O’Flaherty Law hopes you and your family are doing okay during the current COVID-19 crisis. The uncertainty of the Coronavirus, doesn't mean you can put your legal needs on hold.
You can receive a consultation and most legal services without leaving your home. Our attorneys are happy to speak to you by phone, video conference, or e-mail.
As the situation with the local and state legal system fluctuates, we will keep the below information updated as to what types of matters each county’s court system will be hearing.
The Chief Judge of the Circuit Court issued General Order 2020-2, which supersedes General Order 2020-1 to reopen many of the courts to hear all District and Division matters, with the exception of jury trials. Most hearings resumed on July 6, 2020, with judges contacting attorneys and parties to reschedule postponed hearings. When possible, all matters must be heard by video conferencing; at the judge’s discretion after any hearing party objections the matter will be conducted by teleconference, video conference, in person or a combination thereof. All judges and court personnel should continue to work from home if possible, though judges may use teleconferencing and video conferencing from the courthouse if they so choose.
All parties and attorneys may video conference from a location they choose. Self-represented parties in custody will have access to video conferencing or will be appear in person, as ordered by the judge. Court reporters and interpreters will be available for videoconferencing and teleconferencing of hearings.
Masks and distancing of 6 feet are required in the courthouse and courtrooms. All persons in the courthouse and in courtrooms must wear masks, except when speaking on the record or if working as a sign language interpreter.
Evictions are further postponed until after August 22, 2020,unless the tenant poses a threat to the health and safety of other tenants or immediate and severe risk to property, violations of building codes or health ordinances. Eviction orders will resume after August 22, 2020 and extension of orders expiring by August 22, 2020 for 60 days or until October 20, 2020.
Effective July 6, 2020 all judges are available either on-site or remotely to hear emergency matters. Hearings will be conducted by video conferencing or teleconferencing when possible, unless otherwise ordered by the assigned judge.
Bail hearings and motions to review bail will be conducted daily at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
Cases assigned to the branch courts in the city of Chicago at 3150 West Flournoy Street, 5555 W. Grand Avenue, and 727 E. 111th St., shall continue to be heard at the Leighton Criminal Court Building until further order of the court.
Juvenile detention hearings will be conducted daily at 1100 S. Hamilton Ave., Chicago. See Government Order 2020-2 for a detailed list of priority of hearings and what hearings will be held remotely when possible.
Child Protection Division:
All temporary custody hearings and emergency motions will be heard as scheduled, and to the extent it is reasonably possible, all hearings shall be conducted by videoconferencing, so that the only persons physically in the courtroom are those persons essential to activities that require that person to be in the courtroom.
Foreclosure judgments, evictions and foreclosure sales are stayed until August 22, 2020, including all court orders in furtherance of foreclosure.
All matters currently rescheduled as outlined above.
Municipal Department, Criminal and Traffic Cases:
Unless otherwise ordered by the judge presiding, all in-person misdemeanor and traffic matters are continued until further order of the court; the circuit clerk shall provide notice of the new court date to the parties.
The arresting agency shall provide appropriate equipment to enable defendants to participate in their bail hearings by video conference; if, due to extenuating circumstances, the arresting agency is unable to facilitate videoconferencing for a bail hearing, the arresting agency shall deliver custody of the defendant to the sheriff at the appropriate courthouse, and the sheriff shall provide the equipment and location for a bail hearing by video conference.
Criminal proceedings normally heard at Branches 9,23, 29, 35, 38, 43, and 44 located at 3150 W. Flournoy St., 5555 W. Grand Ave., and 727 E. 111th St. in the City of Chicago shall resume hearings at those locations via teleconference of video conference when possible; in person hearings will be held at judges’ discretion with the input of all parties.
All Proceedings normally heard in Branches 42 and 50,including preliminary examinations or hearing, shall continue to be heard inthe Second District.
Adult Probation Department, Social Service Department, and Juvenile Justice and Court Services Department:
Probation officers and social service contractors shall contact clients to schedule essential meetings, which are to be held only by video conference or teleconference.
Civil Matters in all Divisions and Districts:
Except for oral depositions, discovery shall continue as scheduled; oral discovery may be taken by video conference pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 206(h)(eff. Oct. 19, 2019).
If not reasonably possible to conduct oral deposition for reasons related to the COVID-19 emergency, the parties shall use their best efforts to postpone the deposition by agreement and stipulation for a period not to exceed 60 days; absent such agreement, the proceedings shall be deferred until such later date as the court can review the matter and issue appropriate directives; the judge may use their discretion to determine the merits of an attorney’s alleged inability to comply with an oral deposition.
Except for good cause shown, participants in litigation shall not be penalized if discovery compliance is delayed for reasons relating to the COVID-19 emergency; this provision is to be liberally construed.
The Presiding Judge of a District or Division shall establish procedures for hearing all matters, including scheduling by administrative order, consistent with Government Order 2020-2.
