City of 

Chicago Under Contract in 1911. October, 1911. 

b Tb/i' 3^'Tunicipal Court Acts: Two Related Propositions 
i7r„ rj Which the Voters of Chicago Will Be Asked to 
Judgment at the Election of November 7— 
No. October 31, 1911. 

i The Water Works System of the City of Chicago. By Dab- 
yjoy E. Maury. December, 1911. 

IC Bureau of Streets; Civil Service Commission; and Special 
Assessment Accounting System of the City of Chicago. 
December, 1911. 

11 Administration of the Oftice of Coroner of Cook County, 
Illinois. December, 1911, 

:2 Administration of the Office of Sheriff of Cook County, 
j: i December, 1911 



ADMINISTRATION 

OF THE OFFICE OF 

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

AND OF THE OFFICE OF 

CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT 

OF 

COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS 



REPORT PREPARED FOR THE 

JUDGES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

BY THE 
CHICAGO BUREAU OF PUBLIC EFFICIENCY 

r 

315 PLYMOUTH COURT 



CHICAGO BUREAU 

OF 

PUBLIC EFFICIENCY 



TRUSTEES 



Julius Rosenwald, Chairman 
Alfred L. Baker, Treasurer 

Onward Bates Charles R. Crane 

Clyde M. Carr Henry B. Favill 

George G. Tunell Walter L. Fisher 

Charles E. Merriam 



Herbert R. Sands, Director 
George C. Sikes, Secretary 

Peter White, Fiscal and Organization Counsel 
Harris S. Keeler, Legal Counsel 



^ 



e i« >* ^* V 



TABUS OP CONTENTS. 



PAGE. 

LETTEE OF TEANSMITTAL 4 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 5 

TEXT OF REPOET 9 

General Observations 9 

Functions and Duties 11 

' Organization 12 

Methods and Procedure 13 

Common to both Offices 13 

1. Trust Funds 13 

2. Annual Reports for Year 1911 15 

3. Office Arrangement 16 

4. Consolidation of Record Writing and Folio Divi- 

sions 17 

Circuit Court 21 

Main Office Service 21 

1. General Staff 21 

Present Organization 21 

Suggested Changes 26 

2. Naturalization Division 28 

3. Record Writing and Folio Divisions 29 

Annual Report of Clerk 29 

Present Methods 30 

Suggested Changes 32 

Court Room Service 33 

Superior Court 35 

Main Office Service 35 

1. General Staff 35 

Present Organization 35 

Suggested Changes 40 

2. Naturalization Division 42 

3. Record Writing and Folio Divisions 42 

Annual Report of Clerk 42 

Present Methods 45 

Suggested Changes 49 

Court Room Service 50 

Charts of Proposed Organization Indicating Yearly Salary 
Rates — 

Circuit Court 20 

Superior Court 34 



LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL. 



To the Honorable Judges 

of the Circuit Court of Cook County, 

Gentlemen — 

The Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency respectfully sub- 
mits herewith a report upon the office of Clerk of the Circuit 
Court and of the office of Clerk of the Superior Court of 
Cook County, which report has been prepared in accordance 
with your formal action taken at a meeting held February 27 
last, of which action the Bureau was advised by Judge Jesse 
A. Baldwin, as secretary of the judges, in a letter bearing date 
of March 3, 1911. 

EespectfuUy submitted, 

Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency, 
Hebbeet R. Sands, 
Director, 

Chicago, December, 1911. 



SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS. 



Circuit Court. 

Number of assistants requested by Clerk for year 1912 

(same as authorized year 1911) 52 

Number recommended by the Bureau 37 

Proposed reduction in number of assistants 15 

Salary appropriation for year 1911 $76,560 

Aggregate salaries recommended by the Bureau 51,680 

Proposed saving in salary expense $24,880 



Superior Court. 

Number of assistants authorized for year 1911 51 

Additional assistants requested by Clerk for year 1912. 15 

Total number requested for year 1912 66 

Number recommended by the Bureau for year 1912 38 

Proposed reduction in number of assistants re- 
quested 28 

Salary appropriation for year 1911 $74,200 

Estimated increase required if Clerk's request for ad- 
ditional help be granted 19,800 

Total estimated payroll for year 1912, on basis of 

Clerk's request $94,000 

Aggregate salaries recommended by the Bureau for year 

1912 53,300 

Proposed saving in salary expense $40,700 



6 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 



For Both Offices Combined. 

Total number of assistants requested by both court clerks . . 118 
Number recommended by the Bureau 75 

Proposed reduction for both court clerks 43 

Estimated salary appropriation for both clerks' offices 
for year 1912 on basis of number of assistants re- 
quested $170,560 

Aggregate salary expenditure recommended by Bu- 
reau for year 1912 for both offices 104,980 

Total proposed saving in salary expenses for both 

offices $ 65,580 



1. The working force of each office should be reorganized 
and the salary rates regraded. 

2. The number of clerks on the general staff of the Cir- 
cuit Court office should be reduced from 17 to 12 ; that of the 
Superior Court office from 16 to 11. 

3. The present law and chancery record-writing divisions 
and the folio divisions should be consolidated, the forces 
therein employed reorganized, and modern methods, including 
the use of typewriters, substituted for those now in use. The 
work of copying short chancery orders of the Superior Court 
should be assigned to the chancery minute clerks. Under these 
conditions nine clerks in each office could perform the record- 
writing and transcript work now requiring the services of sev 
teen clerks in the Circuit Court office and of twenty clerks in 
the Superior Court office. 

4. If the methods now in use are to be continued, three 
law record-writers, four chancery record-writers, and four 
folio clerks in each office should experience no difficulty in 
handling the work of the respective divisions. 

5. The cost of spreading chancery decrees and orders of 
record during the year ending October 31, 1911, in the Circuit 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 7 

Clerk's office, was approximately 17 cents per folio, and in the 
Superior Clerk's office approximately 29 cents per folio, whereas 
work of a similar nature was performed in the Eecorder's 
Office for about 6 cents per folio. 

6. The annual reports of the Clerks, filed November 20, 
1911, do not show the volume of work performed in the re- 
spective offices. The report of the Circuit Court Clerk is mis- 
leading in that numerous items therein are duplicated under 
different classifications. The Superior Court Clerk reports a 
large quantity of work which was not performed at all. Of 
the number of pages of record reported written by him, 1,551 
are not to be found in the record books within the periods cov- 
ered by the report. 

7. It is recommended that the salaries of the chancery 
minute clerks of the Superior Court be fixed at $1,800 per year, 
provided the short order records are kept by them; $1,200 a 
year is suggested for the substitute minute clerk. The salaries 
of all the law minute clerks should be made $1,320 a year. 
With four exceptions, this is the salary now paid for this 
service. 

8. The classification of employes as approved by the 
judges each year and as provided in the county budget is only 
partially observed by these officials when assigning duties to 
their assistants. 

9. The offices of the Clerk of the Circuit Court and of 
the Clerk of the Superior Court should be appointive rather 
than elective, with the power of appointment vested in the 
judges of the respective courts. Their duties are purely min- 
isterial and administrative and the present salary of $5,000 is 
commensurate with the services rendered. The increase of sal- 
ary to $9,000 a year for each of these officials, which was made 
in 1909 by the legislature and which becomes effective in 1912, 
was wholly unwarranted. 



8 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

10. The practice of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in pay- 
ing over to the county interest on escrow funds in his custody, 
as well as on his fee account deposits, is to be commended. The 
present clerk deserves the credit for establishing this practice. 

11. The policy of secrecy maintained by the Clerk of the 
Superior Court with respect to funds deposited with him in 
escrow and his attitude regarding the disposition of interest 
earned thereon while such funds are in his possession, are to 
be condemned. 

12. The criticisms made in this report relate particularly 
to the organization of the force, the antiquated methods fol- 
lowed, and the low average amount of work performed per 
man per day, rather than to the standard of the work done or 
the personnel of the respective staffs. Generally speaking, the 
work of both offices is well performed, but the cost has been 
excessive and could be greatly cut down by reduction and 
reorganization of the force. 



ADMINISTRATION 

OF THE OFFICE OF 

CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT 

AND OF THE OFFICE OF 

CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT 

OF 

COOK COUNTY. 



I. 

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. 

