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DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRY ORDINANCE

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Date Introduced: 6/17/2003
Date Passed:
7/1/2003

Sponsors:
Daley, Quigley, Stroger
Co-Sponsors:
Claypool, Collins, Sims, Steele, Suffredin

Summary:

Individuals engaged in a domestic partnership arrangement are able to receive a government-issued certificate of registered domestic partnership from Cook County.


Full Text of Legislation:

WHEREAS, many persons today live as families in enduring, committed relationships other than legal marriages; and

 

WHEREAS, the County of Cook has an interest in supporting all caring, committed and responsible family units; and

 

WHEREAS, Cook County would be providing a service to those companies, foundations, unions and non-profits in Cook County by creating an official depository of information with a government agency; and


 

WHEREAS, a government-issued certificate of registered domestic partnership makes it easier for small businesses to provide benefits to all types of families.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDAINED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners, AN ORDINANCE to assure that individuals shall be able to register their domestic partnerships with the Cook County Clerk.

 

DEFINITIONS

For purposes of this chapter ordinance:

1.         A “domestic partnership” shall mean the relationship of two unmarried adults of the same sex who meet the additional criteria set forth in this ordinance.

 

2.         A “domestic partner” shall refer to each person in a domestic partnership.

 

3.         A “registered domestic partnership” shall mean domestic partnerships which have been properly registered in the Office of the County Clerk by the means set forth in this chapter ordinance and which have not been terminated under this chapter ordinance.

 

4.         A “registered domestic partner” shall refer to each person in a registered domestic partnership.

 

5.         An “affidavit of domestic partnership” shall mean an affidavit prepared by the Office of the County Clerk in accordance with procedures adopted by the County Clerk to verify that domestic partners meet the requirements of this chapter ordinance to become registered domestic partners. The procedures of the County Clerk with regard to such affidavits shall be adopted by the effective date of this legislation.

 

6.         An “affidavit of termination” shall mean an affidavit on a form prepared by the Office of the County Clerk in accordance with procedures adopted by the County Clerk to effect termination of a registered domestic partnership by a registered domestic partner in accordance with this chapter ordinance. The procedures of the County Clerk with regard to such affidavits shall be adopted by the effective date of this legislation.

 

DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP REGISTRATION

1.         In order to register a domestic partnership, the domestic partners shall jointly execute an affidavit of domestic partnership before a notary public and file the affidavit in the Office of the County Clerk.

 

2.         In addition to identifying information, each person executing an affidavit of domestic partnership must declare under penalty of perjury that:

a.         Neither domestic partner is legally married;

b.         Each domestic partner is eighteen (18) years of age or older;

c.         Each domestic partner is competent to enter into a contract;

d.         The domestic partners are not related by blood in a manner that would bar marriage in the State of Illinois;

e.         The domestic partners share a common household within Cook County, or one domestic partner is employed to work within Cook County;

f.          The domestic partners are in a close and committed relationship of mutual financial and emotional support and intend to remain in such a relationship;

g.         Each is the other’s sole domestic partner and intends to remain each other’s sole domestic partner;

h.         Neither domestic partner was in a registered domestic partnership that has terminated by operation of law within the thirty (30) calendar days immediately prior to the filing of the affidavit of domestic partnership; and

i.         Each domestic partner agrees to file an affidavit of termination in accordance with this chapter ordinance including written notice to the other, in the event that any of the above no longer applies.

 

3.         A registered domestic partnership shall be established and effective upon the filing of a fully executed affidavit of domestic partnership with the Office of the County Clerk and payment of any required fees.

4.         A Certificate of Domestic Partnership will be issued at the time of filing of the affidavit and payment of fees.

 

FORM OF AFFIDAVIT OF DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP

 

All affidavits relating to the domestic partnership shall be executed on a form provided by the Office of the County Clerk. The affidavit of domestic partnership shall contain the following information and shall be in substantially the following form:

 

We, the undersigned, do hereby declare ourselves to be domestic partners. We are both eighteen years of age or older, unmarried and competent to enter into a contract. We are not related by blood in a manner that would bar marriage under the laws of the State of Illinois. We share a common household. We are in a close and committed relationship of mutual financial and emotional support and intend to remain in the relationship. We are each other’s sole domestic partner, have no other domestic partner and intend to remain each other’s sole domestic partner. Neither of us has terminated another registered domestic partnership within the last thirty calendar days. Each of us agrees to file a termination statement in the event that the domestic partnership is terminated.

 

AMENDMENT OF AFFIDAVIT OF DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP

 

Either domestic partner may, on a form provided by the County Clerk, amend an affidavit of domestic partnership filed with the Office of the County Clerk at any time to reflect a change in the information previously provided to the County Clerk.

 

TERMINATION OF REGISTERED DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP

 

1.         Either or both registered domestic partners may seek to terminate a registered domestic partnership by filing in the Office of the County Clerk a notarized affidavit of termination declaring under penalty of perjury, that the domestic partnership is terminated, and if only one of the registered domestic partners executes the affidavit of termination, that he or she has sent written notice that he or she is terminating the registered domestic partnership to the other registered domestic partner at the other partner’s last known address, by means of registered mail, return receipt requested.

2.         A registered domestic partnership shall terminate by operation of law:

 

(a) immediately upon either of the registered domestic partners marrying; or (b) if (a) does not apply, then thirty (30) calendar days after the earliest date that one or both registered domestic partners has filed an executed affidavit of termination or (c) either of the registered domestic partners has died.

 

3.         The affidavit of domestic partnership, certificate of domestic partnership and affidavit of termination forms will reflect the information in this chapter ordinance as to when registered domestic partnerships commence and terminate by operation of law.

 

4.         An affidavit of termination may be rescinded by a registered domestic partner until the time that termination would otherwise take effect. Nothing in this chapter ordinance prevents former registered domestic partners from filing a new affidavit of domestic partnership if they satisfy the requirements of this chapter ordinance.

 

FEES

 

The County Clerk shall set reasonable fees of not more than $30 to be charged for the (1) filing (2) amendment to, or (3) termination of, a domestic partnership registration. Upon payment of the aforesaid fee, the individual(s) shall receive two (2) certified copies of the applicable document. The fee for obtaining additional certified copies of the applicable document shall be the fee customarily charged by the County Clerk for obtaining additional certified copies of documents filed with the Office of the County Clerk.

 

OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DOMESTIC PARTNERS

 

1.         When a domestic partnership has ended, each of the partners to the domestic partnership shall jointly or separately file an affidavit of termination within thirty (30) days with the Office of the County Clerk.

 

2.       All registered domestic partners shall, within thirty (30) days of any change in that status, give notice to any party who, in order to qualify the domestic partner for a benefit or right, relied upon or was given a copy of the affidavit of domestic partnership.

 

RECORDS

1.         The County Clerk shall maintain a log of registrations, amendments, certificates, and terminations of domestic partnerships by name of each individual and date of filing in a format designed to facilitate access to such statements. The log shall be a public record pursuant to the State of Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The County Clerk shall treat any other information of a personally identifying nature relating to any individual as a matter of personal privacy exempt from disclosure under the State of Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

 

2.         Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the publication of statistics pertaining to domestic partnerships that have been registered with the Office of the County Clerk.

 

SEVERABILITY

 

If any section of this ordinance or the application thereof to any individual, partnership, or circumstance shall be adjudged invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such order or judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the controversy in which such order or judgment was rendered.

 

EFFECTIVE DATE

This ordinance shall take effect ninety (90) days after its passage.


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