Illinois courts to resume as coronavirus restrictions lift

Illinois courts can resume all court operations, including non-emergency hearings, as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted in the state, according to an administrative order from Chief Judge of the Second Circuit Thomas Tedeschi.

Court personnel and visitors will be required to follow CDC guidelines as well as those from local health departments and the Illinois Supreme Court when doing business at a courthouse.

Similar provisions are in place in the First Circuit.

A news release from the Southern District said Chief Judge Nancy Rosenstengel signed an executive order last week that detailed a phased reopening of the two courthouses in Benton and East St. Louis, according to the Southern Illinoisan.

If a judge finds that delaying felony pleas or sentencing cannot be pushed back without harm to the defendant, video and teleconferencing can be used instead to hold these hearings, the order says.

Anyone entering the courthouses is required to wear a mask. All civil and criminal trials will not be held until after Aug. 1.