The Circuit Court of Cook County and the Superior Court 
of Cook County are each courts of original general law and 
chancery jurisdiction and have appellate jurisdiction to a lim- 
ited extent. The jurisdiction of the two courts is concurrent. 
There are fourteen judges of the Circuit Court and eighteen 
judges of the Superior Court, six additional judges of the latter 
court having been elected last November. Each is elected by 
the voters of the county for a term of six years. All of these 
judges are not, however, engaged at any one time in perform- 
ing their duties on the bench of their respective courts, since 
each is ex-officio a judge of the Criminal Court of Cook County 
and certain of their number are regularly assigned to that 
court, while other judges not regularly assigned thereto sit 
therein from time to time hearing criminal cases. Several mem- 
bers of each court are also appointed by the Supreme Court of 
the State to sit as justices of the Appellate Court for the First 
District. The Criminal and Appellate Courts are each provided 
with a clerk and a staff of subordinates. The attendance at all 



10 Chicago Bureau of Public E-fficiency 

times of several judges upon their duties in these latter courts 
has in the past necessitated calling in judges from other cir- 
cuits to dispose of the business of the Circuit and Superior 
Courts. The recent election of six additional judges of the 
Superior Court has rendered this practice unnecessary, for the 
present at least, in this court. In the administration of the 
business of the Circuit and Superior Courts three judges of 
each are assigned to the chancery work thereof, while one 
judge of the former sits in the Juvenile Court branch. The 
remaining judges preside over the several common law branches 
of their respective courts. 

The offices of Clerk of the Circuit Court and of Clerk of 
the Superior Court are elective, the term being four years. 
Under the constitution each clerk is entitled, in lieu of all 
fees, perquisites and emoluments, which he is required to 
pay into the county treasury, to a salary fixed by law. The 
salary of the present incumbents is fixed at $5,000 per year. 
During the past two or three sessions of the legislature 
that body has seen fit to saddle heavy salary increases, 
irrespective of whether or not they were merited, on the tax- 
payers of Cook County. In conformity with this general atti- 
tude, the legislature in 1909 increased the compensation of 
these clerks to $9,000 a year. This increase, which becomes 
effective in 1912, is unwarranted. The present salary is ample 
when the character of the duties is considered. Moreover, 
these offices, the duties of which are purely administrative and 
ministerial, should be appointive rather than elective, with the 
power of appointment vested in the judges of the respective 
courts. To effect this change would require an amendment to 
the present constitution. 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 11 

II. 
FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES. 

The administrative functions of each court are discharged 
through its clerk. In connection with the administration of 
the business of the court, it is his duty — 

1. To receive and file all documents and papers which 

may be properly filed in any suit or proceeding in- 
stituted or pending before the court and to keep 
and preserve such files and papers. 

2. To attend the several branches of his court and to 

make and preserve complete records of all the pro- 
ceedings and final determinations of such court. 

3. To keep proper indexes to suits and proceedings insti- 

tuted in his court and to the files and records 
thereof. 

4. To issue all process of the court. 

5. To approve bonds as provided by law. 

6. To administer oaths in proceedings to be commenced 

or pending in his court. 

7. To issue certified copies of papers and documents on 

file in his office or of the records of the proceedings 
in his court. 

8. To make up and certify, as required by law, trans- 

cripts of the records of suits or proceedings brought 
in his court. 

9. To draw jurors and certify the names drawn to the 

sheriff; also to issue to jurors certificates of the 
number of days served by them, respectively. 

10. To collect fees as provided by law. 

11. To receive, keep and pay out such moneys as may be 

deposited with him in his official capacity under 
order of the court or otherwise. 

Certain other functions have also been conferred upon 
these clerks, such as the power to administer oaths other than 
those administered in connection with the legal proceedings 



12 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

of their courts and to take acknowledgments to deeds and other 
instruments. The legislature has also imposed upon the Clerk 
of the Circuit Court the duty of filing and preserving certain 
classes of documents, such as mechanics' lien statements, trans- 
cripts of proceedings before justices of the peace, etc., which 
do not form any part of the files of the court. Incidental to 
this service he is also required to keep certain indexes and 
records. 

III. 

ORGANIZATION. 

For the purpose of performing the duties imposed upon 
him, each Clerk is provided with a corps of assistants and 
deputies. Under the constitution, their number is fixed an- 
nually by the judges of the Circuit Court, but the compensa- 
tion of each is determined by the county board. During the 
course of this investigation there were fifty-one employes en- 
gaged in the Superior Court Clerk's office. This was the full 
quota allowed by the judges for the year 1911. Fifty-one em- 
ployes were employed by the Circuit Court Clerk in carrying on 
the regular work of the office, and ten additional men were as- 
signed to the Juvenile Court branch. This is one less than the 
number authorized, due to a vacancy occasioned by the death 
of a clerk. 

Classification of employes to a limited extent with respect 
to both duties performed and salaries appropriated was at- 
tempted in the 1911 budget. Such classification did not, how- 
ever, meet the requirements of the service and was ignored 
for the most part in assigning the men. In view of the recent 
adoption of civil service in these offices, positions as well as 
salary rates should be reclassified in accordance with duties 
performed. 

Considering the present scheme of organization and the 



Clerks of Circuit cmd Superior Courts 13 

unsatisfactory methods in use, the work of these offices would 
seem to be well done. Such criticism as the Bureau has to 
make is directed particularly to the organization of the force, 
the methods used, and the number of men employed. The vol- 
ume of work performed in the record-writing and folio divi- 
sions is not commensurate with the number of clerks assigned 
thereto and observation by the Bureau's investigators has 
shown that a considerable portion of the time of the members 
of the general staif is unemployed. It is believed that fewer 
men could efficiently carry on the work of the office, even un- 
der the methods now in use, and that a change in methods to 
include a reorganization of certain divisions of the service and 
the introduction of typewriters therein, would permit of a 
still further reduction in the number of clerks and at the same 
time insure more efficient service. 



IV. 

METHODS AND PROCEDURE. 

COMMON TO BOTH OFFICES. 

Trust Funds, 

The policy of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of permit- 
ting a proper inspection of the accounts of the funds held 
by him in escrow and his practice of paying into the county 
treasury interest on such funds, and on his daily fee deposits 
as well, are to be highly commended. 

In contrast, it is pointed out that the Clerk of the Superior 
Court does not pay into the county treasury any interest which 
may accrue on funds while in his possession, and that his rec- 
ord of escrow deposits is not open to public, or proper official 
inspection. Permission was denied the Bureau's investigators 
to examine his record of this fund and the Clerk also declined 



14 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

to make any statement as to the aggregate amount of such 
moneys handled by him or as to the present condition of the 
fund. That he receives interest on such funds is a justifiable 
inference since he placed his refusal to permit an inspection of 
such records upon the sole ground that an opportunity to check 
up his interest account would be the only purpose such an 
inspection could serve. 

Funds deposited in escrow are entrusted to the Clerk in 
his official capacity. Therefore, if they are deposited in bank 
by him and interest is received thereon, such interest comes 
to the hands of the Clerk by virtue of the fact that he holds 
his office, and if no other legal claims to the interest are as- 
serted, it constitutes an emolument of the office which, under 
the state constitution, should be turned into the county treas- 
ury. Clearly the Clerk has no right to retain it. In defense 
of his refusal to pay such interest to the county, the Clerk of 
the Superior Court contends that legally it belongs to the per- 
son entitled to the principal of the fund. No claim is made, 
however, that it is the practice in ordinary cases to account 
for and pay over with such principal any interest earned. In- 
stead, he retains the interest received and while pleading his 
legal liability to the owners of the principal as a sufficient rea- 
son for not accounting to the county, refuses to make payment 
to the former unless they go to the trouble and expense of 
enforcing their claims, if any, through legal proceedings. 

The Bureau here expresses no opinion as to the Clerk's 
liability to the owners of such funds for interest earned thereon 
while in his possession, but attention is called to the fact that 
no such claim has been made against the Clerk of the Circuit 
Court on account of any interest paid by him to the county. 
It is suggested that in any event, the proper course would be 
for the Clerk to pay over the interest money to the county upon 
such conditions as might be necessary to save him from loss 
should he be subsequently held liable therefor to other persons. 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 15 

The Circuit Court Clerk's record of trust funds submitted 
to the inspection of the Bureau's investigators showed that 
there was a considerable fluctuation in the amount of funds 
on hand from time to time. The interest payments earned on 
such funds for the years 1909, 1910 and 1911, and turned over 
to the county were $6,351.58, an average of about $2,000 per 
year. On a 2% per cent, basis these interest payments would 
indicate an average balance in the hands of the Clerk of the 
Circuit Court of over $85,000. The volume of general busi- 
ness in the offices of these two officials does not differ to any 
great extent, and if the records of the Clerk of the Circuit 
Court may be taken as a criterion, it may be presumed that 
the amount of the fund in the hands of the Clerk of the Supe- 
rior Court is approximately the same as that of the fund en- 
trusted to the Circuit Court Clerk. 

Annual Reports for 1911, 

The Clerk of the Superior Court has requested the authori- 
zation of fifteen additional clerkships for the ensuing year. It 
is claimed that the services of these clerks will be rendered 
necessary because of the recent increase in the number of judges 
of that court. The assignments of the new judges to their 
respective branch courts, which became effective December 4, 
showed a net increase of only three sitting judges. The vol- 
ume of work done in the record writing and folio divisions of 
this office during the past year has been grossly exaggerated 
in the annual report of the Clerk filed November 20, 1911. 
(See table, pages 43 and 44.) The request for additional clerks 
is unwarranted. As will be shown later in this report, the 
number now employed is larger than necessary and should be 
reduced. 

The annual report of the Clerk of the Circuit Court is 
misleading with respect to the volume of work performed. In 
several instances the same work is reported more than once by 



16 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

including it under different classifications. For instance, the 
678 pages of bond record reported written are again included 
under the item *' number of pages [of law] record written/' 

Office Arrangement. 

The practice which prevails in both offices of permitting 
unregistered current files to remain over night in an open cab- 
inet is not businesslike. 

The office arrangement and equipment of the Clerk of the 
Circuit Court is not well adapted to the orderly transaction of 
business or the convenience of the working force. The en- 
closed cage arrangement provided for the Clerk of the Supe- 
rior Court has many advantages in these respects over the 
open counter plan in use in this office. Complaint is made that 
the efficiency of the present service is detracted from to a con- 
siderable degree because of the frequent interruptions in the 
work of the clerks occasioned through inquiries made of them 
by the bar and public. That such interruptions are to some 
extent unavoidable has been recognized and taken into account 
in considering the number of clerks necessary to do the work. 
The difficulties experienced at present, however, especially in 
the record-writing and folio divisions, would be largely re- 
duced if the office arrangement were such that separate 
space were provided for the keeping of all books and rec- 
ords not actually in use by the copyists, wherein the public 
could examine them. It would then be necessary to interrupt 
the work of a copyist only when a specific book which was 
being used by that copyist was called for. The convenience of 
the bar and public would also be subserved if some person 
were specifically designated to answer inquiries. Under the 
present arrangement it is frequently necessary for a person 
seeking information with respect to the records to approach 
several clerks before the desired information is obtained. This 
is particularly true of the Superior Court office. 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 17 

The duties of each clerk fall into two general classes — 
those performed through the clerical force of the main office 
and those discharged in the court rooms by the minute clerks. 
The Juvenile Court work of the Circuit Court constitutes a 
distinct branch of the service of that court, and for all prac- 
tical purposes the clerks there employed form a separate or- 
ganization and have been disregarded in preparing this report. 

The clerk of each court is required by statute to devote 
his personal attention to the duties of his office, but the imme- 
diate supervision of the administration of the business of each 
office is delegated to a chief clerk. 

Under the procedure followed in each office the work of 
the main office force is divided among (1) the members of the 
general staff, (2) the naturalization clerks, (3) the law record 
writers, (4) the chancery record writers, and (5) the folio 
clerks. The methods employed in each office are substantially 
the same, but details of procedure differ in many respects. In 
preparing this report it has therefore been found convenient to 
deal for the most part with each office separately. The pro- 
posed plan for the consolidation of the record-writing and 
folio divisions of the present organization, however, applies 
to each office and for that reason has been considered in this 
connection. 

Consolidation of Record-Writing 
and Folio Divisions. 

In each office three separate divisions are maintained for 
performing the record-writing and folio service. All records 
and copies are written out in long hand, although printed form 
books are provided in some cases. 

The efficient administration of these branches of the serv- 
ice calls for the consolidation in each office, of the several divi- 
sions now maintained as well as a substitution of modern 
methods and devices for those now in use. The work is closely 



18 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

related, and as the forces are now organized an interchange 
of clerks is occasionally necessary. If such a consolidation 
were effected, the work of the respective staffs could be more 
readily adapted to the changing requirements of the service. 
The entire volume of the work, moreover, could be more equi- 
tably distributed. Such a change should also bring about a 
reduction in the cost of doing the work. 

The plan here proposed, as shown by the charts on pages 
20 and 34, would provide for a superintendent, an assistant 
superintendent, one transcript compiler, a general clerk and 
five typists in each office to perform the work of spreading 
records, and preparing necessary copies. To the superintend- 
ent would be assigned the duty of laying out and supervising 
the work. He would also be required to draft such law orders 
as were not purely formal which would reduce the work of 
spreading law orders practically to a basis of copy work. 
The compiling of records for appeals and the preparation of 
certified copies would be assigned to the assistant superintend- 
ent, who would be assisted by the transcript compiler. The 
latter clerk would also attend to opening the original entries 
in both the common law and chancery dockets and would op- 
erate the confession and such other form records as might be 
found expedient. The general clerk would perform such gen- 
eral duties as might be required of him. The writing of the 
chancery short orders would, of course, be assigned to the 
chancery minute clerks. 

The following yearly salary rates are recommended : Su- 
perintendent, $2,000; assistant superintendent, $1,500; trans- 
cript compiler, $1,200; general clerk, $1,000; and typists, 
$1,000 each. 

It is believed that under this arrangement nine clerks in 
each office, with salaries aggregating $10,700, could perform 
the work of the present record-writing and folio divisions. 
For this purpose twenty clerks are now carried on the pay roll 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 19 

of the Superior Court office, at an aggregate annual cost of 
$28,360, while eighteen clerks, with salaries aggregating $26,- 
100 a year, are assigned to this work in the Circuit Court of- 
fice. An annual saving of $17,660 in the Superior Court and 
of $15,400 in the Circuit Court is therefore indicated. As the 
plan proposed would necessitate assigning an extra clerk to the 
naturalization work of the Circuit Court office, this latter fig- 
ure should be reduced to $14,200. The transfer of the writing 
of chancery short orders to the minute clerks and on account 
thereof an increase of salaries in some instances would reduce 
the Superior Court figure to $16,860. 

The use of typewriters would produce neater and clearer 
records, but the service generally would not be materially im- 
proved by their use if the present separate divisions of the 
service are to be maintained. Some small economies might be 
effected by such a change. These additional reductions in sal- 
aries would not be large, however, if the salaries paid the long 
hand copyists, some of which are now excessive, were prop- 
erly graded. 

The introduction of typewriters would, of course, call for 
the co-operation of the county board. Five book machines 
and two or three standard machines in each office requiring 
an initial expenditure of about $2,000 would meet the present 
demands of the service. 



20 



Chicago Bureau of Public Efflciency 




Si . 



3 

5 



p 


I 


I 


I 


t' ~ 










h 
e 


1 


I 




8 


! 


Q. 


1% 


1 




JG. 



S ^^ 


11 


O.S 


O o 




.t^-a 


5?^ 


§« 


o| 


•^ ts^ 


i:S .^ 


°^ 




n 


1^ 


o-g 


"^S 


^ o 


, cS 


^^ 


1^ W 


,2 "^-^ 


H^ 


o 


gfl 



IS 

li 


1 

a 
o 


I 
1 

§ 

X 


I 
1 


I. 

t 

S 


1 
\ 

u 

1. 

1 
1 


II 
II 


\ 

c 



Clerks of Circmt and Superior Courts 21 



CIRCUIT COURT. 

MAIN OFFICE SERVICE. 

I. General Staff. 

PBESENT ORGANIZATION. 

At the time the investigators of the Bnrean were at work 
in the office the general staff comprised seventeen clerks. The 
duties assigned to each and the salary rates paid are indicated 
by the following table: 

Title— Salary 

Assistant chief clerk $2,000 

Clerk in charge 1,800 

Filing and process clerk 1,800 

Assistant filing and process clerk 1,500 

Cashier 1,800 

Execution clerk 2,000 

Assistant execution clerk 2,000 

Bookkeeper 2,400 

File clerk 1,200 

File clerk 1,200 

Vault clerk 1,000 

Vault clerk 1,000 

Law register clerk 1,200 

Chancery register clerk 1,200 

Docket clerk 1,200 

General clerk 1,000 

Stenographer 1,000 

Assistant Chief Clerk and Clerk in Charge. 

No specific duties are assigned to either of these clerks. 
Each assists and relieves the chief clerk from time to time and 
performs such general service as may be assigned to him by 
the latter. 

Filing and Process Clerks. 

