The Circuit Court of Cook County, under the direction of Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans, has taken a series of actions since March 13 to ensure that the court operates to hear all emergency matters, including requests for bail review that balance the rights of the accused and public safety.
Evans entered an order that limited court operations to emergency matters, effective March 17.
The order ensures that bail reviews for pretrial defendants in Cook County Jail will continue to be conducted during these limited court operations. After an arrest and initial bail hearing that results in a defendant being held in custody, a defendant has the right to ask a judge to review the bail in an effort to secure release from jail while the criminal case is pending.
Moving forward, judges will continue to be available every day, including weekends, and will hear all requests for bail reviews. To expedite the review of these cases and to help promote social distancing, defense counsel may waive the defendant's appearance in court.
The Leighton Criminal Court Building and the six districts in the Circuit Court of Cook County are open for in-custody preliminary hearings, arraignments, initial bail hearings, bail reviews and emergency orders of protection. Emergency civil matters are also being conducted in the Daley Center.