Northern District Of Illinois Court Cases Will Go Online When Proceedings Can Safely Restart, Chief Judge Says

Andy Dahn
May 25, 2020 - 5:50 pm
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Local judges and lawyers received an update Monday on plans to resume operations in courthouses, and how they may change moving forward.
 
In a video message to members of the Northern District of Illinois bar, Chief Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer admitted civil and criminal cases will look a bit different once they’re able to resume, saying cases will take place virtually.
 
“Because of the difficulties of transporting detainees, nearly all of our court proceedings will need to be on paper or by phone or videoconference, not in person,” Pallmeyer said. “This is not a change any of us want, but it is a change we feel we need.”
 
 
 As for when proceedings could return, Pallmeyer said she’s appointed a task force to help decide.
 
 “We have conferred with public health officials and reviewed guidance on safe operations in public spaces and office buildings.. guidance on everything from the screening of visitors to appropriate cleaning processes," she said.
 
Despite the pandemic, the courts have been busy: over 1,000 new civil cases and 7,000 motions have filed since mid-March.