Continuance court dates are usually very straight-forward in Illinois courthouses. For instance, If you go to court in Chicago and the Judge gives you a continuance, you usually leave with a slip of paper with your new date. Or sometimes, the court will send a postcard in the mail with a new date. But with the Covid 19 pandemic that has affected virtually every area of American life, courts and their normal procedures have been affected. Some counties are promptly sending out postcards with new dates, while for other counties, the process is much less clear and is sometimes incredibly frustrating just to find your next court date. So where can you find your next court date?
Can I Just Go to the Courthouse and Ask?
Not suggested. During this Coronavirus shutdown, the courthouses are basically closed except for a small group of essential personnel that are working inside. Virtually no cases are being heard except for emergency matters and most such buildings are not open to the public. If you choose to show up however, prepare to probably be greeted by a police officer or Sheriff at the front entrance who will almost certainly inform you that you’ve wasted your time and need to go home. This varies from county to county however.
Should I just Call the Courthouse?
Yes. The person that you’ll want to talk to is called the “Clerk of the Circuit Court” and this department is in charge of keeping all the files and keeping track of all the court dates. The best way to find a good phone number for the Clerk is just to Google: “Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court” (or Lake County, or Will County or insert whichever county your case is in). But depending on the county, you may find that the hold times are very long and that sometimes the clerks are less than helpful. However, for other counties (such as DuPage County), you’ll likely encounter friendly clerks who can quickly help you get the information you need. So, it varies from day to day and courthouse to courthouse, but give it a try. The main problem for most of the courthouses is that there are far fewer clerks available to answer your phone calls. Many have become sick with the virus and many are still on the job but operating from home.
Should I look online for Court Information?
Absolutely. The best idea is to do this in conjunction with calling the courthouse to confirm that the information is correct. Again, your experiences will vary from county to county. What you will likely find is that some counties are posting the new continuance information far in advance, while other courthouses are waiting until the date passes (and then sometimes many days afterwards) to post the new continuance date. So, our advice is to check daily online and new dates are sometimes posted after hours.
So Where Can I find my County Online?
Below are a number of online links for some of the most common counties in the northern portion of Illinois. If you find that the link for your particular county is no longer working, Google: “DuPage County Online Court Information” (or insert whichever county your case is in) for an updated link:
Cook County– Traffic information can be found at: https://services.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/traffictickets/
In regard to criminal cases, although there is now online access that allows attorneys to find detailed criminal information and court dates, there is not presently any access allowed for the general public. If you have a criminal case, whether a misdemeanor or felony, try to contact the Clerk of Circuit Court by phone for this information or watch your mail for a postcard. For clients of Sexner & Associates LLC, our attorneys are constantly monitoring your court dates and will immediately let you know once we locate your continuance information.
For Cook County Defendants that are currently incarcerated in Cook County jail, you can also usually find next court date information through the Sheriff’s online “Inmate Locator” at: https://inmatelocator.ccsheriff.org
DuPage County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at: https://epay.18thjudicial.org/Clerk/allsearch.do
Lake County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at: https://circuitclerk.lakecountyil.gov/publicAccess/html/common/index.xhtml
Kane County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at: http://www.cic.co.kane.il.us/Pages/Online-Court-Records.aspx
Will County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at:
McHenry County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at: https://caseinfo.co.mchenry.il.us/pca/
Kendall County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at:
DeKalb County– Both Criminal and Traffic information can be found at:
Your Attorney Can Help You Find Your Next Date
If you’ve already hired an attorney on your case, then your very first call to find your next court date should be to your attorney. If you’re already a client of Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC, or think you’d like to become a client, give us a call today and we’ll do our best to help you find your next date. Since 1990, our experienced legal team has been helping criminal and traffic clients through the most difficult of times, and we’re here to help you as well. Call us 24/7 at (800) 996-4824 or contact us online.