Illinois Supreme Court issues orders on speedy trials, social distancing requirements

Illinois_Supreme_Court

The Illinois Supreme Court building in Springfield

By PETER HANCOCK
Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – State courts in Illinois are preparing to return to normal operations after nearly 16 months of operating under special rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday issued two new rules that call for easing social distancing requirements and reimposing requirements for speedy trials in criminal and juvenile offender proceedings.

“It is important to note that our courts remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of court proceedings have taken place via both in-person and virtual hearings,” Chief Justice Anne Burke said in a statement. “However, conducting criminal jury trials has been very difficult. These two orders will help our courts prepare for a return to full scale jury trials.”

On March 17, 2020, a little more than a week after Gov. JB Pritzker issued the first COVID-19 disaster declaration, the Supreme Court issued a sweeping order allowing courts to suspend ordinary deadlines in both criminal and civil proceedings and conduct remote hearings, and restricting access to courthouses throughout the state.

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