With some exceptions for emergency situations and some criminal cases, you can’t have your day in court in Illinois right now. Chief Judge Evans of Cook County announced the other day that the courts will be closed through at least May 31st. I’d quite honestly expect it to go on longer than that.
It’s very frustrating for people who don’t feel that they have access to justice when it comes to our civil courts. I have a case that I’m a part of that was set to go to trial this week after four years of preparation and now it’s postponed until November at the earliest. It sucks for the clients and everyone involved, but of course it makes sense and it’s a good thing we are doing this.
The reality is that some people are going to temporarily get away with nonsense and innocent people are going to suffer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t act. While you aren’t going to be able to appear in court this month, you can still file a lawsuit.
Filing a lawsuit does a lot of things to eventually get you justice. First and foremost it lets the other person know that you are serious. Second, while you won’t get in to court right away, you will get a court date. There are certainly a lot of cases that have backed up the system, but getting in line now is really to your advantage. When courts do open back up, the other party will be on the clock of having to respond and that will also put real pressure on them. We also have seen that when someone is sued, if they don’t get a lawyer the first thing they do is call your lawyer. Often you can get a result without ever even having to go to court.
It’s my opinion that when the Illinois courts do open up, there is going to be a flood of new cases filed. We expect it a lot for divorce, but certainly for other areas too, like evictions. My best advice is to get ahead of the game if you need to, and act now. Nobody wants to have to sue someone or go to court, but waiting too long will likely make getting a good result even harder.
And as always, if you have questions or want to speak with a lawyer for free, call us any time at 312-346-5320.