HomeBlogCOVID-19General Orders: State of Illinois Family Law Courts for March, 2020 Pandemic UPDATED

General Orders: State of Illinois Family Law Courts for March, 2020 Pandemic UPDATED

March 11, 2020
Amended temporarily to allow all parents to complete required parenting course through Children In Between Online. Family mediation services suspended, to be conducted by phone. Children’s and Teens Speak suspended.
March 16, 2020
All matters continued for 30 days except those listed in order. Child protection division: All temporary custody hearings and emergency motions heard as scheduled. Emergency civil orders of protection will be heard at Daley for domestic relations.
Any emergency or interim Orders of Protection that are set to return and/or expire on 3/17/2020 through and including 4/15/2020 are rescheduled.
Emergency pleading or motion pursuant to Cook County Rule 13.4(a)(ii) shall be emailed to RVP.domesticrelations@cookcountyil.gov by 4:00 p.m. the evening before the motion is to be presented unless an overnight emergency. Parties are to notify opposing parties and or counsel by carbon copying them to the email. The Emergency Judge will determine whether a prima facie case of an emergency has been shown. Then staff will send email notification of that determination with instructions by 8:30 a.m. If a prima facie case of an emergency is not shown, the court will either: (1) deny the pleading or motion as a nonemergency or (2) deny the same as a non-emergency and refer the case to an approved mediator for maximum two hour remote conference at no cost. If the parties reach an agreement with help from the mediator, parties may submit the proposed order pursuant to GAO 2020 D4. Parties are free to refile the matter to be heard when regular scheduling resumes. If a prima facie case is shown, the court will either: (1) enter an ex party order; (2) all Respondent to respond; (3) conduct a telephonic or Zoom hearing; or (4) as a last resort, have the parties appear for a hearing. This Order does not apply to emergency Orders of Protection.
Agreed Temporary Orders may be submitted to the Court for entry via email by either party with all counsel of record or parties included as recipients: RVP.domesticrelations@cookcountyil.gov. Upon Court approval, the Agreed Temporary Order will be distributed to all counsel of record. The Court may decline to enter an agreed temporary order, but will promptly communicate the reasons for declining. • All Agreed Temporary Orders shall have the heading: “AGREED TEMPORARY ORDER SUBMITTED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS”; • And bear the electronic signature of all counsel of record; • And contain the email address and telephone number of each counsel of record; • And such orders shall be returned via electronic means to counsel of record within 48 hours. Any motions regarding the Agreed Temporary Order shall be motioned before the Calendar Judge regularly assigned and shall be heard after April 15, 2020.

