Friday, February 16, 2018

Illinois Supreme Court says no to Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown's latest attempt to slow-walk efiling

And before anyone squawks, yes, the Circuit Court of Cook County does have efiling. Sort of. It's just not yet compliant with the Supreme Court's requirements (Clerk Brown recently won an extension to July 1 to get our system in conformity).

Oh, and 'free' filing costs $3.95. Per document efiled.

Anyway, you may have seen Jordyn Reiland's article in the February 13 Law Bulletin, Judge won't budge: No stay on clerk’s press-access order (subscription required) (denying Clerk Brown's motion to stay compliance with his earlier order requiring the Clerk to make copies of court documents available to the public electronically just as soon as documents are filed).

The Supreme Court was made aware of Judge Kennelly's January 8 Order (it requires the Clerk to make all newly-efiled complaints available for the press even before internal 'processing' is complete). Apparently Clerk Brown tried to use her obligation to comply with that order as a basis to further delay coming into conformity with the Supreme Court's efiling requirements. Wednesday, however, the Supreme Court said no:
This cause coming to be heard on the petition of the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk for relief from certain orders of this court related to e-Filing on the grounds that such relief is necessary to permit her office to comply with the order entered by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in Courthouse News Services v. Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2816 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2018), and the Court being fully advised in the premises;

IT IS ORDERED that the petition is denied.
So the days of getting nicked $3.95 per document for 'free' filing are still numbered. For now, anyway.

Updating to add: The Law Bulletin advises tonight that the 7th Circuit has stayed Judge Kennelly's order.

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