SPRINGFIELD — Attorneys now have double the amount of time to file court documents in state appeals courts and in the Illinois Supreme Court, according to an order released Tuesday by the high court.
The extended deadlines are an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus and will remain in effect indefinitely.
Rather than 30 days, notice of appeals are now due in the circuit court 60 days from the date of the circuit court’s judgment.
Appellant and appellee briefs have a 35-day extension, for a total of 70 days after an appeal is on record. The deadline for filing a petition for rehearing is extended to 42 days after the court’s decision.
In cases where a decision was entered 35 days before Tuesday, mandates from the appellate court will be held 70 days from the court’s judgment, according to the order.
State Appellate Defender James E. Chadd said he does not foresee any complications stemming from the amended deadlines.
“This definitely helps us,” Chadd said. “There’s no question [the coronavirus] poses challenges, but we’re working through it.”
Almost all of the attorneys and support staff in the state appellate defender’s offices have been working remotely, Chadd said. The only downside has been assembling indexes and exhibits that cannot be transferred digitally, he said.
The deadline to file any petition for leave to appeal in the high court is also stretched from 35 days to 70 days from the date of the appellant court’s judgment, order denying a petition for rehearing, entry of judgment on rehearing, opinion filed upon granting a motion to publish or entry of an order denying a motion to publish.
Except in cases where the high court granted an extension that was marked “final,” appellant and appellee briefs due Tuesday and later have an additional 35 days to be filed.
The same 21-day extension for filing a petition for rehearing also applies to cases before the high court.
Tuesday’s order comes after courts across the state have limited proceedings schedules and restricted courthouse access, and less than a week after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which excludes businesses that perform legal services.
The court’s order also comes on the heels of a statement issued Monday by Chief Justice Anne M. Burke thanking all state court personnel on behalf of the other justices.
“We understand the spread of the coronavirus is affecting all of you and presenting extraordinary personal and professional challenges. We could not be more proud of all that you are doing,” Burke wrote in the statement. “This is an unprecedented situation. Your dedication is essential and greatly appreciated.”