Suffredin- Changing County Government  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.
   
     
     
     



Dorothy Brown can't 'end-run' First Amendment, judge says in denying delay

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Jason Meisner

A federal judge on Tuesday said Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown cannot “end-run” the First Amendment by failing to provide the public with immediate access to electronically filed civil lawsuits.

In a strongly worded seven-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly let stand his order last month giving Brown 30 days to make digital copies of lawsuits accessible in real time at public access terminals in the Daley Center.



The order arose from a lawsuit filed in December by the Courthouse News Service alleging e-filed lawsuits were often not accessible to the public for a day or more. Before Brown’s office began transitioning to electronic filings in 2015, media outlets covering county courts obtained paper copies of lawsuits filed on the same day they were filed, the news service’s suit alleged.

Brown had asked Kennelly to stay his order pending her appeal to the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing in part that it would have unfairly required her to post lawsuits that were supposed to be under seal.

But Kennelly said that’s not the issue. He also said that Brown was trying to argue that her hands were tied by the system when in fact she was the one who put it together.

“What is actually afoot is a system, effectively created by Brown herself, in which all e-filed complaints are treated as having been filed under seal until Brown herself clears them for public access,” Kennelly wrote. “Brown cannot end-run the First Amendment by creating a system in which hypothetical doubt regarding whether litigants comply with rules about redaction allow her to exclude the public from access to judicial proceedings until she is good and ready to provide it.”

Kennelly also took Brown to task for trying to claim that it would be too expensive for her to comply with his order. Making the documents visible on public terminals in her own courthouses was a “rather basic computer function,” not a technological nightmare, he said.

A spokeswoman for Brown was not immediately available for comment.

The Courthouse News Service lawsuit was the latest dispute over Brown’s alleged failures to modernize the archaic filing systems in her office. Last year, the Illinois Supreme Court gave the clerk an extra six months to meet a statewide deadline to end nearly all paper filings in civil cases after Brown said her vendor wouldn't be ready by Jan. 1.

Nearly 62 percent of the county's roughly 178,000 civil filings last year were on paper. The clerk now has until June 30 to implement mandatory electronic filing in most civil cases.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @jmetr22b



Recent Headlines

Preteens out of detention before trial under new ordinance
Friday, September 14, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Board bars detention of youth under 13 years old
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Injustice Watch

Preteens accused of crimes won't be locked up at Cook County juvenile center
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Slowik: Cook County offers residents last chance to comment on strategic plan
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Daily Southtown

Settlement over Cook County's 2007 decision to cut inmates' dental care will cost nearly $5.3 million
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Anti-patronage Shakman pact requiring federal oversight of Cook County hiring, firing to end
Friday, August 31, 2018
Chicago Tribune

1st District upholds merit board in firing of deputy
Thursday, August 30, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Neighborhood program helps Cook County residents buy homes
Sunday, August 26, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Judge upholds Cook County firearm, ammunition taxes
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Editorial: E-filing should make Cook County courts more accessible. It doesn't
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County tax incentive could pave way for Wingstop, Dunkin' Donuts on Elgin's Summit Street
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Editorial: What happened to the elk?
Friday, August 10, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Wells Fargo to offer $15,000 grants to potential Cook County homebuyers
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suit alleges Cook County detainees secretly monitored in bathrooms in holding cells at courthouses
Wednesday, August 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Half the elk at Busse Woods died last year, and officials aren’t sure why
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

A letter from Dr. Jay Shannon regarding gun violence and Stroger Hospital
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

As Evanston adapts to minimum wage hike, nearby towns say they have no plan to join in
Tuesday, August 07, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit could blast a $250 million hole in county budget
Monday, August 06, 2018
Crain's Chicago Business

Pappas: Automatic refunds of $19.5 million going to 53,000 homeowners because of property tax cuts
Monday, August 06, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

Thousands of Cook County homeowners to receive property tax refunds
Monday, August 06, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP