UPDATE: Coronavirus Court Closures

By:  Tim Black


240px-Coronavirus_iconAs promised, you can look to LauraLaw for continued updates on coronavirus court closures in the Chicagoland area during this period of social distancing and home confinement.  To that end, the Circuit Court of Cook County has announced that Chief Judge Timothy Evans has entered Amended General Administrative Order 2020-01 effective immediately in replacement of his previous order on coronavirus court closures and court operations.

Pursuant to the new Order, the Court is continuing all cases an additional 30 days after May 30, 2020 with a few exceptions we will discuss below.  What does that mean for you?

If you are arrested and charged with a new case, you will be given a bail hearing in the normal course of business, but instead of appearing live in front of a judge, the Court will conduct the hearing via videoconference.  A practice that is already in place in many courthouses throughout the country, you will appear via live feed from either Cook County Jail or the department that arrested you, while your attorney, the State’s Attorney, and the Judge are in the courtroom.  If you are issued an I-Bond or a D-Bond that you can post immediately, you will be processed and released from the facility you are in.  In other words, if you are arrested in Park Ridge, you can bond directly out of the Park Ridge Police Department instead of Cook County Jail.  If you are arrested, remember that you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.  EXERCISE YOUR RIGHTS, ask to contact us here at LauraLaw, and REMAIN SILENT.

If you have a pending felonyall matters except for emergency hearings and hearings to execute a plea agreement will be continued 30 days.  All jury trials that have not yet started will be continued, all bench trials will be continued, all motion hearings and all status dates will likewise be continued.  As of April 3, 2020 all Chicago Branch Courts will be closed; if you have a case in Branch 38 (727 E. 111th St.) or Branch 44 (“Harrison & Kedzie” – 3150 W. Flournoy St.) and it does not fall into the category of cases continued 30 days, starting Monday, April 3, it will be heard at the Leighton Criminal Court Building (“26th & California” – 2600 S. California Ave.).  If we represent you on a pending felony and you are confused about how the order affects your case, please contact us.

If you have a pending traffic or misdemeanor case (including a DUI), it will be given a new date sometime after May 18, 2020.  You may have received notice from the Clerk of the Circuit Court after the Chief Judge’s previous order was entered with a new Court date in April or May.  If the court date you received was before May 18, 2020, it will again be rescheduled.  As with the previous Order, the Clerk of the Circuit Court will send notice to your mailing address with your new court date.  If we represent you, please contact us when you receive that notice.  If we represent you and you have not received notice by May 10, 2020, please contact us and we will contact the Clerk to determine your new court date. As noted above, starting April 3, 2020, all Chicago Branch Courts will be closed; if you have a case at Branch 23 or Branch 29 (“Grand & Central” – 5555 W. Grand Ave.), Branch 35 (727 E. 111th St.), or Branch 43 (“Harrison & Kedzie” – 3150 W. Flournoy St.), and there is an emergency that requires you to be in court, the matter will be heard at the Leighton Criminal Court Building (“26th & California” – 2600 S. California Ave.).  If we represent you on a pending misdemeanor or traffic matter and you are confused about how the order affects your case, please contact us.

If you have any other matter pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, I encourage you to look at Chief Judge Evans’s Amended Order to determine how you are affected by the Coronavirus Court Closures.  There is a lot of information and a lot of misinformation surrounding coronavirus and the Coronavirus Court Closures so remember to be diligent and do your research.  If you have any questions about the Coronavirus Court Closures, about your criminal matter, or about Tiger King, please contact us and we will do our best to answer your questions.  As always, if you should find yourself under arrest, remember to exercise your right to remain silent and contact us; we will be happy to discuss your case and determine if we can help you resolve it.  In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, stay inside, and wash your hands often.

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