Today, practitioners got some news about Cook County’s plans to resume court on June 1st, through meetings sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association and the Northwest Suburban Bar Association. The meetings were conducted on Zoom. I was able to attend the CBA meeting, and listen to Presiding Judge LeRoy Martin, Jr. speak about plans for the Criminal Division. Due to Zoom limitations on the number of attendees, I was unable to sit in the NWSBA meeting, but I have heard some news from members and the video will be posted sometime soon. I will update this blog if new information arises.
Also today, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an Order and guidelines for re-opening, which you can find here. In summary, the Court recommends resuming operations, but encourages remote court appearances as much as possible, recommended that the Court prioritize certain cases and laid out safety precautions for courts to follow.
As for Cook County, expect each Division to announce its new rules sometime next week. Presiding Judge Martin said that in the Criminal Division counsel should prioritize cases, with pleas (especially pleas for people already in custody) taking precedence. He asked that counsel email State’s Attorneys to work out discovery issues, continuance dates and pleas in advance of court appearances.
Presiding Judge Martin said that he expects that each courtroom will hold hearings remotely through Zoom. The details of how this will be handles have yet to be worked out. He hopes to get resume bench trials sometime soon.
My understanding from the Northwest Suburban Bar Association meeting is that Rolling Meadows will have 12 courtrooms operating remotely via Zoom. At this time, t don’t know the details of how this will work in practice, particularly in regards to pro se traffic, domestic and civil matters.
Updates to come as more information becomes available.
Update on May 22: I have been contacted by an Assistant State’s Attorney who works at the Daley Center in Chicago. He advised me that for the first two weeks of June, the Court will be only hearing cases where the Defendant is expected to enter a guilty plea. He requested that if I had any such cases, that I should provide him with the information in advance so that the court hearing could be scheduled. It will be conducted remotely through Zoom. If you are an attorney who has such a case, contact me and I will forward you the ASA’s contacct information.