There are two of these clerks. They receive all papers 



22 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

filed in the main office and place the file marks thereon by 
means of an electric time stamp, after which the name of the 
clerk is endorsed on the paper. They also assign the general 
number to all new suits commenced. There is no data avail- 
able to indicate the number of documents filed which are un- 
accompanied by fees. These clerks collect all fees (except nat- 
uralization fees) and prepare the proper receipts therefor. 
Printed form receipts bound in books are provided. When a 
fee is collected the clerk receiving it fills in the amount in the 
appropriate blank on the form receipt and transmits the same 
with the money to the cashier. During the year ending Octo- 
ber 31, 1911, the number of transactions involving this kind 
of service was as follows : 

New suits commenced, 8,474, an average of 31 per day. 

Appearances filed, 6,662, an average of 25 per day. 

Mechanics' liens, 1,388, an average of 5 per day. 

Folio division orders, 4,649, an average of 17 per day. 

Completed certified copies and transcripts of records are 
retained by the head of the folio division until called for, when 
they are transmitted to the filing clerk, who prepares a re- 
ceipt, collects the fee, and transmits the papers to the cashier. 
The cashier places the seal upon the document, stamps the re- 
ceipt, and delivers the document to the customer. 

Fees for naturalization papers are collected in the first 
instance by the naturalization clerk and are retained by him 
until the close of the business day, when they are turned over 
to the filing clerk, who prepares a receipt for the aggregate 
amount and transmits the same to the cashier. 

The filing and process clerks also issue all process except 
final process. Of the 8,474 new suits above referred to, 426 
were confessions of judgment upon which no original process 
issued, and 643 were applications for land registration in which 
the summons was prepared in the registrar's office. The bond 
record would indicate the issuance of 102 injunction writs with 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 23 

bond. There is no statistical data available to indicate the 
number of alias and plurins writs or the number of mesne proc- 
ess, such as injunctions without bond, attachments for con- 
tempt, capias, dedimus, etc., issued. 

The process and filing clerks, further, receive all bonds, 
which it is the duty of the clerk to accept and file. When a 
bond which it is also the duty of the clerk to approve is pre- 
sented for filing, this clerk scrutinizes it as to form and, ex- 
cept in those cases where a bond company which has been des- 
ignated by court order as an acceptable security is tendered 
as surety, he examines the surety under oath touching the 
value of the property scheduled by him and his interest therein. 
If the bond is in proper form and the security is deemed suf- 
ficient, the bond is approved by the deputy and filed. All 
other bonds are filed as a matter of course. During the year 
ending October 31, 1911, 678 bonds (an average of less than 
three per working day) were filed and spread of record. A 
large percentage of this number the clerk was not called upon 
to approve. At present all bonds are spread of record. For 
this purpose, printed forms bound in books are used where 
practicable. When this cannot be done, it is necessary to copy 
the bond in long hand. The better practice would be to re- 
quire the filing of a copy of each bond to be used for refer- 
ence purposes, and to discontinue spreading them of record al- 
together. 

Cashier, 

The fees of the office having been collected, by the filing 
and process clerks, are transmitted to the cashier, who enters 
the several items in appropriate columns on the daily cash 
sheet with which he is provided, and stamps and delivers the 
receipts where receipts are issued. He also receives such ali- 
mony as may be paid to the clerk in divorce cases and keeps 
a record of such receipts and subsequent payments to the par- 
ties entitled thereto. 



24 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

Execution Clerk. 

The execution clerk issues all final process, posts the exe- 
cution docket, and, with the aid of his assistant, operates the 
fee book and issues fee bills. The records show that during 
the year ending October 31, 1911, he issued 760 writs, an aver- 
age of less than three per working day, and that he taxed costs 
in 7,707 cases, or about twenty-eight per working day. He 
also posts to the judgment docket data respecting "satisfaction 
pieces'* filed. 

Assistant Execution Clerk. 

The assistant execution clerk devotes most of his time to 
operating the fee book. He also assists the execution clerk in 
other matters and frequently relieves the filing and process 
clerks. 

Bookkeeper. 

Since the inauguration of the present scheme of account- 
ing for the county fee offices, most of the work which formerly 
was done by the bookkeeper has been transferred to the office of 
county comptroller. At the present time the bookkeeper keeps 
a record of pauper cases of which there were 592 filed last 
year. He also has charge of the trust fund account, attends 
to the banking of all funds, and prepares the pay roll. 

Pending File Clerks. 

There are two pending file clerks, one for law and one 
for chancery cases. They receive the law and chancery files, 
respectively, from the register clerk and file them in numer- 
ical sequence according to term numbers, in filing cabinets 
provided for that purpose. These clerks also deliver files to 
persons wishing to examine them. 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 25 

Vault Clerics. 

The two vault clerks are assigned to the vaults where are 
stored the files of ** disposed of" cases and old record books. 
Their duties consist chiefly in filing in numerical sequence ac- 
cording to general numbers files in ** disposed of cases and in 
delivering such files as may be called for to persons wishing to 
examine them. 

Register Clerks, 

Three registers are operated in this office, one for law 
cases, one for chancery cases, and the third for burnt record 
suits. One clerk operates the law register and in addition 
makes entries in the law term index. Another clerk operates 
the general chancery register and term index and also the 
burnt record register and index, and prepares file wrappers in 
chancery cases. These registers furnish substantially the same 
information as the Superior Court register described on page 
39. 

Docket Clerk. 

The docket clerk operates the general docket. In addi- 
tion to making original entries therein, he posts thereto data 
with respect to the final disposition of the case. He also oper- 
ates the general plaintiffs and defendants indexes, makes 
opening entries in the law docket and prepares file wrappers 
for law cases. He writes the confession record, mails notices 
of publication, keeps a record of such mailings and operates 
the mechanics' lien record. 

General Clerk. 

The general clerk on the staff has no specific duties. He 
assists in operating the records of jury service and in the issu- 
ing of jurors' certificates on the days when jurors are paid off. 



26 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

The present method of paying off jurors would seem to be 
unnecessarily cumbersome, and that in use in the office of the 
clerk of the Superior Court the better one. The practice in 
each court is to deliver to each juror at the commencement of 
his term of service a card upon which he then signs his name. 
When his service is terminated the minute clerk enters upon 
the card the number of days served. In the Superior Court 
this card is then presented to the juror clerk, who, after re- 
quiring the holder of the card to sign the same a second time 
for purposes of identification, delivers to him his certificate. 
Jurors' certificates in the Superior Court are prepared in ad- 
vance, except as to the amount for which they are issued, the 
amount being ascertained from the card when presented and 
then entered in the certificate. In the Circuit Court a juror, 
when his service is terminated, presents his card to the juror 
clerk, who then fills out the entire certificate and after requir- 
ing the signature of the payee on the stub of the certificate 
book as well as on the certificate, delivers the latter. 

Stenographer, 

The stenographer on the general staff attends to the cor- 
respondence of the office, writes the bond records and occa- 
sionally assists in the work of the folio division. 

SUGGESTED CHANGES. 

The positions now held by the assistant chief clerk, as- 
sistant execution clerk, bookkeeper, one register clerk, one 
vault clerk and the docket clerk would seem to be unneces- 
sary and should be abolished. 

An assistant chief clerk is unnecessary. Such duties as 
he now performs should be discharged by the chief clerk 
without assistance, except such as might be rendered by one 
of the general clerks. The present clerk in charge should be 
retained as a general clerk. 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 27 

The work assigned to the execution clerk is not heavy- 
enough to justify providing him with an assistant. The execu- 
tion clerk, moreover, should issue all process, except original 
process, and should operate the judgment docket and the me- 
chanics' lien record. 

In this connection it is suggested that the several minute 
clerks be provided with appropriate forms upon which each 
should transmit daily to the execution clerk memoranda of all 
entries to be posted to the judgment docket. This would obvi- 
ate the necessity of the judgment or execution clerk each day 
reading the entire law record as is now the practice. 

The record of pauper cases should be kept by the cashier, 
who should also handle the trust funds and keep the record 
thereof. The making up of the pay roll and the banking of 
funds might be attended to by the chief clerk. 

In the Superior Court office one clerk operates the regis- 
ter for both law and chancery cases and the services of one 
clerk should suffice for the same work in the Circuit Court 
clerk's office. It is suggested that a combined register of law 
and chancery cases such as is now in use in the office of the 
clerk of the Superior Court would facilitate the work of the 
register clerk. The preparation of chancery file wrappers and 
the posting of the term indexes should be assigned to the pend- 
ing file clerks. 

One vault clerk should be able to handle the work in the 
vaults under ordinary conditions. 

