Cook County extends court closure through July 6th

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans has signed a new order extending the COVID-19 shutdown through July 6th, so that the court can have more time to set up Zoom accounts in each courtroom.

What is left unclear at this time is whether the 50 courtrooms that currently have Zoom accounts will be allowed to proceed with basic hearings such as misdemeanor pleas using the service.

Hopefully, more details will be released soon.

Here is a link to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin with more information.

Lake County, IL will be holding Court via Zoom starting June 1st

Lake County will be moving most court operations online beginning next week, on June 1st.  As you can see from the video that I posted above, you will need to download Zoom and create a free account if you haven’t one already, then go the Lake County web page to find your courtroom Zoom link.  Make sure to read the Court’s remote hearing instructions and protocols.

Cook County is working on resuming Court on June 1st, but mostly through Zoom

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.

Buffalo Bills DE Ed Oliver arrested for DWI in Texas

From ProFootballTalk.com:

Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver was arrested overnight in Houston.

According to the Montgomery County Jail, Oliver is being held on one count of driving while intoxicated and one count of unlawfully carrying a weapon.

Oliver was pulled over in response to a 911 call by another driver, according to MontgomeryCountyPoliceReporter.com. According to the report, Oliver had an open beer between his legs and was brought in for a mandatory blood draw before being taken to jail. A search of his car found a pistol. No drugs were found.

The Bills chose Oliver with the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft. He had a good rookie season and is viewed as a building block for the Bills’ franchise, but this incident leaves open the possibility that he’ll miss part of this season with a league-mandated suspension.

 

Governor signs “License to Work” Act, ending driving suspensions for non-moving tickets

From Central Illinois Proud:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Prizker eliminated driver’s license suspensions for non-moving violations on Friday, reinstating tens of thousands of licenses.

The new License to Work act removes the State’s ability to take a resident’s driver’s license as punishment for unpaid tickets, fines, and fees.

“Suspending licenses for having too many unpaid tickets or fines or fees doesn’t necessarily make a person pay the bill, but it does mean that the people who are suffering from this don’t have a way to pay,” Governor Pritzker said.

The Governor’s Office says more than 50,000 Illinois licenses are suspended each year because drivers can’t afford to pay the fines.

The new law takes effect on July 1st.

From the Illinois ACLU:

The License to Work Act would:

  • Eliminates driver’s license suspension as a penalty for most non-driving violations, including:
  1. Failing to pay parking, compliance, or tollway tickets, fines, or fees
  2. Being judged to be a “truant minor”
  3. Criminal trespass to a vehicle, and a handful of other non-driving violations
  • Allows an individual whose license was suspended under any of these provisions to have their license reinstated.

The License to Work Act would keep Illinoisans on the road so that they can continue to work and support their families.

Lake County (IL) Judge diagnosed with COVID-19

Chief Judge Diane Winter has announced that a Lake County Judge, who was handling bond court in courtroom T-110 the week of April 27th has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  He was last on the bench on May 1st.  Chief Judge Winter’s announcement claims that all court officers who were in that courtroom have been notified, but I have heard from two private attorneys who so far have not.

Here is the announcement:

Lake County Judge COVID19

Lake County, IL extends COVID19 court closure until after Fourth of July

Lake County, Illinois has extended its court closure, extending it until July 6th for traffic and misdemeanor cases – more than a month longer than the current closures in Cook and DuPage Counties.

Here is a link to the courts’ order: http://www.19thcircuitcourt.state.il.us/DocumentCenter/View/2805/AO-20-29-Amended-COVID-19-Extension-to-5-29-final?fbclid=IwAR3hxSf2LpbwyGY-517YB7H3-TW7nb3BOb_RiCdOJzTI04jfAduSDHr14Xs

DuPage County Courts extend limited operations due to COVID19 through June 5

Chief Judge Daniel Guerin of DuPage County has announced that the court will extend its period of limited operations through June 5th.  The order means that court is closed for most matters, including traffic court.  There won’t be any marriage or civil union ceremonies until June 12th.

The exceptions to the order are:  bail hearings, felony or misdemeanor matters with in-custody defendants or speedy trial demands, juvenile detention and shelter care hearings and matters with in-custody minors, petitions and hearings on emergency and plenary orders of protection, stalking no-contact orders, civil no-contact orders and firearm restraining orders, summary suspension hearings, mental health hearings, and emergency motions.

Also, effective May 18th, all civll matters in the Chancery, Domestic Relations and Law Divisions will proceed as scheduled using telephonic and video conference technology .

Cook County extends COVID19 Court Closure through May 31st

Chief Judge Timothy Evans has extended the closure of Cook County courts (with certain exceptions) through May 31st, putting it in line with yesterday’s extension of Governor Pritzker’s “shelter in place” executive order.

Misdemeanor cases will be continued to the next “key date” and other cases will be continued based on continuance schedules to be issued by the Courts.

You can read the order here:  http://www.cookcountycourt.org/Portals/0/5_1_20%20GAO.pdf?ver=2020-05-01-115729-743&fbclid=IwAR0XBpEVKVQEL6Zm_bE7ypPzge9Q3AiaiAiwOR431KP7MukfCXC20K9mda8

If you are one of my clients, I will notify you of your new court date either by text or email.

IL Secretary of State to Extend Expiration Dates on Drivers Licenses, IDs and Registrations by 90 days

From WLDS.com:

Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that emergency rules have been filed to extend expiration dates on driver’s licenses, IDs, and vehicle registrations for at least 90 days after facilities reopen. The previous extension had been for 30 days. White said in a press release that he was hoping to alleviate the rush of customers visiting facilities once they reopen.

Following Governor Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home order, White closed Driver Services facilities to the public through April 30. White is encouraging residents to use services at cyberdriveillinois.com while the stay-at-home order is still currently in place. White says by using online service it will further help any further congestion at facilities when they reopen.