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Cook County Domestic Relations Division courtrooms are closed from March 17, 2020 until July 6, 2020, except in very limited circumstances. Most court business will be conducted by e-mail, videoconference, or telephone during this time.
The Clerk’s office will still be accepting e-filings while court is closed. The Clerk's Office is allowing in-person contact by appointment only.
Your court date will be rescheduled by the court. You should receive an email with the new date. Judge Evans's most recent General Order does not mandate a timeline for continuances. If you have had remote contact with the judge in your case since 3/17/20, and the judge set a court date, that court date will proceed remotely unless you are told otherwise. Child support cases heard in room 102 of the Markham Courthouse have been reassigned dates by court order.
For parenting time orders entered in Cook County, the following guidelines apply:
1) COVID-19 school closure periods are not considered "days off from school", so regular parenting time schedules should be followed.
2) prioritize your children's safety; avoid unnecessary travel.
If you are experiencing domestic or intimate partner violence, you can obtain an emergency order of protection. If you have another type of family law emergency, emergency motions can be filed, but consider talking to an attorney first. Courts are strictly enforcing the definition of "emergency". Emergency motions must be e-filed and then notice sent by email as required in administrative order 2020 D 3 (last amended on 5/28/20).
Yes, but the process is different while the courts are operating remotely. We recommend that you contact a lawyer to assist you with properly filing, noticing, and scheduling a motion during this time. Motions must be e-filed and then emailed to all parties along with the court order explaining the new procedures. If this is done properly, a process is triggered which can result in the judge issuing a decision by email without either a remote or in-person court appearance.
Yes. You can submit agreed orders and conduct an oral prove up (finalize your divorce) in your case during this time, however, we recommend that you consult an attorney before proceeding. There are separate orders specifying procedures for temporary agreed orders, final agreed orders, final divorce proceedings by agreement, and final divorce proceedings by default.
Emergency and interim orders of protection will be extended and continued automatically. Your order will be extended and your case will be continued for 35 days, unless the 35th day is a weekend. For example, cases scheduled for 6/1/20 have been continued to 7/6/20, cases scheduled for 6/25/20 have been continued to 7/3120, and cases scheduled for 7/2/20 are continued to 8/7/20.
If you need an extension of your Plenary Order of Protection, you may e-file a “Motion Requesting Extension of a Plenary Order of Protection” and then email it to the Court Coordinator assigned to process motions for your case. You should e-file and email your motion at least 3-4 days before the date the OP is set to expire. Click "Find Out More" for help determining to whom you should email your motion.
Fee waiver petitions (also called 298 petitions) are still being granted while court is closed. Your fee waiver petition needs to be e-filed and then emailed to the Court Coordinator assigned to process waiver applications for your case. Click "Find Out More" for help determining to whom you should email your fee waiver petition.
In-person mediation sessions are suspended. Mediation sessions that are scheduled to occur during this time may be conducted over the phone. Family Mediation Services will contact you to arrange your session(s).
No. Parties are excused from attending Focus during this time and are allowed to take the county-approved online parenting class, Children In Between Online, instead.
Custody evaluations are being conducted by videoconference or telephone.
Your Temporary Restraining Order or Preliminary Injunction will be automatically extended and returnable 30 days from the date the order was last set to expire. (Unless that lands on a weekend or court holiday, and then the new date will be the following business day).
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Last updated 5/31/20
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