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Cook County courts to hold more in-person hearings in July

But civil and criminal jury trials are still on hold and the majority of hearings will continue via videoconferencing calls.

The Leighton Criminal Courthouse
More hearings, including in-person proceedings, will be held in Cook County courthouses early next month. But civil and criminal jury trials are still on hold and the majority of hearings are expected to continue via videoconferencing calls when Chief Judge Tim Evans’ latest order takes effect July 6.
Sun-Times file photo

More hearings, including in-person proceedings, will be held in Cook County courthouses early next month.

But civil and criminal jury trials are still on hold and the majority of hearings are expected to continue via videoconferencing calls when Chief Judge Tim Evans’ latest order takes effect July 6.

The courts have been hearing cases on an emergency basic since Evans halted most casework in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under Evans’ new July order, defendants who plead guilty in criminal cases will be able to have a sentencing hearing. Those who plead not guilty and opt for a bench trial, can have an in-person trial or on a video conference call.

Many civil cases, including eviction and mortgage-foreclosure proceedings, will also continue though no final judgments can be entered before July 31.

Bond court calls and hearings involving misdemeanors and traffic tickets will continue to be held via videoconferencing.

Face masks and social distancing will be enforced inside court buildings, according to Evans’ office. A temperature check will be required to enter court buildings and plexiglass partitions will be installed in courtrooms.

“As we continue to navigate these times, the court will allow access to justice to the extent we safely can,” Evans said in a statement Friday. “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.”

Court dates information can be found online at www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org, or by calling 312-603-5030.