NEED TO KNOW: Schedule released for branch court changes
Released On 11/08/2018 by the Honorable Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge
The Circuit Court and Cook County have finalized the scheduled closing of two Chicago branch court locations – 155 W. 51st St. and 2452 W. Belmont Ave. – to take effect after court concludes on January 4, 2019.
The two branch court closings, which were finalized as part of the budget litigation settlement between the county and the court, will help the county avoid $9.2 million in repairs, renovations and maintenance that would be necessary to keep the two buildings safe, operational and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The matters now heard at each city branch court are misdemeanor bail hearings, misdemeanor trials and felony preliminary hearings.
The upcoming changes are:
- Starting on December 10, 2018, all misdemeanor bail hearings at all five city branch court locations will move to the Leighton Criminal Court Building, 2600 S. California Ave. This brings all Chicago bail hearings to one location, as is currently done on weekends and holidays.
- Starting on January 7, 2019, all other misdemeanor matters (such as misdemeanor trials) and felony preliminary hearings at 155 W. 51st St. will move – depending on the location of the alleged offense – either to the branch court location at 727 E. 111th St. or the branch court location at 3150 W. Flournoy St.
- Starting on January 7, 2019, all other misdemeanor matters (such as misdemeanor trials) at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. will move to 5555 W. Grand Ave. The felony preliminary hearings at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. and 5555 W. Grand Ave. will move to the Skokie courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Road, which is where those two branch courts’ cases already go when they advance to trial. Felony matters that arise in Chicago and are already heard in Skokie do not include Chicago murder charges and Chicago sexual assault charges, which are currently only heard at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.
Defendants should check their bail bond slip, summons, ticket or notice-to-appear documents for the correct court location. Those whose court locations may change will receive notice by mail from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Defendants may also contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Criminal Department at (312) 603-4641.
In addition, all defendants in criminal cases can receive automated reminders of their upcoming court appearances. The court-reminder system provides a series of three voice or text reminders to a defendant’s cell phone or a relative’s cellphone in advance of the scheduled court dates. These reminders provide the time, date and location of the next court appearance.
Defendants may sign up for the Automated Court Reminder System by visiting https://courtreminder.cookcountyil.gov.