Will County Chief Judge Dan Kennedy Outlines Rules For Bringing In Cell Phones Other Devices To Court

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Illinois established a policy regarding the use of portable electronic devices in court facilities. Will County Chief Judge Dan Kennedy has today issued Administrative Order 2022-4, which modifies current court practices to comply with the new Supreme Court policy. Court visitors will be permitted to bring portable electronic devices (i.e., smartphones, tablets, computers, smartwatches, and e books) into Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court facilities (i.e., the Will County Courthouse, the Will County Court Annex, the River Valley Justice Center, and all branch court facilities) effective January 31, 2022.

Administrative Order 2022-4 (attached) allows individuals to bring portable electronic devices into court facilities but restricts the time, place, and way such devices may be used. All devices brought into Court facilities must be put on “silent” mode. Within common areas of court facilities, visitors will be able to use portable electronic devices if they are not causing a disruption to court facility operations or to others within court facilities. However, the taking of photos, audio recordings, or video recordings, whether they are in the courtrooms or in common areas is strictly prohibited. Individuals violating the Administrative Order may have their device confiscated, be removed from court facilities, be found in Contempt of Court or be subject to penalties as provided by law.

“Electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets have become essential tools today, and the Courts must adapt with the times. Many of these devices are used by self-represented litigants in their cases, and they have become more vital for presenting evidence,” said Chief Judge Daniel Kennedy. “We greatly appreciate the cooperation of Sheriff Kelley and all elected and appointed officials in creating and implementing this Order. Of course, there will be some challenges along the way, but I am confident that our bailiffs, court security officers and judges will be able to balance the need for these devices with the safety of everyone working and using the Courts.” Chief Judge Kennedy added.

Click here to see the order