Suspended services: Family Mediation Services shall not conduct emergency intervention or custody evaluations. Joint simplified dissolution of marriage: Unless brought under emergency per procedures in GO 2020 D3, motions for entry of judgment for joint-simplified dissolution of marriage will not be heard. Review of petitions for waiver of fees pursuant to SCR298: submit via email to rvp.domesticrelations@cookcountyil.gov. Clerks will submit petition to emergency judge set to hear cases the following business day. Judge will review then send email back to litigant to advise if approved, denied, or a time to appear and testify. TROs and Preliminary Injunctions: any set to expire between 3.17 through and including 4/15 will be continued for 30 days. All new requests for TROs will be ruled upon based on pleading and set for 30 days from date of ruling. Collaborative entry of orders: All Domestic Relations judges working remotely shall be permitted to finalize orders in matters to which they are regularly assigned and transmit the order via email to rvp.domesticrelations@cookcountyil.gov. Court staff then will transmit approved order to emergency judge sitting on next business day for signature and transmission to Clerk of Court. Emergency judge shall indicate on order she is signing on behalf of assigned judge and any motions relating to the orders entered shall be brought before the assigned calendar judge, not emergency judge after 4/15. Court staff will then send orders to all parties or attorneys if they are represented.
March 18, 2020
All motions for appointment of special process servers with no request for an order of protection will be granted if electronically submitted to rvp.domesticrelations@cookcountyil.gov. Motions for appointment of special process servers that include a request for an order of protection will be reviewed and granted by the Emergency Judge within 48 hours of receipt.
Litigants who previously obtained a plenary order of protection set to expire between March 17 and April 16, 2020, are granted leave to electronically submit a Motion Requesting Extension of the Plenary Order of Protection to rvp.domesticrelations@cookcountyil.gov. The Emergency Judge will rule on the motion within 48 hours of receipt and no later than when the Plenary Order is due to expire. Any extension granted shall provide: (1) Respondent is granted 14 days to file a responsive pleading; (2) the matter is set for status 45 days later; and (3) the Plenary Order of Protection is extended until the status date. The Court shall email the parties and counsels of record with a copy of the order.
A parenting order includes any temporary order allocating parenting time, any allocation judgment, and any joint parenting agreement. The parties’ regular parenting time schedule shall govern for determining a person’s right to possession of and access to a child under a court-ordered parenting time schedule. Possession and access shall not be affected by school closure due to COVID-19, which is not considered “a day off from school.” Parties shall continue following parenting time schedules. But nothing prevents parties from altering a possession schedule by agreement if allowed by court order.
All domestic relations cases involving the State’s Attorney’s Office are to be continued not to the 30th day, but to the closest day that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office had already planned to be present before each particular judge, but in no event before April 16, 2020. Example: a case assigned to a judge who only hears states attorney cases on Monday that was originally scheduled for Monday, March 23rd and would be returning per Cook County GAO 2020-01 on Wednesday April 22nd, shall be instead set for Monday April 20th, as this is the closest State day before that judge to the day GAO No. 2020-01 would have required.
This order applies to and clarifies Local Rule 13.5 during the current reduction of Court operations from March 17, 2020 to April 15, 2020 pursuant to General Administrative Order No. 2020-01 and the authority granted to the Court under Supreme Court of Illinois M.R. 30370.
Parties may proceed to have their uncontested final matters, commonly referred to as “prove ups” conducted remotely. In order to proceed with a remote-means prove up, the parties must submit all documents required presently under Local Rule 13.51 (hereinafter “Required Documents”) and in addition, an agreed order signed by both parties agreeing to the prove up being effectuated remotely (hereinafter a “PAO”). The PAO shall set forth a requested date and time for the Prove Up to occur and it shall be the responsibility of any party requesting a remote oral prove up to specify in the PAO the telephonic or other audio transmitting means by which the Prove Up is proposed to occur (i.e., a conference call or Skype). Within 48 hours of receipt, the Court Coordinator or Division Administrator shall notify the parties and all counsel of record whether the proposed date, time, and method for the oral Prove Up have been approved by the Court or what new date, time, and method will be employed instead. In the case of a judicial team, the Court Coordinator will also notify the parties and all counsel of record of the Judge whose Prove Up date corresponds with the date requested.
March 23, 2020
On a temporary basis, Agreed Final Orders (i.e., orders that constitute final and appealable orders as defined by the Illinois Supreme Court Rules) which do not require an oral prove up and Agreed Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) may be submitted to the Court for entry via e-mail transmission by either party with all counsel of record or the parties (if not represented) included as recipients of the email to:
a) the Court Coordinator for any judge who maintains an individual calendar, or b) the Court Coordinator for the applicable judicial team, or c) the Division Administrator for any judge who does not have a Court Coordinator, or; d) any other method directed by the judge assigned to the matter. 1
No Agreed Final Order or Agreed QDRO shall be entered by the Court unless all counsel of record, or parties (if not represented by counsel) are included as recipients of the email containing the proposed Agreed Final Order.
2. All Agreed Final Orders and Agreed QDROs shall:
a) bear the heading: “AGREED FINAL ORDER SUBMITTED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS” or “AGREED QUALIFIED DOMESTIC RELATIONS ORDER SUBMITTED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS” b) where feasible, bear the written signature of all parties; and if the parties are represented, c) where feasible, bear the electronic signature of any counsel of record in the cause; d) contain the email address and contact telephone number of each counsel of record in the cause or the parties (if not represented by counsel);
5. All Agreed Final Orders and Agreed QDROs may be executed in counter-parts (i.e. Petitioner signs one, Respondent signs another, and both are submitted to the Court with the other’s signature left blank) but Agreed QDRO signatures will preferably be on the same page.
6. All Agreed Final Orders and Agreed QDROs shall be reviewed by the regularly assigned calendar judge. Within 48 hours of receipt, the regularly assigned calendar judge shall either approve the order or state concise reasons for rejecting the order.
1 A list of contact information for all Court Coordinators and the Division Administrator is attached.
7. All approved Agreed Final Orders and Agreed QDROs shall be entered by the Emergency Judge via the Collaborative Entry of Orders process outlined in General Order 2020 D 5.
8. Court staff shall disseminate the approved Final Agreed Order or Agreed QDROs bearing the Emergency Judge’s signature or the regularly assigned calendar judge’s reasons for rejecting the order to all counsel of record and all self-represented parties in a timely manner.
9. Upon receipt of an approved Agreed QDRO bearing the Emergency Judge’s signature, a party or their attorney may request remote certification of that order from the Clerk of the Circuit Court pursuant to the instructions attached to this General Order.

