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Fourth Judicial Court Updates Procedures

The Fourth Judicial Circuit is amending its procedures in an attempt to reduce the possibility of spreading COVID-19. The following procedures will be in effect until at least June 30th.


Put on hold will be all pay or appears and compliance hearings, along with all evictions ceasing until the expiration of the order. The following will be heard. All traffic cases, including DUI’s, all In-custody cases, all criminal felony cases with time constraints, all juvenile detention, shelter care, and permanency hearings, all hearings involving emergency and plenary orders of protection, all family law cases, and all small claims as allowed by Supreme Court Rules. 


Also being heard will be all probate and chancery cases and marriages with a total number of 4 persons allowed at the ceremony.  All hearings will be handled using remote video conferencing if possible.  All in-custody hearings shall be conducted by remote video conferencing.


Felony guilty pleas may be done in person at a time that social distancing can be guaranteed, but it is recommended that they be conducted by video conferencing as well.  This allows the defendant to participate and be present in the courtroom by way of video conferencing. 


When the courthouse reopens, in-person attendance will be permitted but the number will be limited and social distancing will be implemented. Only participants in a particular case will be allowed except for minors. 


All criminal cases involving defendants with attorneys will be held at 10 AM and the Court will waive the personal appearance of a defendant if his/her attorney present is available and no plea is being taken.


The Illinois Fourth Judicial Circuit Court presides over the counties of Christian, Effingham, Montgomery, and Shelby.

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