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Legal Services During
Coronavirus Concerns

You Don't Have to Leave Your Home for a Legal Consultation or to Receive Legal Services

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.  

To schedule a virtual consultation, please call us at (630)324-6666, e-mail us at info@oflaherty-law.com or book a consultation online.

Cases and Motions Can Still Be Filed During the Illinois Shelter in Place Order

Illinois courts have rescheduled upcoming court dates at least 30 days out, though most courts continue to hold hearings regarding emergency motions, orders of protection and some criminal matters.  

In the meantime, most matters can still be electronically filed and assigned a future court date in every county in the state. This means that, at this point, hearing dates have not been significantly delayed for new filings.  We are continuing to monitor the situation though more information on Cook County can be found here.

 Current Court Status

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.

Cook County 

All matters in all Districts and Divisions of the Circuit Court of Cook County are rescheduled and continued for a period of 30 days from the originally scheduled court date or a date not more than 30 days after May 18, 2020, whichever is later, unless the 30th day falls on a weekend or court holiday, in which case it will be continued until the following business day.

Eviction Orders:

As of March 14, 2020, the sheriff of Cook County shall cease enforcement of eviction orders relating to residential real estate and shall resume enforcement of said orders on May 18, 2020; the time period in which such orders expiring before May 18, 2020, must be enforced pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/9-117 is extended 60 days from the current expiration date, but not later than June 15, 2020.

Emergency Hearings:

Judges will be available in person in each Division and District to hear emergency matters.

No later than April 16, 2020, all hearings shall be conducted by videoconferencing, and the only people physically in the courtroom are those essential to activities that require that person to be in the courtroom. If it is not reasonably possible to conduct a hearing by video conference, it may be conducted by teleconference.

If a hearing must be conducted in-person, the following measures will be taken:

  • No more than 10 (ten) people in the courtroom at the same time; and
  • All people in the courtroom shall maintain a minimum distance of 6 (six) feet from all other people in the courtroom.

Bail Hearings:

Bail hearings and motions to review bail will be conducted daily at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Criminal Division:

Preliminary hearings and arraignments that have commenced before March 30, 2020 will proceed.

The court will hear plea agreements, and priority will be given to defendants who are currently in custody.

Jury trials that are in progress will proceed as scheduled and juror deliberations on case in progress will continue until concluded.

Juvenile Division:

Juvenile detention hearings and other emergency matters will be conducted daily at 1100 S. Hamilton Avenue, Chicago.

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.

Chancery Division:

There is a moratorium on final judgments and executions of judgments in mortgage foreclosure proceedings.

Law Division:

All matters currently scheduled to be heard between March 31, 2020 and April 30, 2020 are rescheduled and continued for 56 days.

All matters currently scheduled to be heard after April 30, 2020 are rescheduled and continued for 35 days.

Municipal Department, Criminal Cases:

Traffic and Misdemeanor Cases:

All traffic and misdemeanor cases are continued to the next key date after May 18, 2020 and the circuit clerk shall provide postcard notice to the defendant.

Districts 2-6

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.

  • When a defendant is released by the court without the posting of monetary bail, the arresting agency shall release the defendant from its custody at the place of detention.
  • When a defendant is required to post monetary bail and the defendant or a third party is able to post said bail at the conclusion of the bail hearing, the arresting agency shall take the bail and release the defendant to appear in accordance with the conditions of the bail bond.
  • When a defendant or a third party is denied bail or is unable to post the required monetary bail at the conclusion of the bail hearing, the arresting agency shall deliver custody of the defendant to the sheriff of Cook County at the Cook County Department of Corrections, 2700 S. California Ave, Chicago, Ill., or such other location as is designated by the sheriff.

Adult Probation Department, Social Service Department, and Juvenile Justice and Court Services Department:

In-person meetings between probation officers or social service caseworkers and the persons under their supervision shall be reserved for high-risk clients.

For low and moderate-risk clients, probation officers and social service caseworkers shall contact clients to schedule essential meetings to be held via either video or telephone conference.

Civil Matters in all Divisions and Districts:

Matters deemed by the judge presiding to be emergencies shall be heard and may be conducted either in-person or via video or telephone conference.