March 24, 2020
During this time of reduced court operations, any body attachment issued in a Cook County
Domestic Relations Division proceeding for nonpayment of support or maintenance is hereby
stayed for 60 days.
No body attachment issued as a result of non-payment of support or maintenance shall be
executed until May 22, 2020.

March 24, 2020
On a temporary basis, during such time as court operations are reduced pursuant to General
Administrative Order No. 2020-01, a party may file a motion for non-emergency relief from the Circuit
Court only as follows:
a. The movant must file with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County her (I) motion for
non-emergency relief and (2) her notice of motion setting the matter for the next regularly
scheduled court date after the Circuit Court resumes normal operations but in no event earlier
than April 15, 2020. The movant must then send a copy of her motion, notice of motion, and
this General Order to all parties of record or their attorneys if they have one via email
b. If the movant follows the requirements of Paragraph (a), then:

i. the responding party shall be automatically be granted 21 days to respond to any non-
emergency motion from the receipt of such non-emergency motion (or shall within

such time, file an objection stating concisely why such time is insufficient/excessive);
ii. the moving party shall be automatically granted 7 days thereafter to reply to the

response to the non-emergency motion or to respond to the objections to the non-
emergency motion.

Ill. The movant shall submit the non-emergency motion and any
responses/objections/replies to the Circuit Court (along with all necessary and

referenced exhibits) via e-mail transmission with all counsel of record or self-
represented parties included as recipients of the e-mail to the following individuals at

the date that time to reply expires:
1. the Court Coordinator for any judge who maintains an individual calendar, or
2. the Court Coordinator for the applicable judicial team, or
3. the Division Administrator for any judge who does not have a Court
Coordinator, or;
4. any other method directed by the judge assigned to the matter.2
iv. Upon submission of all non-emergency motion, any responses/objections, and all
necessary and referenced exhibits, the non-emergency motion shall be taken under
advisement by the judge presiding over the calendar to which the case is assigned.
v. Subsequent to receipt of all relevant pleadings, the Court shall, through its staff,
communicate whether it shall issue a written ruling, conduct a remote argument or
hearing designating the manner, date and time or defer the matter to a date when the
Court returns to full operations. The Court shall schedule a tentative date for the in
person hearing to take place.
vi. If additional information or documentation is sought by the Court in order to
adjudicate the non-emergency motion, that request will be made to all counsel of
record or parties (if not represented). The request for such information or
documentation shall set forth the party, parties or counsel responsible for submission
of such information or documentation. All parties and all counsel of record shall
strictly comply with any request for additional information or documentation. NO
ADDITIONAL information, documentation or other materials shall be submitted to
the Court other than those requested by the Court.
vii. Parties may agree, via an Agreed Temporary Order pursuant to General Order 2020
D 04 to a briefing schedule other than the presumptive schedule set forth above.
viii. In the event a non-emergency motion seeks the withdrawal of an attorney as counsel
of record, “reasonable notice” of withdrawal without substitution of counsel, for
purposes of Supreme Court Rule 13 (c) (2), shall be deemed to be no less than three
(3) business days written notice (with a copy of the filed motion to withdraw
included) to a client prior to the email submission of the motion to withdraw to the
Court for adjudication. Such prior written notice must be provided to the Court in the
e-mail transmission of the motion seeking withdrawal when it is submitted for
potential adjudication.

