Failure to record Cook County eviction court hearings leaves tenants vulnerable

In a court division where a family can lose its home after a two-minute trial and only 12 percent of tenants have lawyers, the lack of court transcripts—with no court reporters or digital recording equipment since 2004—has serious repercussions.

News Story (Illinois)

Olivia Stovicek, Mari Cohen
Injustice Watch
April 25, 2018

Tags: Housing: Eviction

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyer’s Committee for Better Housing (Chicago), Chicago Appleseed, Cabrini Green Legal Aid (Chicago) (CGLA), Legal Aid Chicago


Now, more than two years after the Cook County Circuit Court’s Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans requested five digital court-reporting units for the eviction courtrooms at the Daley Center, the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) says it is moving forward with a plan to install digital recording equipment in those courts. But when that will happen remains uncertain.

The AOIC plans to purchase recording equipment by June 30, spokesperson Chris Bonjean told Injustice Watch in an email. However, Bonjean said he does not “have a timetable” for when the courtrooms can be connected to the AOIC’s existing Daley Center communications center and recording can begin, because cabling to connect the equipment between Daley Center floors has “run into an issue with asbestos.”