Except for oral depositions, discovery shall continue as scheduled.

Where it is not reasonably possible to conduct an oral deposition for reasons related to the COVID-19 emergency, the parties shall use 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.

In no event shall participants in litigation be penalized if discovery compliance is delayed for reasons relating to the COVID-19 emergency.

Civil No Contact Orders, Civil Orders of Protection and Stalking No Contact Orders:

Petitions for emergency orders will be heard at 555 W. Harrison St., Chicago, and in Municipal Districts 2, 3, 5, and 6, and, when sought in connection with a Domestic Relations or Probate case, at the Richard J. Daley Center; as designated by the chief judge, petitioners may participate in hearings by video conference from shelters for victims of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Division:

Defendants awaiting initial bail hearings in criminal cases at 555 W. Harrison St., Chicago, Ill., shall be transported by the arresting agency to the Cook County Department of Corrections, 2700 S. California Ave, Chicago, Ill., and shall participate in their bail hearings by video conference from that location.

County Hearings:

Mental health hearings will be held as scheduled.

Grand Jury:

No new grand jury shall be em paneled before May 18, 2020.  Grand juries whose terms expire on or before March 31, 2020, shall be extended until May 15, 2020.

Filing Initial and Responsive Pleadings and Responsive Motions:

Initial and responsive pleadings and responsive motions may be filed in person or by electronic filing with the circuit clerk.

Mandatory Arbitration:

All hearings shall be rescheduled and continued for 60 days from the currently scheduled date, but not later than June 15, 2020; if the 60th day falls on a weekend or court holiday, it shall be continued until the following business day.

Forensic Examinations:

In criminal cases, all forensic examinations of defendants, both adult and juvenile, shall be rescheduled and continued for a period of 60 days from the currently scheduled date or the date of the order requiring such examination, whichever is later, but not later than June 15, 2020; if the 60th day falls on a weekend or court holiday, it shall be continued until the following business day.

Bail, Fees, Court Costs and Penalties in Criminal Cases:

The circuit court 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.

The circuit clerk shall not use bail bond funds posted by a Charitable Bond Fund or other Third-Party Surety to pay attorney fees, including reimbursement for representation by the public defender, without the surety's voluntary, written consent.

All the conclusion of the case, the circuit clerk shall return all available funds posted by a Charitable Bond Fund or other Third-Party Surety to the surety.

When 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 fee authorized by said statute.

Other:

Non-essential gatherings, meetings, and travel are cancelled.

Orders to attend programs including Traffic Safety School and SWAP are entered and continued until rescheduled.

No marriages will be performed in Marriage Court until May 18, 2020.

The branch courts in the city of Chicago at 3150 West Flournoy Street, 5555 W. Grand Ave., and 727 E. 111th St. shall cease all court operations at the close of business on April 3, 2020, and proceedings normally heard at those locations shall be heard at the Leighton Criminal Court Building until further order of the court.

McHenry County

The McHenry County Courthouse is closed to all parties except those appearing on what is considered an essential mandated service and continues to hold hearings only on the following matters:


  • Emergency Petitions for Orders of Protection, Stalking, No Contact and subsequent hearings.
  • Emergency Petitions for Civil No Contact, Petitions for Firearm Surrender Order and subsequent hearings.
  • Emergency motions.
  • Detention hearings for juveniles who are detained.
  • Shelter care hearings for juveniles who may have been abused or neglected.
  • Summary Suspension Hearings.
  • Criminal matters related to the setting and modification of bond.
  • Criminal trials with speedy trial demands.
  • Mental health hearings for involuntary commitment or treatment. 


Family law matters, such as divorce and child custody matters, are being heard by the court remotely.

All other cases scheduled through Friday, May 1, 2020, will be continued into May, June and July. All case parties will receive a mailed notice of the rescheduled date.

Kane County

Most criminal and civil cases in the Circuit Court of Kane County beginning March 16, 2020 will be continued to dates after April 17, 2020. All matters are continued for a period of at least 35 days from the originally scheduled court date, unless the rescheduled date falls on a weekend, in which case it will be continued until the following business day. Notice is being sent to all parties for any of the cases being postponed or rescheduled.

