Effective December 1, 2020, remote appearance is strongly encouraged by the 22nd Circuit, and is the only option in some courtrooms. Below is a listing of courtrooms which offer or require remote appearance for select appearances. This includes family-law matters before Judges Hansen, Hirsch, and Facchini and Zalad. See: https://www.mchenrycountyil.gov/county-government/departments-a-i/circuit-clerk/virtual-courtroom-information
The updates from the McHenry County regarding the impact of Coronavirus on our court system is available here:
- Administrative Order 2020-11
- Press Release (May 21, 2020)
- Reestablishment Plan, McHenry County (May 21, 2020 following Illinois Supreme Court’s May 20, 2020 Order)
McHenry County Family-Law Division Standing Orders.
Since June 1, 2020, the McHenry County standing orders remain in place except where there is specific language in the Reestablishment Plan and Order entered May 21, 2020.
The Gitlin Law firm created for our ease of reference pdfs of these standing order that are searchable:
- McHenry County Family Law Division Order 2020-01(Pretrials)
- McHenry County Family Law Division Order 2020-02 (Prove-ups)
- McHenry County Family Law Division Order 2020-03 (Summary Hearings).
- McHenry County Family Law Division Order 2002-04
- Mediator List – Family Division-Current (Updated Mediator List)
- Civil Division Standing Order re Discovery
May 21, 2020 Administrative Order:
The May 20, 2020 Administrative Order directs the courts in McHenry County to begin hearing all matters effective June 1, 2020 with certain conditions.
- Wear and Mask and Social Distance: All persons entering the Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center must wear a mask and maintain six-feet social distancing. Litigants, attorneys or otherwise may only remove the mask by authority of the Presiding Judge.
- Reduced Capacity: Court dates and times will be adjusted to maintain reduced capacity in courtrooms and the courthouse. All involved are directed to the 22nd Judicial Circuit’s Reestablishment Plan. Patrons are directed to arrive no more than 15 minutes before a court date.
- Use Virtual / Zoom Court. Lawyers should in any case possible use remote access to the courts including audio and video virtual court sessions. Follow the 22nd Circuit Guidelines for Virtual Courtroom Proceedings. The particular audio or video platform is at the discretion of the judge. (But for family law matters will be Zoom.)
- Necessary Individuals Only. Social distancing results in reduced capacity in courtrooms and the building. Only necessary parties are to attend the proceedings.
- Smooth Entry through Security. Efficiently enter the building bringing only necessary identification and documents for court proceedings. This means where possible avoid coats, bags, backpacks, jewelry, watches, etc, to go smoothly through security.
This was recently re-emphasized with the chief Judge writing on August 13, 2020:
We are seeing an uptick of extras, friends and family, coming to the courthouse. As you know we are trying to keep extras away so please tell your clients to avoid bringing the extras or at least let them know they will have to wait in the car. Less numbers keeps all of us safer. Also, strollers bags and the like often have to be hand searched creating bottle necks at the entrance and subjecting security to greater risk. Thank you for your consideration.
The Gitlin Law Firm remains open (with social distancing) with Attorney Gunnar J. Gitlin in the office and the lawyers accepting new client interviews via the phone or Zoom with electronic exchange of documents or in person with social distancing on request.
Gunnar J. Gitlin