On March 13th, 2020, Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of the Circuit Court of Cook County issued General Administrative Order 2020-01, which lays out the emergency measures being taken by the court to address widespread concerns about transmission of COVID-19. The order communicates important information for tenants who are facing eviction, or are currently involved in eviction proceedings:
- The Cook County Sheriff will not enforce eviction orders beginning on March 14th, 2020, and continuing until April 13th, 2020. If the court has already ordered that a tenant should be evicted, the sheriff will not take action to put the tenant out until April 13th at the earliest.
- All scheduled court dates in eviction cases will be rescheduled and continued for 30 days unless both parties agree that there is an emergency that requires the court’s immediate attention. If the 30th day falls on a weekend, the court date will move to the next business day. For example, if a court date is initially set for March 17th, 2020, it is now rescheduled to April 16th, 2020.
- Although court dates are delayed, the court has said that discovery in ongoing cases will continue as scheduled. So if a case management order has been entered, setting deadlines for issuing and responding to interrogatories (written questions) and requests for documents and things, those deadlines still need to be followed.
- If a building is in foreclosure, there is a moratorium on entering and executing final judgments in foreclosure cases. This moratorium means that the existing landlord will not lose the building for at least 30 days, and tenants should continue to pay rent if demanded.