Cell phone ban goes into effect at Cook County Courthouses

nocellsignToday, the Cook County ban on cellphones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices went into effect.

According to the Cook County Court’s web site,  the ban applies to the following Courthouses:

  • The George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building, 2600 S. California Ave., Chicago
  • The Cook County Juvenile Center, 1100 West Hamilton Ave., Chicago
  • The Domestic Violence Courthouse, 555 West Harrison St., Chicago
  • The Second Municipal District Skokie Courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Road
  • The Third Municipal District Rolling Meadows Courthouse, 2121 Euclid Road
  • The Fourth Municipal District Maywood Courthouse, 1500 Maybrook Drive
  • The Fifth Municipal District Bridgeview Courthouse, 10220 S. 76th Ave.
  • The Sixth Municipal District Markham Courthouse, 16501 S. Kedzie Parkway
  • 5555 W. Grand Ave., Chicago (First Municipal District criminal branches 23 and 50)
  • 2452 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago (First Municipal District criminal branches 29 and 42)
  • 155 W. 51st St., Chicago (First Municipal District criminal branches 34 and 48)
  • 727 E. 111th St., Chicago (First Municipal District criminal branches 35 and 38)
  • 3150 W. Flournoy St., Chicago (First Municipal District criminal branches 43 and 44)

This means that the ban does not apply to the Richard J. Daley Center at 55 W. Washington St., Parentage and Child Support Court at 28 N. Clark and 32 W. Randolph, and Juvenile Court at 1100 S. Hamilton.  Given that the purported aim of the ban was to protect witnesses from being photographed by gang members, the failure to include Juvenile Court is glaring and perhaps its omission from the list is a typo.

According to the same website, the only people exempted are:

  1. persons with disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, who require electronic devices for effective communication;
  2. current or former judges;
  3. licensed attorneys;
  4. members of the news media;
  5. local, state, and federal law enforcement officers;
  6. employees of any local, state, or federal government agencies or offices;
  7. any person reporting for jury duty pursuant to summons;
  8. building and maintenance tradespeople, equipment repairpersons, and vendors;
  9. domestic violence advocates and counselors as defined by 750 ILCS 60/227(a)(2);
  10. authorized employees and agents of attorneys;
  11. any person or category of persons pursuant to order of court;
  12. persons who are present at the courthouse to obtain civil orders of protection, stalking no contact orders, or civil no contact orders or parties to a proceeding who are present at the courthouse to attend a proceeding related to an underlying order of protection, stalking no contact order, civil no contact order or other related proceedings;
  13. participants in a domestic violence assistance program;
  14. persons required by court order or the sheriff to wear an electronic monitoring device;
  15. parties to orders of protection who are required to carry a GPS devices; and
  16. All persons in the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago

These persons who are exempted from the ban must be on official business in the courthouse, have proper identification and may only use cell phones and other electronic devices in the public areas away from the courtrooms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s