In mid-March, communities across the United States experienced a shutdown of nonessential businesses and operations, a move made in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, which has moved through the country like wildfire. Confirmed COVID-19 cases have peaked at more than 5 million nationwide, while plans to reopen and resume business as usual move forward in some states. The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty into almost every aspect of our lives, even in the criminal justice system. Many criminal cases have been backlogged since March, while new cases have been accumulating, leaving many, like you, to wonder about the status of their case. As of early July, Cook County courts were instructed to begin resuming most court operations, with safety protocols put in place. If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, you should expect to be notified about your modified court proceedings.
Safety Protocols Put into Place
An executive order signed by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans allowed Illinois courts to resume court operations beginning July 6. However, the order also required the implementation of several health and safety protocols to help contain the spread of coronavirus. These protocols include:
Reducing the number of people entering the courts each day...