The following branch locations are closed:  Aurora Branch Court, Kane Branch Court and the Elgin Branch Court.

Evictions:

The Sheriff of Kane County shall cease the execution of eviction orders relating to residential real estate effective March 15, 2020. The Sheriff shall resume execution of said orders beginning April 20, 2020.

Bond Call:

All bond calls will be heard at the Kane County Judicial Center, Room 005. Aurora and Elgin bond call matters are to be sent to the Kane County Judicial Center, Room 005.

Felony Division:

All cases will be continued except for the following:

  • In-custody trials in which an agreement to continue the trial has not be reached.
  • In-custody cases in which a plea agreement has been reached that will allow for the defendant to be released from custody.
  • In-custody bond reduction motions that may result in the defendant being released from custody.
  • Emergency motions.

DUI Court:

All cases will be continued except for the following:

  • In-custody trials and statutory summary suspension hearings in which an agreement to continue has not been reached.
  • In-custody cases in which a plea agreement has been reached that will allow for the defendant to be released from custody.
  • In-custody bond reduction motions that may result in the defendant being released from custody.
  • In-custody pro-se defendants sent from Aurora, Elgin, and Kane County branch courts.
  • Emergency motions.

Domestic Violence Court:

All cases will be continued except for the following:

  • In-custody trials in which an agreement to continue has not been reached.
  • In-custody cases in which a plea agreement has been reached that will allow for the defendant to be released from custody.
  • In-custody bond reduction motions that may result in the defendant being released from custody.
  • Order of Protection hearings.
  • Emergency motions.

Emergency Orders of Protection, Bond Call and Warrants:

All Emergency Orders of Protection, Bond Call and Warrants will be heard each day.

Family Division:

All cases will be continued except for Temporary Restraining Orders, emergency matters and Orders of Protection.

Juvenile Division:

All Abuse and Neglect cases will be heard at the Juvenile Justice Center, Courtroom 001. All cases will be continued except for the following:

  • Shelter Care and Shelter Care re-hearings.
  • Any removal motions required due to a minor(s) being endangered.
  • Any motion to return a minor(s) home to their parents.
  • Emergency motions.

Delinquency:

All cases will be continued except for the following:

  • Detention and Detention Re-hearings.
  • In-custody trials in which an agreement to continue the trial has not been reached.
  • In-custody cases in which a plea agreement has been reached that will allow for the minor to be released from custody.
  • In-custody bond reduction motions that may result in the minor being released from custody.
  • Emergency motions.

Civil Division:

All cases will be continued except for the following:

  • Emergency motions. Matters agreed by all parties to be emergencies will be heard and may be conducted either in-person, via video, or by telephone conference. 
  • Discovery in civil matters will continue as scheduled.
  • Evictions and Foreclosures shall be suspended until April 20, 2020.
  • Mandatory Arbitration hearings shall be rescheduled and continued until after April 20, 2020.
  • All Workers Compensation and Bankruptcy hearing scheduled in Courtroom 240 are cancelled until April 20, 2020.

Mental Health:

Mental Health hearings will continue as scheduled.

Violation of Probation:

All violation of probation cases are continued except for the following:

  • In-custody hearing in which an agreement to continue the hearing has not be reached.
  • In-custody cases in which a plea agreement has been reached that will allow for the defendant to be released from custody.
  • In-custody bond reduction motions that may result in the defendant being released from custody.
  • Emergency motions.

Specialty Courts:

Drug Court, Treatment Alternative Court (Mental Health Court), and Veterans Court will be held on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Defendants are not required to attend court unless directed by his/her probation officer.

Grand Jury:

No new grand jury shall be em paneled before April 20, 2020. Grand juries whose terms expire on or before March 31, 2020 shall be extended to April 30, 2020.

Weddings:

Weddings will not be performed until April 20, 2020.

Kane County Law Library and Self-Help Legal Center:

The Law Library and Self-Help Legal Center will be closed until April 20, 2020. Telephonic and electronic information requests will be fulfilled during this closure based on the availability of required resources.

Children’s Waiting Room:

The waiting room will be closed until April 20, 2020.