The work of the docket clerk should be distributed as fol- 
lows : The operation of the general docket and the general in- 
dexes would be assigned to the filing and process clerks. Sub- 
sequent postings to the general docket with respect to the dis- 
position of cases might be dispensed with. Opening entries in 
the law docket should be made in the record writing room and 
the confession records should also be written there. Law file 



28 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

wrappers should be prepared by the pending file clerks and 
publication notices should be mailed by the filing and process 
clerks and the record of the mailing kept by them. The oper- 
ation of the mechanics' lien record would be assigned to the 
execution clerk. 

The process and filing clerks should be relieved of the duty 
of handling the completed work and cash collections of the 
folio division. The practice which is now followed in the Su- 
perior Court clerk's office (see page 37) of sending such work 
when completed to the cashier, who subsequently delivers it 
and issues a receipt for the fee collected, might be advan- 
tageously adopted in this office. 

The payment of jurors and the keeping of the jurors' rec- 
ord should be assigned to the process and filing clerks, who 
should be provided, as suggested on page 40, with assistance, 
on days when jurors are dismissed from service. 

If the positions enumerated were abolished and the salary 
of the execution clerk fixed at $1,800 (the amount now paid 
that clerk in the office of the Superior Court clerk), a saving 
of $10,000 a year in salaries of the general staff could be ef- 
fected. 

2. Naturalization Division. 

The naturalization work performed by the Circuit Court 
clerks is much heavier than that handled by the Superior 
Court force. Only two clerks have been regularly assigned to 
this service. 

On the other hand, the naturalization records have been 
written largely by the head clerk in the law record writing 
division, who has also acted in court as minute clerk, on days 
when hearings were had on petitions. 

If present methods are continued there would seem to be 
ho objection to the present procedure, but if the consolidation 



Clerics of Circuit and Superior Courts 29 

plan advocated in this report were adopted, then an additional 
clerk should be provided in the naturalization division. 



3. Record Writing and Folio Divisions. 

ANNUAL REPORT OF CLERK. 

The annual report of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, filed 
November 20, shows 7,879 pages of law records and 18,364 
pages of chancery records written during the year ending Oc- 
tober 31, 1911. An analysis of the report discloses that these 
totals were made up as follows : 

Common Law Eecords. Pages. 

Miscellaneous orders (long hand) 2,781 

Special assessment orders (long hand) 34 

Condemnation suit orders (long hand) 427 

Naturalization orders (forms) 349 

Certificates good moral character (forms) 68 

Default orders (forms) 25 

Orders of dismissal (forms) 162 

3,846 

Confessions of judgments (forms filled in by docket clerk) . . 426 

Bond records (written by stenographer) 678 

Judgment docket 265 

Execution docket operated by execution clerk 95 

Fee book operated by execution clerk 2,569 

Total 7,879 

Chancery Eecords. Pages. Pages. 

Decrees and orders (long hand copies by chancery 

record writers) 7,242 

Orders on forms (filled in by chancery record 

writers) 2,969 10,211 

Orders (long hand, written by minute clerks) 1,996 

Orders (forms filled in by minute clerks) 2,434 4,430 

14,641 

Chancery docket 1,077 

Land registration docket 327 

Chancery register 1,427 

Calendars written on foolscap paper estimated at. 892 3,723 

Total 18,364 



30 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

In checking the foregoing figures with the records the in- 
vestigators discovered no substantial discrepancies therein ex- 
cept an error of 220 in the number of pages of bond records 
reported. The number of pages reported written in dockets, 
registers, etc., cannot be accurately checked and has little sig- 
nificance, and there is no data now available to substantiate 
the item of 892 pages accounted for as pages of foolscap writ- 
ten in the preparation of calendars. 

Aside from these considerations, the report is misleading. 
Many of the above items are reported again under other classi- 
fications. 

Moreover, while all entries in registers, dockets and simi- 
lar books are in a sense records, they do not form the subject 
matter of what is commonly designated ''record writing.** 
They are for the most part kept by clerks on the general staff 
and form no part of the work of the ''record writers.*' 

An examination of the 3,846 pages of law records reported 
written shows that in estimating the number of full pages 
written a deduction of 16 per cent., or 616 pages, should be 
made on account of failure to utilize portions of some of the 
pages. This reduces the number of full pages written by the 
law record writers to 3,230. 

PEESENT METHODS. 

Law Record Writers. 

The work of the law record writing division does not dif- 
fer materially from that of the same division in the Superior 
Court office and the procedure followed is practically the same. 
(See page 45.) At the time the investigators of the Bureau 
were at work in the office, six clerks were employed on this 
work. The salaries of five of these were $1,800 each; that of 
the other $1,200. The time of one clerk was employed in oper- 
ating the judgment docket exclusively, while much of the 



Clerks of Circuit cmd Superior Courts 31 

time of the head of the division was devoted to naturalization 
work. Eliminating this work from consideration, and making 
proper deductions (16 per cent.) for waste space in the books, 
there remained 2,937 full pages to be written by four clerks. 
Computed at 500 words per page (fifty lines; ten words per 
line), this represents 14,685 folios of 100 words each during 
the year for four men. On a basis of 250 working days, 5,876 
words per day were written. Each man, therefore, wrote ap- 
proximately 1,469 words, or three pages, per day. Two com- 
petent clerks, in addition to the head clerk, could handle the 
work of this force without difficulty, and also post the new 
cases to the common law docket and write up the confession 
record. Salaries of $1,800 for the latter and $1,200 each for 
the former are suggested. 

Chancery Record Writers. 

Chancery records are written in part by the chancery 
record writers and in part by the respective chancery minute 
clerks. An additional clerk is provided to assist these minute 
clerks. The practice of thus employing the time of the minute 
clerks is to be commended. The chancery record writing di- 
vision of the main office is manned by six clerks under the 
supervision of a head clerk, who does little more than super- 
vise the work. Aside from the work done on the registers 
and dockets, the six men mentioned above copied 10,211 pages 
of record during the year ending October 31, 1911. 

On the basis of 500 words per page and 250 working days 
per year, this work represents an aggregate of 51,055 folios, 
or about 3,400 words per working day per man. The salaries 
of seven clerks assigned to this division aggregate $8,720 a 
year, making the cost per folio approximately 17 cents. This 
figure, while much lower than that of the Superior Court office 
for the same work, is high when compared with the cost of 
like work in the recorder's office. (See pages 47 and 48.) 



32 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

Three copyists at $1,200 a year and a head clerk at $1,800 a 
year are recommended for this work, if the present plan of 
organization is to be maintained. 



Folio Clerics, 

Substantially the same conditions exist in this division as 
were found in the folio division of the Superior Court office. 
(See page 48.) Four clerks were regularly employed on the 
work, but minute clerks while not engaged at their regular 
duties have also been assigned to assist in compiling trans- 
cripts. The margin of difference between the amount of fees 
collected for this service and the salaries paid the four regular 
clerks is considerably larger than in the Superior Court office. 
There is no way of determining, however, how much extra help 
has been had in turning out the work. For the reasons stated 
on page 49, no change in the number of clerks regularly em- 
ployed in this division is recommended. 

SUGGESTED CHANGES. 

The work of operating the judgment docket should be 
transferred to the execution clerk. If this were done the law 
records could be spread by three clerks with salaries aggregat- 
ing $4,200 a year, and the chancery records by four clerks 
with salaries aggregating $5,400 a year. If the vacant clerk- 
ship now existing in the record-writing and folio divisions and 
which paid $1,800, were permitted to remain unfilled these 
changes would mean an annual saving of $11,120. 

COUBT BOOM SERVICE. 

Thirteen minute clerks and one stenographer are now 
provided for this branch of the service. Three are assigned 
to the chancery courts and eight to the common law branches. 
One clerk is employed to assist the chancery clerks in writing 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 33 

up the short order records. The remaining clerk has been 
working in the folio room. His services would seem to be 
unnecessary. The extra man assisting the chancery clerks 
can be used to fill vacancies caused through unavoidable ab- 
sence of the regular clerks or to attend to emergency assign- 
ments. Salaries of $1,800 and $1,200 are now paid the chan- 
cery clerks and extra man, respectively. With two exceptions 
the salaries of the law clerks are $1,320. It is recommended 
that the salaries of all law clerks be fixed at that amount. 



34 



Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 



^^ 




1 

it. 

I 





rs 


8 


§ 


i 


*' - 










■5 


:t: 


1 


*i = 


i 








♦a 


1 


^ 


11 


i 
1 


Q> 


JO. 



