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Are Search Warrants Public in Illinois? Depends on Which Clerk You Ask

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The court clerk in Illinois Sangamon County doesn’t make search warrants filed in the criminal courts there public. He sites the possibility of jeopardizing investigations, endangering informants, impeding a fair trial, and invasion of privacy. The clerks in two other counties contacted by the Springfield State Journal Register said warrants are public records. In response to the newspaper’s questions, the Sangamon County attorney has asked the state attorney general to rule on the matter. (5/17/07)