Cook County courts set to resume some proceedings July 6

 
 
Updated 6/26/2020 7:29 PM

Starting July 6, Cook County courts will resume some in-person proceedings curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to orders issued Friday by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans.

However, traffic offenses, misdemeanors, bond hearings and most other matters will continue to take place via videoconference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"As we continue to navigate these times, the court will allow access to justice to the extent we safely can," Evans said in a prepared statement. "We will continue to hold many hearings via videoconference, and we remain committed to ongoing efforts to protect the health of everybody in our system of justice."

To that end, anyone entering courthouses or courtrooms must wear a facial covering and maintain physical distancing. Everyone entering the courthouse is subject to a temperature check and will not be admitted with a reading of 100.4 or higher. Decals will indicate where individuals can sit or stand in the courtrooms, and plexiglass barriers will be installed on the judge's bench.

Jury trials are still postponed until further notice, but courts will conduct proceedings that do not require jurors. Criminal defendants, for example, may plead guilty and proceed to a sentencing hearing. Criminal defendants who have pleaded not guilty can opt for a bench trial, which can be held in-person, if all parties agree, or via videoconference.

Judges will continue to hold emergency hearings in criminal and civil cases mostly via videoconference.

Eviction hearings will be continued until after July 31 unless they involve the health and safety of tenants, pose a risk to property or violate building codes or health ordinances. Additionally, no mortgage-foreclosure final judgments or executions will be entered before July 31, according to Evans' order.

For more information, visit cookcountyclerkofcourt.org or call (312) 603-5030.

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