1-^ 

o 

O O 



o O 

N M 

H 

CQ 

it 



=5 o 



*fl 






1: 




1 

1 


1 

0=- 


I 


1 
1 

1 


li 

V a; 

CD CT) 


! 

I 

g 

c 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 35 

SUPERIOR COURT. 

MAIN OFFICE SERVICE. 

1. General Staff. 

PKESENT ORGANIZATION. 

The present general staff of the clerk of the Superior 
Court consists of the following clerks : 

Title. Salary Rate. 

1 bond and juror clerk $2,000 

1 filing clerk 1,200 

1 cashier 1,800 

1 process clerk 1,200 

1 process clerk 1,320 

1 execution clerk 1.800 

1 judgment clerk 1,800 

1 register clerk 1,200 

1 bookkeeper 2,400 

1 pending file clerk 1,320 

1 pending file clerk 1,200 

1 vault clerk 1,200 

1 vault clerk 1,000 

1 general clerk 1,500 

1 general clerk 1,000 

Bond and Juror Clerk, 

The bond and juror clerk is assigned to receive all bonds 
which it is the duty of the clerk to accept and file. The pro- 
cedure in this office with respect to the filing and approval of 
bonds is substantially that followed in the Circuit Court office. 
(See page 23.) During the year ending October 31, 1911, 
832 bonds (an average of less than four per working 
day) were filed and spread of record. A large number of 
these the clerk was not called upon to approve. As in the Cir- 
cuit Court office, all bonds are spread of record, printed form 
books being used for this purpose when practicable ; otherwise 



36 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

they are copied at length in long hand. As heretofore sug- 
gested, the better practice would be to require the filing of 
a copy of each bond, the duplicate to be used for Preference 
purposes, and to discontinue spreading them of record alto- 
gether. If this cannot be done, the stenographer might be as- 
signed to the work of copying, as is now the practice in the 
Circuit Court. 

The bond and juror clerk once each month goes to the 
office of the jury commissioners and draws the names of the 
veniremen to be summoned as jurors and certifies the list of 
names so drawn to the sheriff. While the jurors are actually 
in service, their time is accounted for to the several minute 
clerks, but the bond and juror clerk operates a general record, 
showing the names of persons summoned as jurors, whether 
or not they responded and served, and, if so, the total days of 
service. The bond and juror clerk also prepares the vouchers 
for jury service and delivers the same to each juror at the ter- 
mination of his period of service. 

Filing Clerk. 

The filing clerk receives and files all papers. When the 
filing of any paper is accompanied by the payment of a fee, 
the filing clerk prepares a receipt in duplicate on an auto- 
graph register machine and passes the paper, together with the 
receipt and the fee to the cashier in the adjoining cage. Where 
the paper filed is the initial paper in a suit or proceeding to be 
instituted, the filing clerk stamps it with a numbering ma- 
chine, assigning to it the general number by which it is there- 
after designated. Where the proceeding instituted is in chan- 
cery, he assigns the case in rotation to the judge before whom 
it will be heard. He also places upon each paper filed the file 
marks. This is done by stamping the paper with an electric 
time stamp and afterwards signing the name of the clerk. An 
average of thirty new suits were commenced daily during the 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 37 

past year, and the appearances filed averaged twenty-six per 
day during that time. 

Cashier, 

All fees and other moneys collected, except trust funds, 
which are deposited with and paid out by the clerk under or- 
der of court or otherwise, are paid to the general cashier. 
When transmitted to the latter by the filing clert, together 
with a form receipt, the cashier stamps the receipt ''paid" 
and delivers it to the person entitled thereto. For fees earned 
through the naturalization division of the office, no receipt is 
issued, the practice being to transmit the paper, together with 
the fee, to the cashier, who places the seal of the court upon 
the instrument and delivers it to the applicant. Orders for 
transcripts of records and certified copies are taken on forms 
provided for that purpose. When the work in connection with 
these orders has been completed, the transcript or certified 
copy, together with the original order, upon which the amount 
of the fee to be collected has been noted by the head of the 
folio division, is forwarded to the cashier. When one of these 
documents is called for, the cashier collects the fee, issues a 
receipt therefor and delivers the document to the applicant. 
The cashier is provided with a daily cash sheet so ruled in 
columns as to indicate the several classes of fees collected 
through the office, and when money is received he enters the 
amount thereof in the appropriate column. The cashier also 
keeps a record of all pauper cases instituted. The report of 
the clerk recently filed shows there were 1,179 of these cases 
started during the year ending October 31, 1911. 

Process Clerics , 

The process clerks, of whom there are two, issue all orig- 
inal and mesne process. They also post the general docket and 
the general plaintiffs and defendants indexes, respectively. 



38 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

The records show that during the year ending October 31, 
1911, 8,033 suits were commenced in this court, or an average 
of about thirty per working day. Of the cases commenced, 232 
were confessions and 366 special assessment cases upon which 
no original process issues. The bond record would indicate the 
issuance of 115 injunction writs with bond and twenty-three 
writes of ne exeat. There is no statistical data available to 
indicate the number of alias and plurius writs or the number 
of mesne process, such as injunctions without bond, attach- 
ments for contempt, capias, dedimus, etc., issued. 

Execution Clerk, 

The execution clerk issues all fee bills and final process. 
He also operates two books — one the execution docket, the 
other the fee book. The records kept by this clerk show that 
during the year ending October 31, 1911, he issued and dock- 
eted 406 writs and taxed costs in 6,024 cases, an average of 
one and a half and twenty-two, respectively, per working day. 
There is no data as to the number of fee bills issued. 

Judgment Clerk. 

The judgment clerk operates the judgment docket, show- 
ing all money judgments and decrees entered. It is a chrono- 
logical and alphabetical index by the name of the party against 
whom a judgment or decree for money has been rendered, and 
shows briefly the date and case number, names of the parties, 
kind of suit, the book and page where the judgment is spread 
of record, and the amount of the judgment. There is also a 
column headed "Remarks,** in which this clerk enters memo- 
randa of assignments or satisfactions when filed. The records 
show that for the year ending October 31, 1911, judgments or 
decrees of this class were entered and docketed in 1,902 cases 
(an average of seven per working day). The judgment clerk 
also opens the original entries in the common law docket and 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 39 

prepares the file wrappers for law cases. The entries in 1911 
averaged fourteen per working day. In addition to the duties 
just enumerated, he writes up the records in condemnation and 
confession of judgment cases. Printed form books are pro- 
vided for the recording of proceedings in these classes of 
cases. For the year ending October 31, 1911, the records show 
116 pages of confession and 146 pages of condemnation record 
written. This is an average of one-half page per working day 
in each record. 

Register Clerk, 

The register clerk, as the title indicates, operates a regis- 
ter upon which is entered consecutively the number of each 
suit commenced, the title thereof, and certain other data. Sub- 
sequently, as each paper relating to any case is filed, a brief 
description thereof, with the name of the person filing it and 
the time of filing, is entered in a column provided for that pur- 
pose opposite the case to which it refers. He also prepares 
file wrappers for all chancery cases. 

Pending File and Vault Clerks, 

The duties of these clerks are identical with those of the 
file and vault clerks in the Circuit Court office, except that the 
Superior Court file clerks also operate the term indexes. 

Stenographer. 

A stenographer is assigned to the clerk and chief clerk. 
Her duties consist chiefly of handling the correspondence of 
the office. 

General Clerks, 

No specific duties are assigned to the two general clerks. 
They are employed in doing such general work as may from 
time to time be required of them. For some time past they 



40 Chicago Bureau of Public Efflciency 

have been engaged in rewriting a portion of the naturalization 
indexes and otherwise assisting in that division. 

Bookkeeper, 

Prior to the instalation of a scheme of accounting in 
the office of the county comptroller, a system of accounts, 
necessitating the services of a bookkeeper, was operated in 
the clerk's office. At the present time so far as the investiga- 
tors of the Bureau have been able to ascertain, the work of the 
bookkeeper is negligible and such minor duties as he may now 
perform could be assigned to such clerks as from time to time 
were unoccupied and available for that work. 

SUGGESTED CHANGES. 

It is recommended that the positions now filled by the two 
process clerks, the judgment clerk, one vault clerk and the 
bookkeeper be abolished and that the present bond and juror 
clerk and filing clerk be designated as filing and process and 
assistant filing and process clerks, respectively. 

