DOMESTIC RELATIONS COURT PROCEDURES

COVID-19 Domestic Relations General Orders (updated 7/21/20)

Until further order of court, effective July 6, 2020, the Domestic Relations Division began hearing all matters by videoconferencing. In the table below, you will find a summary of all 26 general orders entered by the Presiding Judge. Clicking on the general order number in left-hand column will take you directly to the order itself on the Circuit Court’s Website.

All Domestic Relations court dates are held remotely via Zoom software (www.zoom.us), unless otherwise ordered by the court. Appended to this table is a contact list with Zoom login information for all judges in the Division. If you are new to Zoom or have never appeared remotely for court before, make sure to test the software on your computer in advance. We also recommend viewing our most recent Zoom training before your first court date.

Please remember that each Domestic Relations courtroom and judge are different. We advise practitioners to check each judge’s standing order for specific instructions and procedures. Standing Orders can be found on the Circuit Court’s website (http://www.cookcountycourt.org/JudgesPages/).

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2020 D 26

All State’s Attorney-involved child support and paternity matters that were previously scheduled to be heard between 3/17/20 through 7/3/20 are rescheduled for status via video or telephone starting 6/15/20. Postcards will be mailed or emailed to all counsel and self-represented parties of record.

2020 D 25

Absent a conflicting order, Emergency or Interim OPs expiring on June 1, 2020 through July 3, 2020 were extended, rescheduled, and continued for 30 days. See the order for exact dates.

2020 D 24 (Amended 7/2/20)

All cases scheduled to be heard between 3/17/20 through 7/3/20 shall be rescheduled for a status hearing via video or telephone beginning 6/15/20. Postcards will be mailed or emailed to all counsel and self-represented parties of record.

2020 D 23

GALs and 604.10(b) evaluators are authorized to conduct remote evaluations as they deem appropriate. When children are interviewed, reasonable measures must be taken to ensure privacy.

2020 D 22

Absent a conflicting order, Emergency or Interim OPs expiring on May 18, 2020 through May 31, 2020 were extended, rescheduled, and continued for 30 days. See the order for exact dates.

2020 D 21 (Amended 7/2/20)

Rules of Conduct for Participation in Remote Court Proceedings

  • No screenshots or audio/video recording is allowed. Only the judge or court staff shall host the call or control any settings.
  • No minor child is permitted to be present during any portion of the proceeding. No communication is permitted between witnesses during testimony and any other person.

2020 D 20 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedure to Request Emergency Orders of Protection

  • Those seeking an Emergency OP shall email a (1) Petition for OP; (2) Summons; and (3) draft OP to the applicable court coordinator. By the end of the following business day, the Court shall provide information on how and when to access a remote hearing or a resulting order if a hearing is not necessary.
  • If an interpreter is necessary, the attorney should include that information in their email. Court staff shall arrange for the remote interpreter’s participation.

2020 D 19

<repealed 5/28/20>

2020 D 18

<repealed 7/2/20>

2020 D 17

Absent a conflicting order, OPs expiring on April 16, 2020 through May 15, 2020 were extended, rescheduled, and continued for 30 days. See the order for exact dates.

2020 D 16

<repealed 5/28/20>

2020 D 15 (Amended 7/2/20)

Paid GALs, Child Reps, and Attorneys for Children are given until 45 days after resumption of court operations to file their quarterly invoices.

2020 D 14 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedure for Setting Hearings or Pretrial Conferences

  • During reduced court operations, the Court may sua sponte set a matter the pretrial, case management conference, or hearing. Parties may request one of the above by filing a motion and submitting it via email to the court with all parties of record copied to the email. Respondent will have 7 days from date of filing of the request to file any objection.