c. All motions for non-emergency relief from the Circuit Court submitted by email shall contain
the email address and contact telephone number of each counsel of record in the cause or the
self-represented parties.
c. All email submissions concerning motions for non-emergency relief from the Circuit Court
submitted shall use the title: “Motion for Non-Emergency Relief’, Case Number, and
Calendar Number.

All matters are continued through April 17, 2020. All matters are continued for a period of 30-60 days from the originally scheduled court date. The Circuit Court Clerk shall notify all interested parties of a future court date for these matters, consistent with the regular practice of the Clerk for such notifications. Judges will be present in each division to handle emergency motions and matters deemed by the Court as essential to proceed based upon Constitutional, statutory or local court rule or Illinois Supreme Court Rule. In Domestic relations cases: (a) emergency motions shall proceed and will be heard by the on-call judge; (b) parties may email agreed orders to the assigned Judge’s secretary for entry by the assigned judge; the judge may modify the agreed order at his/her discretion; and (c) Returns on orders of protection that are assigned to the dissolution case shall be heard by the on call judge on a timely basis.

March 23, 2020
Temporary accommodations will be granted to attorneys and litigants regarding agreed to
prove-up procedures. The Domestic Relations Judges will review and consider entering hnal
judgments and parental allocation judgments presented to them electronically only subject to the
following conditions:
1. These procedures will be in effect until resumption of normal courthouse access
and activities.
2. Parties and their attorneys can email their fully executed proposed settlement
documents to include the Judgment, Marital Settlement Agreement, Allocation
Judgment and Parenting Plan (if applicable) and copy of the Certificate of
Dissolution (half/sheet) to the Court for the assigned Judge’s review and possible
3. The Allocation Judgment/Parenting Plan may enter as an Agreed Order following
review as presumed to be in the best interest of the minor children if signed by
both parties. Please make sure all mandatory clauses are included within the Plan
(e.g. mediation provision).
4. With respect to the Marital Settlement Agreement, setting of child support and
maintenance should reference calculation pursuant to statute (i.e. income and
duration, income sharing) and/or specific the basis for deviation and/or waiver or
reservation of the same. Disproportionate distribution of marital property (assets
and liabilities), if any, should also be explained.
5. The parties shall both sign and submit a notarized affidavit containing the
a. Agreement that the court has both personal and subject matter jurisdiction.
b. Stipulation as to grounds and description of grounds.
c. Review of the Agreement in its entirety by the parties.
d. Number of children born or adopted to the parties, emancipation of those
children or lack of same, and the parties present conditions as to
e. An understanding of the terms of the Agreement and intent to be bound by
them by the parties and that no one was coerced to sign same.
f. Entry into the Agreement freely and voluntarily by the parties.
g. A belief that the Agreement is a fair and equitable division of the marital
h. Waiver of appearance at approve up by the parties.
i. Waiver of a transcript from a prove up by the parties. j. If either side is a self-represented litigant, it should indicate their
acknowledgment that they are not represented by opposing counsel and
that they have had/waived the opportunity to confer with outside counsel
prior to signing the Agreement.
k. The parties desire that the Court approve their Agreement(s), incorporate
iVthem into the Judgment and enter the Final Judgment of Dissolution.
l. The Agreement must comment as to resumption of the other names by the
m. The parties waive cross examination of the other party.
n. The parties waive physical presence in Court for these proceeding as well
as notice.
o. Proof of completion of parenting class where applicable by both parties.
Entry of said Final Judgment shall be at the Court’s discretion.
The Circuit Court Clerk has already assigned future dates to all affected cases.
The attorneys or parties shall also submit an agreed order striking all such future
Withholding Order and other similar post judgment orders such as Q.D.R.O.’s
shall be presented separately as Agreed Orders after Judgment is entered.

