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Illinois Newspapers Launch Free Public Notice Website

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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:01 am

The Illinois Press Association has created and launched a new statewide public notice website that provides the public with the ability to view public notices from newspapers across the state of Illinois.

PublicNoticeIllinois.com is a public service made financially possible by the newspapers of Illinois at no additional cost to local or state government. This website assists citizens who want to know more about the actions of local, county and state government as well as events occurring in the local and state court system. The IPA-sponsored public notice website is the only central Internet location for searching, viewing and printing of an aggregation of Illinois public notices.

PublicNoticeIllinois.com has been specifically designed to promote the importance of public notices and the role that they play in the daily lives of the Illinois citizens. The website ensures that public notices are accessible beyond the date of original publication while increasing public awareness about the workings of government.

"Public notices are vital to open government," said Dennis DeRossett, executive director of the IPA. "Just as important is the independent, third-party verification of notices that newspapers provide in the public notice process. This website is an extension of services already provided by newspapers, and we've been able to do this for the public at no cost to taxpayers."

The public notices that appear on this website will have been originally published in Illinois newspapers, the source for all community information, and will be available to users at no charge. According to a state law that took effect at the end of 2012, all public notices must be uploaded to the website after they are published in local newspapers.

DeRossett reiterated that the website is in addition to publication in newspapers, which is required by state statute. The printed notice in newspapers, he explained, serves to authenticate, certify and archive all public notices.

All visitors to PublicNoticeIllinois.com will be able to search notices by community, by newspaper or by keyword, all for free. The Illinois public notice website is already being used a model for other states, including Ohio and California.

A public notice, sometimes defined as a legal notice, is anything that is required by law or the judiciary to be published in the newspaper. These include foreclosure notices, assumed name notices for new businesses, municipal budgets and zoning changes, notice of meetings and property assessments, just to name a few.

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