Covering the Land of Lincoln

Rockford Courts Hold After Resetting Urgency | news

ROCKFORD (WREX) – Illinois expedited trial rights will be restored after an 18 month suspension due to the pandemic.

It’s been a big month before courts in Illinois so far as litigation and cases accelerate. Some courts may be behind, but Boone County’s not.

“At Boone, we continue to work as best we can, using safe procedures with a six-foot section and masks,” said Tricia Smith, Boone state attorney.

Last year, the Illinois Supreme Court’s quick trial law was temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the defendants who were in custody had to wait longer than the allotted 120 days.

Longer negotiations with the jury and additional court dates surfaced.

Even lawyers struggled to get their defendants involved in their cases.

Now the floodgates are open and legal proceedings are running through the system.

Local attorney Jason Tempin says the judges are actively trying to figure out when all cases will be caught up.

However, it should return to normal in the next few months.

“We hope sooner rather than later, but we are already seeing improvements,” said Tempin. “I would say within probably shortly after the new year.”

Tempin adds that technologies like Zoom will stay here as they help speed up courtrooms.

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