Frequently Asked Questions - State's Attorney's Office

FAQs - State's Attorney's Office


The State's Attorney is forbidden to practice law except in his official capacity as prosecutor and advisor to county officials.  The State's Attorney's Office cannot give legal advice to private parties or represent them in civil matters such as divorce, landlord-tenant disputes, small claims, or probate matters. While we are happy to refer people to appropriate resources for help with these matters, we are not able to recommend individual private attorneys.


The first resort in these very common disputes is to try to reach an agreement with your neighbor. Many of these problems can be resolved with simple communications.  If that does not work, you may consult with a private attorney or , if you believe a crime has been committed, contact your local police agency.  The police will refer the matter to us if a crime has been committed.


The State's Attorney's files and materials relating to pending cases are confidential and not available to the general public.  All public documentation in a case is available for review in the Circuit Clerk's Office, just down the hall from our office on the 3rd floor of the New Courts Building.


Although the State's Attorney has investigative authority, for practical reasons, most investigation in criminal cases is handled by local police agencies.  If you believe you've been the victim of a crime, your first step is to call your local police, or if you live in rural Lee County, the Lee County Sheriff's Office.  The police will investigate the matter, take a report and refer the matter to us if they believe a crime has been committed.


The State's Attorney's Office is always available to talk with any member of the community.  However , if you are charged with an offense and have an attorney, we cannot discuss your case with you without your lawyer's permission.


If you have concerns about the conduct of any employee of the State's Attorney's Office, call and ask to speak to Mr. Klahn. He'll be pleased to sit down with you and listen to your concerns.  If you have a concern regarding a police officer, your first step is to contact the supervisory officer of that department and arrange a time to sit down with them.