The filing and process clerk and his assistant, in addition 
to performing the duties which they now perform, would then 
issue all original process as is now done by the filing clerks in 
the Circuit Court. The receiving and approving of bonds would 
also be assigned to these clerks and in addition they would be 
required to operate the general docket and the general plain- 
tiffs and defendants indexes, and to mail publication notices 
and keep the record thereof. The work of paying off jurors, 
which would fall upon these two clerks, is performed for the 
most part on Friday of each alternate week. A considerable 
number of jurors demanding payment at one time would cause 
congestion at the filing clerk's window. To avoid this it is 
suggested that jurors might be paid off at another window, 
the assistant filing clerk, and, if necessary, one of the general 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 41 

clerks, being assigned for this purpose during the two or three 
hours when the work is heavy. 

No additional duties would be imposed upon the cashier 
except that the trust fund accounts should be handled by him. 

The work of operating the judgment docket, as well as 
issuing all process other than original process, should be as- 
signed to the execution clerk. If the practice suggested on 
page 27 of requiring the several minute clerks to transmit daily 
to the execution clerk upon appropriate forms memoranda of 
all entries to be posted to the judgment docket were adopted, 
there would no longer be any necessity for the judgment or 
execution clerk each day to read the entire law record as is 
now the practice. The work of preparing file wrappers for 
both law and chancery cases might well be assigned to the 
pending file clerks. 

The making of the opening entries in the law docket and 
the writing up of the condemnation and confession records 
should be done in the record writing department. 

The work in the vaults could be readily handled by one 
clerk instead of two, as at the present time. 

It will be noted that the positions now filled by the two 
general clerks have been left undisturbed, so as to provide 
such relief as might be necessary on account of unavoidable 
absence of members of the regular staff or a temporary swell 
in the volume of business in either of the several divisions of 
the service. 

If the changes above suggested were made and the sala- 
ries of the filing and process and pending file clerks graded 
in accordance with the salaries paid for similar services in the 
Circuit Court office, a saving of $7,940 a year could be ef- 
fected. 



42 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

2. Naturalization Division. 

Two clerks are regularly assigned to the work in this divi- 
sion. Without attempting to describe in detail their duties, it 
may be said that these clerks are necessary for this work and 
no change in connection with this branch of the service is rec- 
ommended. 

The federal naturalization act which became effective 
July 1, 1906, provides for the collection by the clerk of certain 
fees. Of these fees the clerk is permitted to retain one-half 
up to a maximum of $3,000 per year; the remainder of all 
fees collected is turned over to the federal government. 

Prior to 1909, it was the practice of the present clerk of 
the Superior Court to retain these fees and employ such cler- 
ical assistance as was necessary for the performance of the 
work. In doing so, he assumed to be acting in his individual 
rather than his official capacity, and made no accounting to the 
county. Beginning with the fiscal year 1909, the former prac- 
tice was changed. It was stated that since then these fees have 
been kept in a separate fund and turned over daily by the 
cashier to the chief clerk; also that at the end of the current 
month one-half of the amount collected is entered in lump on 
the cash sheet transmitted to the auditor, and the sum so shown 
turned over to the county treasurer, together with other fees 
collected. At the time the change in the method of handling 
the fund was inaugurated, clerks were provided by the county 
for the purpose of performing this work. 

3. Record Writing and Folio Divisions. 

ANNUAL REPORT OF THE CLERK. 

The annual report of the clerk of the Superior Court, filed 
November 20, 1911, shows 5,261 pages of law record and 12,336 
pages of chancery record written. An analysis of the report 
and an examination of the record books from which it was com- 
piled, disclosed the following: 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 



43 



Number of pages of law record reported written — 

Pages 

Condemnation Suits (forms) 

Confessions of Judgments (forms) 

Defaults (forms) 

Dismissals (forms) 

Miscellaneous Longhand Records 

Deduct — 

*Condemnation Suits (forms) 146 

*Confessions of Judgments (forms) 116 

Number of pages reported in excess of number 
of pages contained in books within periods 
covered by reports 



Pages 
146 
116 
31 

140 

4828 



262 



1084 



5261 



1346 



3915 
Estimated number of full pages reported but 
not written due to failure to utilize approxi- 
mately 20 per cent, of the space on such 
pages as were written upon at all 835 

Equivalent total number of full pages written by 

4 law record writers 3080 

Number of Pages of Chancery Record Reported Written — 
Decrees: 

Pages Pages Pages 

Foreclosures (forms) 200 

Defaults (forms) 1286 

Miscellaneous (longhand) 5983 7469 

Orders: 

Defaults (forms) 1055 

Miscellaneous (longhand) 3812 4867 12336 

Deduct: 

Number of pages reported in excess of num- 
ber of pages contained in books within 
periods covered by report. 

Form books 116 

Decrees (longhand) 312 

Orders (longhand) 39 **467 

Estimated number of full pages reported 
but not written due to failure to utilize 
a portion of the space on such pages as 
were written upon at all. 

Decrees (longhand) 715 

Orders (longhand) 33^ 1054 1521 

10815 
Add pages written but not reported 42 

Equivalent total number full pages actually 

written 10857 



*Written by judgment clerk, not by law record writers. 
**See detail statement on next page. 



44 



Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 



CLERK OF THE SUPERIOR COURT. 

Detailed statement of ''Eecord Writing" done in office of Clerk of 
Superior Court for year ending October 31, 1911, showing discrepancies 
between the number of pages reported by Clerk and the actual number 
of pages (full or partial) written during that period. 

Number of Pages 
Pages Contained in Books 
Number of Eeported Within Periods Excess Pages 

Eecord Book. by Clerk Covered by Keport. Reported by Clerk. 



Law Records: 








203 




170 


70 


100 


218 




253 


163 


100 


221 




263 


241 


22 


226 




169 


69 


100 


231 




598 


693 


5 


234 




224 


224 


* . . 


241 




186 


5 


181 


242 




172 


172 


... 


243 




132 


32 


100 


244 




245 


224 


21 


245 


(Forms) 


146 


123 


23 


246 




178 


156 


22 


247 




133 


33 


100 


248 




113 


11 


102 


249 


(Forms) 


140 


140 




252 




160 


56 


104 


253 




200 


96 


104 


254 


to 263 


1779 


1779 
4177 





Total 


5261 


1084 


Chancery Records (Decrees): 






294 


(Forms) 


200 


200 


... 


386 


(Forms) 


115 


12 


103 


415 




185 


103 


82 


422 




248 


252 


♦4 


423 




339 


252 


87 


424 




149 


151 


•2 


425 




644 


639 


6 


426 


(Forms) 


527 


518 


9 


427 




644 


622 


22 


428 




644 


641 


3 


429 




644 


575 


69 


430 




644 


641 


3 


433 


(Forms) 


644 


640 


4 


440 




644 


622 


22 


441 




644 


625 


19 


442 


to 445 


554 
7469 


554 
7047 




Total 


428 


Chancery ] 


Records (Orders): 






397 




181 


165 


16 


416 




154 


183 


*29 


417 




292 


295 


*3 


418 




644 


640 


4 


419 




644 


643 


1 


420 




425 


429 


*4 


421 




337 


337 


... 


434 




644 


626 


18 


435 




491 


491 


... 


Total 




3812 


3809 


39 



■no-foiiU Clr-^, 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 45 

PBESENT METHODS. 

Three separate corps of clerks are provided for perform- 
ing the record writing and folio service. Each is under the 
direction of a head clerk, who also does some of the detail 
work. All records are written in long hand in bound books, 
and such copies as it is necessary for the folio clerks to pre- 
pare in making certified copies and transcripts of records are 
also written in long hand. 

Law Record Writers. 

The procedure now followed with respect to the writing 
of law records requires the several minute clerks to make min- 
utes of orders entered by their respective judges in books pro- 
vided for that purpose and later to transcribe these abbrevi- 
ated forms of orders to a similar book in the law record writ- 
ers' room. The law record writers, of whom there are four, 
subsequently expand the abbreviated form and spread the ex- 
panded form on the record. The orders spread of record by 
these clerks for the most part are a repetition of well-defined 
forms with which any competent clerk can readily familiarize 
himself. A few of the orders contain variations from the usual 
forms which are more or less complicated and require some de- 
gree of skill in drafting. The report of the clerk of the Supe- 
rior Court indicates 5,261 pages of law record written during 
the year ending October 31, 1911. Of these, 262 pages were in 
connection with confessions, and condemnation proceedings, 
for which printed form books are provided. They were writ- 
ten by the judgment clerk heretofore mentioned. 