Civil No Contact Orders, Civil Orders of Protection and Stalking No Contact Orders:
Petitions for emergency orders except those in a pending Domestic Relations matter shall be heard at 555 W. Harrison St., Chicago and in the Municipal Districts 2, 3, 5 and 6.
Petitions for any of the following sought in connection with a Domestic Relations or Probate case shall be heard at the Richard J. Daley Center, or the relevant suburban Domestic Relations or Probate courtrooms hearing such matters, or at a location as determined by the Presiding Judge of the respective division: emergency civil no contact orders; emergency civil orders of protection; and emergency stalking no contact orders. Petitioners and respondents for no contact orders may participate in hearings by video conference from places of their choosing.
Domestic Relations Division:
In child support cases in which the state’s attorney has filed an appearance, the circuit clerk shall notify the parties of new court dates scheduled pursuant to the most recent circuit court order.
Court ordered participation in programs such as mediation,evaluations, counseling, parenting classes, and classes for children shall continue by remote audio-visual means whenever reasonably possible until further order of the court.
Domestic Violence Division:
When a defendant in a criminal case at 555 W. Harrison St.,Chicago is denied bail or is unable to post required monetary bail at the conclusion of the bail hearing, the arresting agency shall transport the defendant to the Cook County Department of Corrections, 2700 S. California Ave., Chicago, Ill.
Child Protection Division, County Division, Probate Division:
The Presiding Judge shall establish procedures for hearing all matters consistent with the circuit court’s order 2020-2.
The Presiding Judge shall establish procedures for hearing all matters, including scheduling by administrative order; pretrial proceedings that were ready for trial but not permitted to proceed as well as cases that cannot proceed after July 6, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic; mediation of such cases by agreement of the parties as an alternative to pretrial proceedings; and with the agreement of parties, for bench trials via video conference or in person for cases formerly scheduled for jury trial.
Grand juries shall continue to meet a maximum of three times per week, and will be impaneled from time to time as ordered by the Chief Judge.
Forensic Examinations in Criminal Cases:
All forensic examinations of adult and juvenile defendants shall be conducted via video conference.
Bail, Fees, Court Costs, and Penalties, Criminal Cases:
Pursuant to Cook County Code 18-49, the circuit clerk shall not deduct any fees, court costs, or penalties from bail bond funds posted by a Charitable Bond Fund or other Third-Party Surety without the surety’s voluntary, written consent, or use bail bond funds to pay attorney fees,including reimbursement for representation by the public defender.
At the conclusion of the case, the circuit clerk shall return all available funds posted by a Charitable Bond Fund or Third-Party Surety to the surety; where a charitable bond fund or other third-party surety posts cash bail for a defendant, the clerk shall accept payment by credit card,debit card, or other electronic funds transfer and shall not collect the service fees authorized by pursuant to 705 ILCS 105/27.3B.
Beginning July 6, 2020, marriages shall be performed in Marriage Court or at courthouses only by appointment.
Non-essential gatherings, meeting and travel are canceled,and orders to attend programs, including but not limited to Traffic Safety School and SWAP, are entered and continued until rescheduled.
The 22nd Circuit Court will resume hearing court matters on June 1, 2020. To provide for the safety of Judicial Center staff, attorneys and court patrons, the following guidelines must be followed:
Please do not attempt to enter the Judicial Center if you:
If you are sick stay home. If you cannot come to court due to illness,please contact your attorney, or if you are self-represented call the Circuit Clerk's office at (815)334-4190.
All Circuit Clerk online services are still available on the Circuit Clerk's website. Documents can be filed through our eFiling portal, but court dates will not be allowed to be scheduled in April unless it is for a mandated service. Traffic tickets can be paid, as well as payments on any other case type, electronic copies can be requested, case information can be searched.
Effective June 1, 2020, masks or face coverings ARE REQUIRED for all parties entering the Courthouse. UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE THE ONLY ITEMS ALLOWED IN THE GOVERNMENT CENTER ARE AS FOLLOWS:
· PHOTO I.D.
· CREDIT CARD/CASH
· COURT PAPERS
IN ADDITION TO ALL OTHER PROHIBITED ITEMS:
THE FOLLOWING WILL NOT BE ALLOWED INTO THE GOVERNMENT CENTER
· PURSES, BACKPACKS, BAGS OF ANY KIND
· FRIENDS OR FAMILY MEMBERS NOT CONDUCTING OFFICIAL BUSINESS (Please leave children & elderly at home when possible)
Exceptions will be made for Attorney’s entering the building on official business.
Effective June 1,2020, all Divisions will return to hearing all matters, subject to certain restrictions. All persons in public areas of the courthouse must wear a face covering.
Criminal Jury Trials: will begin on August 3, 2020, subject to available accommodations.
