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Cook County chief judge pushes reopening dates back

Friday, May 29, 2020
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
by Patricia Manson

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans on Thursday extended the court’s shutdown for another month, setting target dates for resuming court operations in July.

Many non-emergency court matters were halted or scaled back in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the middle of March.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Evans issued a written statement that the court still has the ability to move the opening date sooner, but it’s giving itself a target of July 7 “to allow enough time for all justice system stakeholders to ensure that more proceedings will be conducted in a way that protects everybody.”

Evans amended General Administrative Order 2020-01 to reschedule all matters — with some exceptions — an additional 30 days from the date currently scheduled or a date that is no more than 30 days after July 6, whichever comes first.

If the 30th day falls on a holiday or weekend, the matter will be set for the next business day.

In the Law Division, all matters currently scheduled between Thursday and July 3 will be continued for 56 days, while matters scheduled after July 3 will be continued 35 days.

In the Chancery Division, all mortgage foreclosure judgments, foreclosure sales and evictions in furtherance of foreclosures are stayed until July 19.

The Pretrial Division will conduct bail hearings every day in the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Preliminary hearings and arraignments that have started as of Thursday will continue to proceed. Court will be open for plea agreements.

Arresting agencies in Districts 2 through 6 will provide the equipment needed for defendants to take part in their bail hearings by videoconference.

If the arresting agency is unable to provide the equipment for a videoconference, the arresting agency will turn the defendant over to the sheriff at the appropriate courthouse. The sheriff will provide the equipment and location for a videoconference.

All forensic examinations of juveniles and adults in criminal cases are continued for 60 days from the date the examination is scheduled or the date the order for the examination was issued, whichever is later.

Juvenile detention hearings will be conducted every day at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave.

The Child Protection Division will conduct temporary custody hearings and hearings on emergency motions as scheduled.

All in-person traffic and misdemeanor cases are continued until further notice.

In civil matters in all divisions, the judge presiding will hear emergency motions. The hearing will be held in person or by videoconference or teleconference.

Petitions for emergency civil orders of protection, firearms restraining orders or civil or stalking no-contact orders will be heard at 555 W. Harrison St. and at the Skokie, Rolling Meadows, Bridgeview and Markham courthouses.

Only 10 people may be in any courtroom at one time, and they must maintain a distance of at least six week from each other.

Judges will be available by remote means or in person to hear emergency matters. The presiding judge of each division or district will determine which judges will be handling those matters.

All hearings will be conducted by videoconference or by teleconference if it is not reasonably possible to hold the matter by videoconference.

No new grand jury will be impaneled before June 8. Grand jury terms set to expire on or before May 29 will be extended to June 5.

Responsive motions and initial and responsive pleadings may be filed with the circuit clerk electronically or in person.

Non-essential gatherings and trips are canceled. Orders to attend traffic safety school or other programs are continued until rescheduled.

No marriage ceremonies will be performed in Marriage Court until July 6 or a further order from Evans.



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