Client Alert


Procedures of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois During the Coronavirus Crisis

THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED ON 5/30/20 05/30/2020
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Actions Taken by the District Court

On Tuesday, May 26, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois updated, for the fourth time, its General Order 20-0012 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The District Court’s original General Order extended all deadlines, whether set by the court or otherwise, by 21 days. On March 30, an Amended General Order extended these deadlines an additional 28 days. The April 24 Third Amended General Order added an additional 28 days for a new total of 77 days.  The latest order does not add any additional time to the prior orders’ extensions.

Civil case hearings, bench trials, and settlement conferences scheduled now may be scheduled and conducted remotely. Jury trials, on the other hand, will not be conducted before August 3, 2020. Courtesy copy requirements the local rule requiring motions to be noticed for presentment have been suspended through July 15, 2020.

It is important to note that this does not affect the rights to or deadlines concerning appeals. As a result, parties looking to appeal a decision must still meet any current deadlines and have a one-time only request for an extension of time to appeal under Appellate Rule 4(a)(5)(A). Additionally, the presiding judge may – for good cause, extend, shorten or revoke the Third Amended General Order’s 28-day extension.

For emergency relief from this order, parties must file a motion in Case No. 20-cv-01792, a docket specifically created in the Second Amended General Order, to receive emergency motions. During regular business hours, Parties must email with a message describing the emergency, and after hours parties must call 312.702.8875 and leave a message. The District Court will either vacate, amend, or extend its General Order no later than July 13, 2020.

The Clerk’s Office remains closed to the public until June 15, 2020. Additionally, all public gatherings in the are suspended until July 15, 2020.

What Does that Mean for My Case?

All hearings in civil matters scheduled to occur between March 17, 2020 and May 29, 2020 have been stricken and will be rescheduled by the presiding judge to a date on after June 1, 2020.  A party may request a telephonic hearing or settlement conference, so long as the request specifies the need for urgency, and that it is not a routine status hearings. In addition, since all deadlines have been extended by 77 days, a filing or discovery response that was due on March 17, 2020 is now due on May 29, 2020.  If the new deadline falls on a weekend, it will be pushed to the following business day.  The underlying litigation will, thus, continue. Judges may continue to enter orders in any case.

HMB Legal Counsel will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves. The ongoing issues related to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have had and will continue to have a significant impact on individuals, families, businesses and markets. Visit our collection of resources providing guidance during these fast-changing circumstances. Please reach out to your lead team member to answer specific questions.

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