The neutral site fee charged in Madison County courts will remain, after an unsuccessful challenge by St. Clair County plaintiffs. The suit alleged the fee was just a tax by another name, but the Fifth Appellate Court disagreed. Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons says Madison County charges $5. State Law allows each county to set its own rate between $1 and $8.
Gibbons says it had become evident in contentious custody cases the burden that was placed on the family court system.
The neutral site sanctioned by Madison County is the Madison County Kids Corner at the health department site on the grounds of the former Wood River Township Hospital. With the Appellate Court's decision, the county also avoided a possible class action lawsuit, which was also being pursued by the plaintiffs.