2020 D 13 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedure for Non-Emergency Motions

  • You must file your motion and send a copy of said motion to all parties of record via email.
  • Once email notice is sent, the respondent is automatically granted 21 days to respond or otherwise plead. Moving party is automatically granted 7 days thereafter to reply.
  • After the time to reply expires, the movant shall submit the motion and any responses/replies to the court coordinator with the adverse party copied to the email.
  • After receipt of the motion and all responses/exhibits, the Court shall issue a written ruling or conduct a remote hearing.

2020 D 12

All body attachments issued for nonpayment of support and maintenance are hereby stayed until 7/6/20.

2020 D 11

<repealed 7/2/20>

2020 D 10 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedures for Oral and Default Prove Ups

  • Parties may proceed to final uncontested prove ups by submitting all required documents by email to the court coordinator with all parties copied to the email. Within a reasonable time after receipt of this email, the coordinator will offer a date and time for remote hearing.
  • You may proceed to default prove up in the same way, by sending all required documents plus their Certificate and Motion for Default. In the email, you must propose a date for default prove up not less than 14 days of submitting the motion. You must send a copy of the Court’s response to the Respondent via regular mail. There must be a court reporter present, which the Court shall provide.

2020 D 9

Cases involving the State’s Attorney are not continued by 30 days exactly. They are continued to the closest day that the State’s Attorney’s Office had already planned to be present before each judge.

2020 D  8 (Amended 7/2/20)

In any domestic relations case, the parties’ regular parenting time schedule controls. Possession of and access to a child shall not be affected by school closures and school closures are not considered a “day off of school.” The Court admonishes any behavior that endangers any children, including unnecessary or discretionary travel.

2020 D  7 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedure to Request Extension of Plenary OP

  • Motions requesting an extension of a Plenary OP are to be e-filed and emailed to the appropriate court coordinator. Said motions will be reviewed and ruled on within 48 hours of receipt. Any extension granted shall provide that (1) Respondent is granted 14 days to file a responsive pleading; (2) that Petitioner is granted 7 days to reply; (3) matter is set for status within 28 days; and (4) that the OP is extended until the status date.

2020 D  6 (Amended 7/2/20)

Motions for Appointment of Special Process Servers should be emailed to the court coordinator and will be routinely granted as long as there is not an accompanying request for an OP.

2020 D  5 (Amended 7/2/20)

298 Petitions for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs are to the filed and emailed to the appropriate court coordinator. Court staff will respond by granting the petition, denying the petition, or giving a hearing date.

All Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions scheduled to expire between 3/17/20 and 7/3/20 are extended and returnable 30 days from the originally scheduled court date.

2020 D  4 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedure to Submit Agreed Orders

  • Agreed temporary, final, and QDRO orders may be submitted to the court coordinator for that specific judge with all counsel or parties of recorded copied to the email.
  • These orders should bear the hearing “AGREED [TEMPORARY/FINAL/QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS] ORDER SUBMITTED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS” and, where feasible, include electronic signatures of all counsel or parties as well as phone numbers and email addresses.

2020 D  3 (Amended 7/2/20)

Procedure to Submit Emergency Motions

  • Emergency motions must be e-filed and emailed to the judge’s coordinator with all counsel or self-represented parties copied on the email by 12:00pm the day before the motion is to be presented. Respondent has until 2:00pm the day the motion is received or 2:00pm the following business day if received after 12:00pm to respond as to whether the issue is an emergency.
  • The regularly assigned calendar judge will determine whether the matter is an emergency and enter an ex parte order or provide instructions for an electronic hearing. If a prima facie case of an emergency is not established, the motion will be denied as a non-emergency and may refer the matter to mediation.

2020 D  2

Absent a conflicting order, Emergency or Interim OPs expiring on March 17, 2020 through April 15, 2020 were extended, rescheduled, and continued for 30 days. See the order for exact dates.

2020 D  1 (Amended 7/2/20)

Parenting courses are online only through Children In Between Online (https://www.divorce-education.com/il/cook/).

Family Mediation Services is authorized to conduct mediation by phone or other electronic means.

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