Kane County Effective July 7, 2021 Drops Social Distancing and Mask Mandates for Those Who are Vaccinated.
On July 7, 2021, the Chief Judge Kane County, Illinois Issued a General Order. The order continues to allow Zoom Court but drops the mask mandate and six-foot social distancing rules for those vaccinated. The order uses an honor system.
The contents of the General Order that apply to divorce and family law cases in Kane County follow:
WHEREAS, due to measures implemented by the State of Illinois and the Kane County Health Department including but not limited to the availability of vaccines, the Coronavirus pandemic infection rates have decreased to such a degree that many Court Operations which have been modified may resume while still protecting the health and safety of the public, Circuit Court Judges and Circuit Court employees, and pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 2l(b) and the Court’s inherent authority; and
WHEREAS, the Supreme Court of Illinois entered Order MR. 30370 on June 30, 2021, stating that effective immediately the Chief Judges of each Circuit Court are no longer required to allow for appropriate social distancing as required by the Court’s Order of May 20, 2020 and are permitted to relax or eliminate social distancing requirements; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of all of the above-named parties and individuals to resume many pre-pandemic court operations in the Kane County Judicial Center, Kane County Courthouse, Kane County Juvenile Justice Center, and Kane County Branch Courts in order to provide increased access to the Courts and to address delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, that effective July 7, 2021, the following procedures are in effect in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit:
1) SOCIAL DISTANCING: Persons who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and are two weeks past their final vaccine injection may enter Kane County court facilities and conduct business without social distancing. Persons who have not been vaccinated must continue to maintain six ( 6) feet social distancing.
2) KANE COUNTY COURTS ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Persons who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and are two weeks past their final vaccine injection may enter the court facilities and conduct business without facemasks or face coverings. A person may be denied entry to the court facilities if they have new flu-like symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath (excluding symptoms caused by chronic conditions).
A person may be denied entry to the court facilities if they currently have been directed to quarantine or isolate at home by any medical provider or public health official. A person may be denied entry to the court facilities if they reside or have regular close contact with a person currently subject to a quarantine or isolation direction issued by a medical provider or public health official and are not themselves fully vaccinated.
The 16th Judicial Circuit will not routinely screen persons in the court facilities to determine their vaccination status, but reserves the right to inquire as to any person’s vaccination status and/or require proof thereof.
3) COURT OPERATIONS: Each Division has entered an Administrative Order establishing procedures for each Division. Attorneys and self-represented litigants appearing in these Divisions should consult the Administrative Orders (found under Court Orders on the Kane County Circuit Clerk’s Office website, cic.co.kane.il.us) to learn about the scheduling and procedures that must be followed for their case. It is each Divisions’ goal to incorporate, retain, and balance in-person and remote court for the benefit of all court users.
4) REMOTE HEARING: Pursuant to each Divisions’ Administrative Order, if your case is going to be heard remotely, parties should plan to appear as scheduled, to make a timely appearance, and should familiarize themselves with the “Guidelines for Virtual Courtroom Proceedings of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit” and the “Illinois Supreme Court Remote Access Policy”, effective January 1, 2020, and revised effective June 1, 2020.
A “remote hearing” is one that is conducted either telephonically or via a video conferencing system. A “remote hearing” includes, but is not limited to, status dates, pleas, motion hearings, and trials. The Sixteenth Judicial Circuit utilizes the Zoom video conferencing platform.
Each judge may exercise his or her discretion in establishing additional parameters for remote hearings. In misdemeanor and felony matters, a circuit court clerk and court reporter must be present either in-person, telephonically, or by video conferencing when contested remote hearings are held to ensure a record is made.
5) *** The Courtroom will be open for in-person appearances for emergency orders of protection, stalking/no contact orders, civil no contact orders, plenary orders of protection hearings and expungements.
12) KANE COUNTY LAW LIBRARY & SELF HELP LEGAL CENTER: During business hours the public is welcome to visit the Law Library, call, or utilize the chat feature on the website.
15) CHILDREN’S WAITING ROOM: The waiting room is open.
16) OTHER MATTERS: Non-essential gatherings, meetings and programs at the Kane County Courthouse, Kane County Judicial Center, or the Kane County Juvenile Justice Center may be held upon authorization by the Chief Judge or Court Administration. The Court may issue further Orders, as necessary, to address the changing circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.
Entered this 7th day of July 2021, and effective July 7, 2021.