Monday, February 18, 2013

THE NEW COOK COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CELL PHONE BAN

Cook County Circuit Court has a new security rule at the courthouse.

As of April 15, 2013, visitors to any Cook County Courthouse other than the Richard J. Daley Center can no longer bring in cell phones or electronic communications devices. The ban prohibits cell phones, laptop computers, smart phones or any other device capable of connecting to the internet. Anyone found in violation of this rule can be held in contempt of court. For more information, see our related website page at Court Appearances and see the Cook County Circuit Court website at: Electronic Communication and Internet Devices Banned from All Circuit Court of Cook County Courthouses Except Daley Center.

There are exceptions. Attorneys, judges, persons with disabilities, news media, vendors, repair people and law enforcement are among those allowed to bring in such devices provided they can show proper identification. You may also bring in your phone if you are involved in a domestic violence situation.

The new rule goes into effect April 15, 2013. Judge Timothy Evans explained that the ban was in response to judges’ concerns that cell phones were used to improperly photograph witnesses, jurors and judges. Panic in the Court!. Cell phones were also used to transmit judge’s comments or witness testimony to those outside the courtroom. Potential witnesses are often excluded from the courtroom while others are testifying in order to prevent influencing their testimony.

DuPage County already bans cell phones or communication devices in the courthouse. Lake County allows you to bring in your phone but not to use it in the courtroom.

If you have questions about this or another related criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(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.)

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