Zoom Court was first initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Court business could thus continue, while keeping everybody safe. Now, effective New Years Day, 2023, the Illinois Supreme Court has made remote hearings permanent. Revised Illinois Supreme Court Rule 45 governs the use of Zoom going forward.
For criminal or traffic matters that do not involve the possibility of jail or prison time, you may be able to attend all court hearings on zoom, except for: (i) evidentiary hearings, other than ex parte evidentiary hearings (such as emergency order of protection hearings); (ii) settlement conferences; (iii) bench trials; (iv) jury trials; and (v) any type of case or proceeding exempted from remote participation.
In criminal cases (including DUI) involving the possibility of jail or prison time or juvenile delinquency, you may appear by zoom without advance court approval for: (i) initial appearances; (ii) initial or subsequent appearances in juvenile delinquency matters at which continued detention of a minor will be determined; (iii) status hearings; (iv) waiver of a preliminary hearing; (v) arraignments on an information or indictment at which a plea of not guilty will be entered; (vi) presentation of a jury waiver; (vii) non-evidentiary hearings; and (viii) hearings conducted under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act (725 ILCS 207/1 et seq.) at which no witness testimony will be taken.”
In criminal cases involving the possibility of jail/prison time or juvenile delinquency, you must appear in person unless the judge approves otherwise for: “(i) Negotiated pleas; (ii) Evidentiary hearings; (iii) Sentencing hearings; (iv) Probation revocation hearings; (v) Arraignments or other proceedings or appearances at which a plea of guilty will be entered; (vi) Hearings conducted under the Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (725 ILCS 205/0.01 et seq.); (vii) Bench trials or stipulated bench trials; and (viii) Any case type or proceeding type exempted from remote participation in accordance with paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(7).”
Jury trials must also be in person, except witnesses in certain situations may be allowed to testify on zoom.
The chief judge of your county may exempt particular types of cases from zoom court as he or she deems necessary. A judge may also require you to appear in person for reasons special to your case. The judge must then inform you on the record that you are required to do so.
If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)