Civil Jury Trials: will begin no sooner than September 8, 2020.
All bond calls will continue to be heard at the Kane County Judicial Center.
The Family Division will continue to accept Agreed Orders and uncontested matters by mail.
Pre-trials will continue to be held remotely.
All cases currently scheduled on a morning call from June 8, 2020 through July 30, 2020 shall be continued for status to the month of August 2020.
Civil Division: Beginning June 1, 2020, all court proceedings that are scheduled on the applicable court call and that have not been resolved or continued to a new date by submission of a proposed agreed order, or order on the court’s own motion, will be held remotely using Zoom.
All bench trials scheduled to occur on or after June 1, 2020, and civil jury trials scheduled to occur prior to September 8, 2020 are cancelled and the assigned judge will set a status rescheduling same.
Beginning June 8, 2020, all hearings are resumed either in person or remotely.
· Daily court calls are significantly reduced or will proceed by remote means only.
· Persons represented by a public defender or private attorney are not required to appear in court until or unless ordered to do so by a judge.
· Temperature readings will be taken of all persons upon entry.
· Face coverings are required to be worn within the public spaces and courtrooms of court facilities. Persons are expected to have their own face coverings.
Juvenile Division: All proceedings beginning June 1, 2020, until further order of court, will proceed remotely by Zoom, with limited exceptions.Scheduled court calls will have a Zoom link posted by courtroom, date, and time at the following web locations:
Every Summons, Petition, Notice of Motion shall include the following language: “parties wishing to attend presentment of this motion shall not appear in person in the courtroom unless specially ordered to do so by the court.”
All temporary custody and detention hearings shall be heard at 11:00 a.m.unless specially set by court order.
Criminal Division: All proceedings beginning June 1, 2020 are to continue in accordance with the Juvenile Division terms above.
Family Division: All court hearings scheduled to occur prior to June1, 2020 are cancelled and will be automatically continued by the Clerk’sOffice. All parties will receive notice of the continued court date.
All trials and pre-trials scheduled to occur prior to June 1, 2020 are stricken and a status date will be set by the assigned judge.
Agreed Orders may be submitted to the Clerk’s Office electronically.
All hearing, bench trials and pre-trials scheduled prior to June 1,2020 will be rescheduled in accordance with the Family Division above.
All hearings, jury trials and pre-trials scheduled prior to October 5, 2020, are cancelled and the assigned judge will set a status date for resetting of the trial dates.
The Will County Courthouse will be open, beginning June 1, 2020, during normal business hours. Facial coverings shall be worn at all times by all persons in all court facilities.
All traffic (TR), Conservation Violation (CV), Civil (CL) and OrdinanceViolations (OV) cases shall be heard on such dates and times to be set by theCourt and notice will be sent by the Clerk’s office.
All Felony (CF) and Misdemeanor (CM) matters shall be heard at the direction of the presiding judges in those divisions.
Juvenile Abuse and Neglect (JA) and Juvenile Delinquency (JD) cases will continue as normal.
Civil and Family Divisions (D, F, L, CH, MR and SC matters):
At the judge’s discretion, matters will be held in person, by telephone conference or video conference.
Mental Health (MH) matters will continue as scheduled.
Orders of Protection shall continue as scheduled.
Effective June 3, 2020, DeKalb County will return to hearing all matters, subject to certain exceptions, and will rely heavily on videoconferencing.
Criminal Jury Trials are continued until on or after July 20, 2020.
Civil Jury Trials are continued to no sooner than September 30,2020.
All court functions resumed June 1, 2020; Jury Trials resumed in July, 2020. Social distancing and other safety measures are being taken, including the use of zoom for most hearings.
Please contact O’Flaherty Law, P.C. at (630) 324-6666
email us at email@example.com
Kevin O’Flaherty grew up in Downers Grove, a town where his parents owned a dental practice for 30 years and where the law firm he founded in 2011 now operates.
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“We strive to offer the personalized service of a small firm while still having the manpower of a slightly larger firm,” O’Flaherty said.
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O'Flaherty founded and hosts the SeizeYourBusiness.com podcast and videocast, in which he interviews business owners to discuss the secrets to their success. He also hosts and speaks at monthly small business workshops and seminars on such topics as finding a good mentor and how to get your business’s message out. In addition, he is involved with networking groups for business-owner collaboration.
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Community involvement is important to O’Flaherty. Last year he was vice president of the Rotary Club of Downers Grove and chairman of the business expo for the Rotary Grove Fest, the Downers Grove summer festival. This year he will serve a term on the chamber of commerce board. In 2014, he was on the board of AIM, the Center for Independent Living, a nonprofit organization that helps disabled people live on their own.
Kevin O'Flaherty oversees all legal matters and is actively involved in making sure every client's case, big or small, is handled with excellence and attention to detail. He is available to contact through phone and email and his rates are available upon request.