In the best of times, the Court systems are complicated and getting any progress in your case can feel frustrating. During this COVID-19 Crisis the Court systems have changed and are even more difficult to navigate. This post is meant to help guide you through filing a motion during this time:
This is not a substitute for legal advice. This is legal information. This does not create an attorney-client relationship.
- Review your COUNTY information and specific rules and Orders issued. These will be called “General Orders” and are specific to each court house and each division. For example, Will County has one court house with many divisions. Cook County however has many court houses and many divisions. Each of these may have their own rules and structures, while some overlap and reference one another. Many orders can be found HERE (but this may not be up to date).
- Understand and practice E-Filing. This is another hoop that is complicated with COVID-19. There were ways to get a waiver so you do not have to learn how to e-file as a pro se (or self-represented) litigant. With COVID-19 procedures in place, getting a waiver and filing in person is much more difficult, and in some cases, impossible.
- Draft your motion as an emergency motion or a non-emergency motion. Judges are very strict about what an emergency motion means during this crazy time, so be very careful when filing a motion as an emergency.
- E-File the motion and follow the protocol for your County to have that motion heard. For example, in Cook County, for a Non-Emergency Motion in Domestic Relations, General Order 2020 D 13 sets out the procedure for filing a non-emergency motion. This process is different for a case in Probate in Will County, or the Criminal Division in Cook County.
- Follow-up, based on the County instructions, to make sure the right people saw the motion and things are moving.