Despite difficult weather conditions, business as usual at Fox Valley courts
By Erika Wurst firstname.lastname@example.org January 6, 2014 8:16PM
16th Circuit Chief Judge Judith Brawka
Updated: February 8, 2014 6:29AM
At the Kane, Kendall and DuPage County courthouses, it was business as usual on Monday, despite the outdoor conditions.
Chief judges in the circuits made the decision to keep courthouse doors open.
Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said in his 17 years working for the office, the Kendall County Courthouse has not closed. Two jury trials were underway Monday morning.
In Kane County, Chief Judge Judith Brawka said it was a group decision to remain open. “We want to make sure the courts are open and available to those who need that assistance,” she said.
Brawka said she was in close contact with the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the county board over the weekend, making sure conditions were safe to remain open. “We followed the weather very closely,” she said. “In terms of access, most of the county roads are open; and if people drive appropriately, they can be traversed. We made the decision as a group that we would be in session today.”
Brawka said the courthouse and judicial center doors opened early to ensure residents didn’t have to wait outdoors or in their vehicles.
As for those who might be missing a court call Monday morning due to the weather, Brawka said there are a few steps they can take.
“I can’t say that there will be no warrants issued (on Monday), but all of the judges in our circuit are using their discretion. Warrants will only likely be issued in those cases where the public’s safety is at risk.”
Anyone who did miss a court date on Monday in Kane County can call the Kane County Clerk’s Office on Tuesday about a continuance date, Brawka said. The information is also available to residents online.
“Don’t just ignore it and not check up on it,” she said.
In Kendall County, Weis said a similar protocol is underway.
“The judges will review each case and determine what to do with those individuals that do not appear,” he said. “But, normally, when weather is a factor, they are given new court dates.”