Rolling Meadows courthouse quiets in response to COVID-19 pandemic
Rolling Meadows' once-bustling Third District Cook County courthouse has quieted considerably in the two weeks since Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans ordered most criminal and civil cases postponed to minimize public health risks related to COVID-19.
From Jan. 1 through March 16, county judges heard from 400 to 600 traffic and misdemeanor cases a week at the courthouse. Now, with the exception of emergency motions, no traffic or misdemeanor cases are being heard there.
Judges in the felony courtrooms still hear on average 625 cases each week, but in most instances those hearings are for continuances, said Pat Milhizer, spokesman for the chief judge's office.
Misdemeanor and felony bond hearings, which averaged about 100 per week before the modifications went into effect, are down to about 25 per week, Milhizer said.
Late last month, Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx announced that in response to the pandemic, her office would not prosecute low-level, nonviolent offenses, including drug offenses "which pose little to no risk to public safety."
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 141 Cook County jail detainees and 25 employees of the sheriff's office had tested positive for the coronavirus, the sheriff's office said on its website, up from 134 detainees and 20 employees on Monday evening.