March 23, 2020
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT the Domestic Relations Division will participate in pre-trial
conferences subject to the following conditions:
1. Both parties must be represented by an attorney.
2. If the parties seek a pre-trial conference with the assigned judge, both attorneys
must first submit a joint stipulation, electronically only, to the judge indicating the
a. Three dates must be suggested in this stipulation for the pre-trial. The
Judge will respond electronically and select the date and time for the pre-
b. Each party and each attorney shall sign and date the stipulation.
c. The parties agree to either a conference call with the Judge and both
attorneys, or a video conference with the same participants (video platform
costs and arrangements to be dealt with by both attorneys).
d. Stipulation shall indicate the parties have been advised as to how this
activity is to be conducted, and that the procedure will be without record
and without the parties’ attendance.
e. The stipulation shall indicate the parties agree to this process being
conducted in this way.

3. After the stipulation is received by the Judge and after the date and time is selected
by the Judge, the parties may submit memoranda in compliance with local rule
4. At the pre-trial, future dates for the case shall be addressed.
5. The attorneys shall advise the Judge of the nature of the virtual conference
(audio/visual) along with telephone contact numbers and conference procedures
arranged for by the attorneys in a timely manner.

All matters continued 28 days, unless 28th day falls on a weekend, then continued to next business day. Judges hearing emergency matters, including emergency and plenary order of protection matters. Domestic violence matters report to Rm. T-110. All family matters continued except for the following heard in C-105: OP cases, emergency Child support matters, matters which are an emergency as defined by statute and local court rule will be heard and may be conducted either in person, via video, or by phone conference. Discovery continues as scheduled. LAKE COUNTY AO 20-14 Temporary Procedures for Family Division Cases All matters scheduled between March 17, 2020 through and including April 17, 2020, are hereby canceled and will be automatically continued by the Clerk’s Office. All parties of record will receive notice of the continued court date. Most cases will be continued for a period of 35 days, but there will be exceptions at the discretion of the assigned judge. Trials will be continued to the trial dates of the assigned judge. All emergency matters of any type will still be heard. Any attorney or self-represented litigant wishing to have an emergency matter heard must contact the Clerk’s Office by telephone to schedule the hearing. All emergency matters, whether contested or uncontested, may be heard by remote court appearance via Court Call, the designated remote appearance vendor of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. All litigants are strongly encouraged to make remote appearances, rather than appear personally in court, in order to diminish the risk of infection. The Clerk’s office will provide CourtCall information upon request. For those who do attend court in person, all emergency matters will be heard in Courtroom C-105, regardless of which Judge is assigned to the case. Courtroom C-105 has been equipped with videoconferencing equipment, which can be utilized upon request. The Civil Division will continue to accept proposed agreed orders. Proposed agreed orders should be submitted to the Clerk’s Office by email. Upon receipt, the Clerk’s Office will forward the proposed agreed order to the assigned judge. If the assigned judge approves the agreed order, the Clerk will present the agreed order to the on-duty judge in the courthouse for signature. The Clerk will then email the signed order to the parties. For any case which is being automatically continued as a result of this order, all 218 and briefing schedule deadlines are automatically extended for 35 days without need for separate order of any kind, agreed or otherwise. For cases not receiving an automatic continuance of deadlines, but where discovery has been impractical due to the current emergency, the parties may request relief from deadlines when normal court proceedings resume, or they may choose to submit a proposed agreed order pursuant to the above paragraph of this order. The Clerk may receive, for the duration of Administrative Order 20-11, Family Division filings by mail or over the counter from Self-Represented Litigants seeking an exemption form electronic filing. All attorneys shall continue to electronically file as mandated by Illinois Supreme Court.

Reach out to the family law team at WARD FAMILY LAW, LLC for all of your needs during this time.



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