A careful examination by the Bureau's investigators of the 
other record books shows that 1,084 pages reported are not to 
be found in the books within the dates included in the report 
and that of those pages reported which were written upon at 
all, approximately 20 per cent, of the space was wasted through 



46 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

failure to utilize portions of pages. The unused portions of 
these pages were equivalent to 835 full pages. The four clerks 
assigned to writing up the law records, therefore, wrote the 
equivalent of about 3,080 full pages during the past year (see 
table, page 43), or an average of about three pages a day for 
each man. Two clerks should have performed this work under 
the methods now in use, and making allowance for the increase 
in the number of sitting judges during the ensuing year, three 
men should be sufficient to spread the law records and also to 
operate the confession and condemnation form records and the 
law docket. 

Chancery Record Writers. 

For the purpose of spreading chancery orders and de- 
crees and special assessment orders of record, the clerk of the 
Superior Court is provided with twelve assistants. Four of 
these are assigned to writing up ''orders.'' Seven spread ''the 
decrees" of record. One clerk writes the record in special as- 
sessment cases. All records are written out in full in long 
hand except default divorce decrees and certain default orders 
and foreclosure decrees for which printed form books are 
provided. 

The annual report of the clerk referred to shows 3,812 
pages of "orders" written. The check made by the Bureau's 
investigators indicates that he is entitled to credit for thirty- 
six additional pages written but not reported. Of the 3,812 
pages reported, however, thirty-nine were blank and the ag- 
gregate written matter was equivalent to only 3,470 full pages. 
In addition, 1,055 pages of "defaults" for which printed form 
books are provided, were filled in, making a total of 4,525 pages 
written. Computing 500 words (fifty lines, ten words per line) 
to the page, this was equivalent to 22,625 folios of 100 words 
each. Allowing 250 working days per year, the four clerks 
assigned to this work copied on the average an aggregate of 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 47 

9,050 words, or 2,262 words per working day each. The sal- 
aries of these clerks aggregate $6,120 a year. On the above 
basis, therefore, this work cost the county approximately 27 
cents per folio of 100 words. 

The report above referred to also shows 7,469 pages of de- 
crees written. Of these, 1,486 pages were reported filled in on 
printed forms and 5,983 were reported written out in full in 
long hand. The check of the investigators of the Bureau shows 
six pages written but not reported and that 116 pages of the 
1,486 pages reported contained no written matter whatever. 
The report as to the 5,983 pages is erroneous in that only 5,671 
pages appeared to have been written upon at all between the 
dates reported. (See table, page 43.) There was further lost 
the equivalent of 715 full pages through failure to utilize por- 
tions of the pages upon which some written matter appears. 
Therefore, 1,370 pages were written on forms and 4,962 full 
pages of matter were copied at length, making a total of 6,332 
pages written. Computed at 500 words per page, this work 
represents 31,660 folios of 100 words each. On a basis of 250 
working days per year, the seven clerks making these copies 
aggregated 12,664 words per day, or 1,810 words each. The 
salaries of these clerks aggregated $9,440, making the cost to 
the county approximately 29.8 cents per folio. 

The records of special assessment suits are kept by one 
clerk. During the year ending October 31 last, he spread 1,433 
pages. On the basis above described, this was equivalent to 
2,866 words per day at a cost of 20.7 cents per folio of 100 
words. This clerk also devotes a small portion of his time to 
operating the docket of special assessment suits. 

Practically all of the work done in the writing of chancery 
records is straight copying. The above figures with respect to 
both decrees and orders are significant, therefore, in view of 
the fact that when copying of records in the recorder's office 
was done in longhand from sixty to seventy folios, or from 



48 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

6,000 to 7,000 words, were considered a moderate day's work, 
and further that the cost of copying records in that office, in- 
cluding overhead expense for superintendance and general 
clerical work, was approximately 6 cents per 100 words. The 
fact that one of the chancery record writers makes opening 
entries (about fifteen per day) in the chancery docket, and 
the further fact that occasionally these men are called upon 
to assist in preparing transcripts in the folio division, have 
not been lost sight of in compiling these figures. It is believed, 
however, that such time as these men may devote to this lat- 
ter work is more than offset by what they save through the 
use of printed form blanks in doing their regular work, on ac- 
count of the use of which no deductions were made in comput- 
ing the amount of such work done by them. Attention is also 
called to the estimate of 500 words per page (fifty lines, ten 
words per line) used in computing the volume of work done. 
A few instances were noted wherein the work ran ten words 
per line, but in a majority of the books eight rather than ten 
words would be a fair average, so that the above estimates 
by the Bureau of the volume of work are probably much too 
high rather than too low. 

Folio Clerks. 

At the present time there are four clerks regularly em- 
ployed in preparing certified copies and transcripts of records 
in this division. A fifth man devotes most of his time to this 
work, occasionally doing the work of a minute clerk when his 
services are required in that capacity. It is claimed that the 
work of this division is not distributed uniformly throughout 
the year, the volume of work increasing very largely during 
the intervals just preceding the days fixed for filing records in 
the Appellate and Supreme Courts. 

The claim is made also that it has been found necessary 
to call in clerks from other branches of the service in order to 



Clerks of Circuit and Superior Courts 49 

complete transcripts prior to the days on which they were re- 
quired by statute to be filed. Under the present system there 
is no data available to indicate the volume of the work in this 
division or to what extent additional help has been required 
to do the work. Attention is directed to the fact, however, that 
the fees collected for this service, including the fees for certi- 
fied copies of naturalization papers, are only a trifle in excess 
cf the salaries of the five clerks mentioned above. Such copy- 
ing from the papers in the files or the records of the court as 
may be necessary for the purpose of making up transcripts is 
now done in longhand. Because of the fluctuation in the vol- 
ume of the work and of the special training with respect to the 
manner of assembling records for appeals, which is required 
of one or more of the clerks performing this service, no reduc- 
tion in the number of men now employed on this work is rec- 
ommended if long hand copying methods are to be continued. 
Under the plan hereinafter suggested (page 50), the fifth man 
would devote his entire time to assisting the minute clerks. 
The stenographer on the general staff in the Circuit Clerk's 
office assists from time to time with the folio work, as does also 
the judge's stenographer. It is suggested that this practice of 
employing the services of these two clerks in the folio division 
when their time is not otherwise engaged might be followed 
with profit in this office as well. 

SUGGESTED CHANGES. 

If present methods are to be continued, three clerks, as 
shown on page 46, should be sufficient for writing the law 
records. Salaries of $1,800 for the head clerk and $1,200 for 
each of the other two would be commensurate with the serv- 
ices rendered. No change is recommended with respect to the 
four clerks regularly employed in the folio service. The writ- 
ing of *' short" (one page or less in length) chancery orders 
should be assigned to the respective chancery minute clerks. 



50 Chicago Bureau of Public Efficiency 

If this were done, there would remain, on the basis of last 
year's work, approximately 17,000 words per day to l?e copied 
and compared. Four copyists should experience no difficulty 
in handling this work ; three probably could do it. Salaries of 
$1,800 for the head clerk and $1,200 for each of the other copy- 
ists are suggested. These changes would result in reducing 
from twelve to four the number of clerks now assigned to the 
chancery work. 

If these changes were made, and the salaries of the chan- 
cery minute clerks graded in accordance with the recommen- 
dations of this report, the saving in salary expense would 
amount to $16,860 a year. 

COURT ROOM SERVICE. 

The court room service is performed by the minute 
clerks, except that a stenographer is provided for the oc- 
casional work of the judges requiring stenographic service. 
A minute clerk is assigned to each judge trying cases. At the 
present time there are three judges regularly hearing chan- 
cery cases and ten judges trying lawsuits. Three additional 
judges were assigned to law calendars December 4. This will 
necessitate the appointment of « thirteen minute clerks for the 
ensuing year in order to man all of the courts. It is recom- 
mended that the practice now followed in the Circuit Court, 
of requiring the chancery minute clerks to write up all short 
orders entered by the judges to whom they are assigned, re- 
spectively, be adopted in the Superior Court, and that for the 
purpose of assisting in this work and also providing for the 
filling of vacancies caused by unavoidable absence of either 
of the regular minute clerks, an extra minute clerk be provided. 



137 



RETURN TO the circulation desk of any 
University of California Library 
or to the 
NORTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 
BIdg. 400, Richmond Field Station 
University of California 
Richmond, CA 94804-4698 

ALL BOOKS MAY BE RECALLED AFTER 7 DAYS 

• 2-month loans may be renewed by calling 
(510)642-6753 

• 1-year loans may be recharged by bringing 
books to NRLF 

• Renewals and recharges may be made 4 
days prior to due date. 

DUE AS STAMPED BELOW 



SEP 2 1 1998 



12,000(11/95)