Other Matters:

Non-essential gatherings, meetings, and travel are cancelled, and programs that are scheduled for the Kane County Courthouse, Kane County Justice Center, or the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center including but not limited to Kids1st, Traffic Safety School, and Victim Impact Panel are continued until after April 20, 2020.

Summons:

All Summonses that have been served with return dates of March 17 through April 17, 2020, shall be returnable on the next court date.

DuPage County

Beginning May 18, 2020, civil matters in DuPage County will remain as currently scheduled and proceedings will be conducted remotely using telephonic and video conferencing technology, including the Zoom platform.

Beginning June 8, 2020, the court appearance of all persons represented by an attorney or public defender on any felony, misdemeanor, traffic, or juvenile court matter is waived unless a court appearance is expressly ordered by a judge.  

While many cases must be rescheduled and courtrooms closed, expanded technology does allow for the court to resume hearing civil cases on their scheduled court dates beginning May 18, 2020.

Chancery, Domestic Relations and Law matters currently scheduled on or between May 18, 2020 and June 5, 2020 shall remain on their currently scheduled court dates and will be handled by the assigned judge using the method and procedure for remote proceedings. 

Domestic Relations cases including those designated as "D"o (cMR,' and,.F,', effective May 18, 2020 all court calls will be heard remotely by the judge normally assigned to each case in his or her own courtroom. 

Marriage and Civil Union Ceremonies: No ceremonies will be performed until June 12, 2020,

Summons: All Summons that have been served with return dates of May 18 through June 5,2020, shall be returnable on the rescheduled court date.

Lake County

All non-emergency matters are rescheduled and continued for 28 days from the originally scheduled court date until the 28th day falls on a weekend, in which case, it shall be continued until the following business day, unless otherwise determined by the assigned judge. Notices will be sent of rescheduled dates.

Workers’ Compensation:

All workers’ compensation cases are cancelled and rescheduled.

Jury Duty:

Summoned jurors are not expected to automatically report; however, they will be required to call (847) 249-5879. Jurors will only be asked to report if there is a need to address a speedy trial issue, until further notice.

Will County

The Will County Courthouse remains open to only those essential matters required by law. The following matters are deemed essential proceedings that will continue to be heard in the Will County Courthouse from March 23, 2020 through April 30, 2020.

Essential Proceedings:

  • Bond/Arraignment Court
  • Emergency Civil or Family Law matters (The Court will determine the existence of an emergency.)
  • Criminal Trials Where the Defendant's Constitutional Right to a Speedy Trial so demands
  • Petition to Rescind Statutory Summary Suspension hearings
  • Orders of Protection
  • Forfeitures (preliminary determinations)
  • Shelter Care and Juvenile Detention hearings
  • Mental Health hearings
  • Other hardship or emergency circumstances in any division as they may arise.

DeKalb County 

Essential court matters and proceedings shall continue to be heard. If feasible and subject to constitutional limitations, essential matters and proceedings shall be heard remotely via telephone or video or other electronic means.

All non-essential court matters and proceedings should be continued or, where possible, conducted remotely via telephone or video or other electronic means.

Civil or Criminal Matters

The court will modify or suspend any deadlines and procedures, whether prescribed by local rule or order, for a stated period ending no later than 30 days after the Governor’s state of emergency declaration has been lifted.

Kendall County

Traffic School:

Traffic school classes, held at Waubonsee Community College, are cancelled through at least the end of March 2020, and possibly through April 17, 2020.

  • All traffic cases returnable between March 17, 2020 and April 17, 2020 shall be continued to a future date at least 35 days beyond the original return date.
  • Any period of supervision or probation shall likewise be extended.
  • The Clerk of each county shall provide notice to each defendant of the new court date.

Criminal Misdemeanor and Criminal Felony:

  • Court dates occurring between March 18, 2020 and April 17, 2020 shall be continued to a future date at least 35 days beyond the next court date.
  • All writs for the appearance of a defendant in the custody of another jurisdiction (either the Sheriff of another country or the IDOC) will be continued at least 35 days beyond the next court date.

Notice or a copy of an order with the rescheduled date will be provided to each defendant.


Questions?

Please contact O’Flaherty Law, P.C. at (630) 324-6666

email us at info@oflaherty­law.com

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