Remote Video Pilot Program Announced for Cook County Circuit Courts
The Circuit Court of Cook County and the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission (ATJ Commission) today have announced a partnership that will allow individuals to appear for cases remotely in three different divisions of the Cook County Circuit Courts.
The Remote Video Pilot program will launch on Dec. 2, 2019, and run through Nov. 30, 2020. Two judges from each of the chancery, county, and domestic relations divisions will oversee the use of remote video in their courtrooms.
Illinois Supreme Court Rules 185 and 241 allow for remote appearances.
In the chancery division, remote video will be used for contested mortgage foreclosure cases on two calendars.
In the county division, remote video will be used for mental health proceedings, such as a mental health case management call, one day per week and for unique situations such as issues where a party is located in a different county or state and a video proceeding would allow a more efficient disposition.
In the domestic relations division, remote video will be used for one individual calendar status call and one individual calendar post-decree call.
Software from Zoom Video Communications will be provided by licensure from the ATJ Commission and will allow for a court proceeding to take place without all parties being present in the court room. The judge will launch Zoom and will be visible to any party or attorney that joins the court proceeding via Zoom. The ATJ Commission will be involved in drafting plain language instructions for attorneys and parties participating in the video pilot program.
Data will be collected during the pilot’s run to determine the practicality of broader expansion throughout Cook County as well as possible statewide expansion.