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Cook County courts reopening July 6
Most proceedings, at least initially, will be conducted by videoconference.

Friday, June 26, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business
by Steven R. Strahler

Cook County Circuit Court locations, with the exception of jury trials, will reopen July 6, according to an order today from Chief Judge Tim Evans.

Most proceedings, at least initially, will be conducted by videoconference “to the extent reasonably possible,” subject to federal and state constitutional limitations and judges’ discretion, he said.

When jury trials resume, they won’t be scheduled until 60 days after parties are notified.

Masks will be required in court facilities, except when speaking on the record. Those entering will have their temperatures checked and will be prohibited to enter if it's 100.4 or higher.

Evans had suspended most court operations in mid-March and later extended the shutdown. Grand jury proceedings were not interrupted, and courts have remained open for emergency matters, both civil and criminal.

Evictions and mortgage foreclosure judgments and foreclosure sales are stayed until after July, Evans said. Even then, no residential eviction will occur “unless a tenant poses a direct threat to 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,” the order says.

Marriage ceremonies, by appointment, can resume July 6.

In civil matters, “where it is not reasonably possible to conduct an 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,” the order says.



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