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More Court Proceedings to Resume July 6, Jury Trials Remain Postponed in Criminal and Civil Cases

Photo Courtsey: cookcountycourt.org

CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY NEWS RELEASE

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CHICAGO,IL – The Circuit Court of Cook County will begin conducting more court proceedings on July 6, with most matters to continue to be held remotely via video conference, under an order entered today by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.

“As we continue to navigate these times, the court will allow access to justice to the extent we safely can,” Chief Judge Evans said. “We will continue to hold many hearings via video conference, and we remain committed to ongoing efforts to protect the health of everybody in our system of justice.”

Anybody seeking information about when they need to attend court should visit the website of the Clerk of the Circuit Court – www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org – for details on how to receive court dates via email. Information is also available by calling 312-603-5030.

No jury trials in criminal and civil proceedings will proceed until further order. No members of the public will be called to jury duty until a future date. Grand jury proceedings will continue to be held.

No cases that only involve traffic tickets or misdemeanor charges will be heard in person until further order. Nobody should attend court in person if they have a traffic or misdemeanor matter. These matters will be held via video conference, and parties will be notified by mail of their next court date.

Since March 17, judges have been hearing matters deemed emergencies in criminal and civil cases, and many matters have been conducted via video conference. On July 6, the court will begin to conduct more proceedings that do not require jurors.

In criminal cases, defendants who plead guilty may proceed to a sentencing hearing. Defendants who plead not guilty and opt for a bench trial, in which only a judge determines whether a conviction is entered, may proceed to trial in person or, if the parties agree, via videoconference.

Misdemeanor and felony bail hearings and reviews of bail determinations will continue to
be held via videoconference.

In civil cases, matters may proceed except for jury trials. However, matters involving evictions will not be heard through July 31 and until further order. Eviction matters may proceed if there are allegations involving the health and safety of other tenants; an immediate and severe risk to property; or a violation of any applicable building code, health ordinance or similar regulation. In mortgage-foreclosure matters, no final judgments and executions of judgments shall be entered before July 31.

In courthouses and courtrooms, everybody is required to wear a facial covering and maintain physical distancing. Temperature checks will be conducted, and nobody will be permitted to enter a courthouse with a temperature of 100.4 or higher. People traveling to court should plan on allowing additional time for entry into the building. Courtrooms will be equipped with plexiglass barriers on the bench and decals indicating where individuals should stand and sit. Courthouses will have signs describing and directing physical distancing.