TOWN OF CICERO –ADMINISTRATIVE COURT PHASE 4 OPENING GUIDELINES AND POLICY
The purpose of this policy is to outline the return to Administrative Court (AO Court) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic for the Town of Cicero during Phase 4.
The Town of Cicero is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for Town employees and residents.
Due to the frequency of changing circumstances involved with the COVID-19 pandemic, measures must continue to be implemented and updated to protect both the health and safety of all those working inside the court room and the public, and to ensure the fair and efficient access to justice.
In an effort to reduce the number of cases on the administrative court docket and avoid overcrowding, the Town of Cicero has developed certain guidelines for employees and individuals to follow in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of Town residents and employees.
The Town reserves the right to revise and implement any additional guidelines it deems necessary in order to protect the health, safety and well-being of Town employees and the public. These guidelines may be supplemented in accordance with best practices and the CDC, State of Illinois and Cook County guidance.
All Town employees (exempt and nonexempt) are required to follow and adhere to these guidelines. All persons entering the court room and interacting with defendants are also required to follow these guidelines.
People Allowed in Court Room
To limit the number of people inside the building, defendants are not permitted to bring family members or persons who are not necessary or relevant to the court proceeding. A person who is relevant to the court proceeding and who shall be allowed to accompany the defendant, include a translator or a person for emotional support.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Face masks or cloth face coverings, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shall be worn at all times by employees, non-employees and members of the general public while inside the Town Hall building, including but not limited to the court room.
Employees who are tasked with checking those individuals into AO Court shall wear a face shield along with a mask to provide adequate protection for themselves as well as those individuals appearing at court.
The Town shall take the temperature of all persons entering the court room, and any person whose temperature exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will be denied access to the court room and rescheduled by the clerk of the court.
In accordance with the CDC recommendations and federal and state guidelines, individuals waiting in line to enter the court room shall remain at least six (6) feet apart in distance. The floor shall be marked with tape spacing six (6) feet apart for social distancing. The tape shall be placed down the center and west aisle in the court room, and outside of the court room for those waiting to enter to direct individuals on where to stand. Floor arrows shall also be placed on the floor to direct the flow of traffic. Additionally, demarcation lines shall be placed anywhere else deemed necessary.
Certain seats and rows shall be taped off to ensure they cannot be used in order to maintain social distancing of six (6) feet.
No more than fifty (50) people shall be allowed in the court room at one time.
The defendant shall stand at least six (6) feet from the Judge while addressing his or her case.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
A hand sanitizing station shall be placed at the entrance of the court room. All persons entering the court room are encouraged to use the hand sanitizer to ensure the safety and well being of others. Another cleaning agent (sanitizing wipe, cloth, etc.) shall be placed at the entrance of the court room and available to those persons who would like to wipe down their seat before use.
Additional Community Service Officers (CSOs)
Additional CSOs shall be deployed to monitor the individuals waiting in line for AO Court to ensure social distance of at least six (6) feet is maintained.
The Clerk shall call residents in the order they check in for AO Court, instead of calling out specific names.