This report has been updated to reflect the cancellations at the Markham courthouse.
Chicago’s winter blast means both county and federal courthouses will be closed on Tuesday — but virtual proceedings will go on as scheduled.
Courts were closed Monday in observance of Presidents’ Day. The National Weather Service forecasts a total accumulation between 5 and 10 inches during the current snowstorm.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois made its announcement just after 9 p.m. Monday, indicating that scheduled in-person proceedings may continue remotely or will be rescheduled.
All federal court employees are expected to work remotely, per the email from Clerk Thomas Bruton.
The same message is reflected on the website for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, also based at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
Cook County Circuit Court
Also just after 9 p.m. Monday, Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans announced that county facilities will be closed in order to limit the number of people traveling.
“This means that — with the exception of bail hearings and certain pretrial matters for in-custody defendants at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago and juvenile detention hearings at the Juvenile Center in Chicago — all court proceedings will be conducted by videoconference or teleconference,” Evans' announcement reads. “No in-person hearings will be held. Traffic court proceedings also will be entirely held by teleconference.”
In a follow-up announcement, the circuit court said the Markham courthouse has cancelled all 6th Municipal District criminal hearings today, both in-person and remote, with an exception for bond hearings.
Both court systems are already operating with limited in-person proceedings since last March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evans’ announcements say litigants who cannot attend hearings by Zoom “will not suffer any adverse consequences” and will have court dates rescheduled. It directs the public to Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez’s website for details on new court dates.