Rules of the Circuit Court of Cook County (Local Rules) 13.1 Definitions

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1 Rules of the Circuit Court of Cook County (Local Rules) 13.1 Definitions Domestic Relations Cases - A Domestic Relations case is defined as any proceeding, including but not limited to, a proceeding seeking an order or judgment relating to dissolution of marriage, civil union, declaration of invalidity of marriage or civil union or legal separation, child support and maintenance, child custody, or visitation arising under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, the Hague Convention, the Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, the Illinois Uniform Premarital Agreement Act, Non-Support of Spouse and Children Act, Non-Support Punishment Act, Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Expedited Child Support Act, Income Withholding for Support Act, Emancipation of Mature Minors Act, Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, Rights of Married Persons Act, and related Acts and any petition for an order of protection where there is a pending dissolution or parentage matter. Such proceedings also include all post-judgment matters relating thereto and all other matters that may be brought in the Domestic Relations Division as provided in the General Orders promulgated by the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois General Organization of the Domestic Relations Division (a) Presiding Judge - The Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County shall have general administrative supervision of the Domestic Relations Division including the marriage and family counseling service. The Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division also shall have the authority to promulgate General Orders as necessary to administer the Division. In addition, the Presiding Judge shall have the authority to increase or decrease the number of individual calendar and team calendar judges as well as create new calendars in the Division. (b) Teams, Composition of Teams - There shall be established teams of judges to which cases shall be assigned randomly. The calendar of cases so assigned shall be administered by the team from commencement through post-judgment. The number of teams and the number of judges assigned to each team will be determined by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. (c) Three-Phase Proceedings - Each case in the Division shall proceed through three phases. The first phase shall be known as the pre-trial phase; the second phase shall be designated as the trial phase; and the third phase shall be identified as the post-judgment phase. (i) Preliminary Judges - At least one member of the judicial team shall be designated by the Presiding Judge as a preliminary judge. The judge so designated shall hear all matters prior to the trial of the case unless in the court s discretion, it assigns matters to other judges on its team. Those pre-trial matters shall include but not be limited to the following: Petitions and motions of every kind;

2 Cases assigned to mediation and emergency intervention; Pre-trial settlement conferences; and Assignment of cases for trial or final disposition within the team. The preliminary judge for each team shall be responsible for monitoring case progress, including case management conferences. When the preliminary judge certifies that a contested case is ready for trial, the case will be placed on the trial call and assigned to one of the available trial judges on the team, and if none are available, to the Presiding Judge for assignment. (ii) Trial Judges - All judges assigned to a team, with the exception of the preliminary judge and the designated post-judgment judge, are trial judges. The trial judges shall hear the following matters: Default hearings and cases heard by stipulation; Contested trials; and Such other matters as may be assigned to the trial judge. To the fullest extent possible, trial judges shall hear matters on a continuous day basis until conclusion of a trial. (iii) Post-Judgment Judges - At least one member of the judicial team shall be designated to hear post-judgment matters. The judge so designated shall hear all post-judgment matters after the entry of a final and appealable judgment arising from contested trials or default, stipulated prove-ups heard by the trial team, all post-judgment matters arising from judgments entered and assigned to that team, and such other matters that are assigned to the post-judgment judge. (d) Individual Calendar Judges - There shall be established individual calendars in the Domestic Relations Division that shall function as a team calendar with the judge undertaking all of the team calendar functions, to which cases shall be assigned randomly. Judges assigned as individual calendar judges shall be responsible for all aspects of cases assigned to them, including pre-judgment, trial, and post-judgment matters. (e) Expedited Hearing Calendar - The Presiding Judge has the authority to designate one or more judges to an expedited hearing calendar to expedite cases heard in the Domestic Relations Division. (f) Emergency Calendar (i) At the discretion of the Presiding Judge, one of the judges of the Domestic Relations Division shall be designated as an emergency judge on a daily basis. (ii) Whenever possible, emergency matters should be brought before the judge to whom the case is assigned. (iii) If the judge to whom the case is assigned is unavailable, the emergency matter shall be

3 brought before the judge who is designated as the emergency judge for the day. (g) Reconciliation Calendar - There shall be established a reconciliation calendar for parties attempting to reconcile. Assignment to this calendar may be made by the judge to whom the case is assigned or the Presiding Judge, by the written agreement of both parties. The agreement shall specifically state that the parties are requesting that proceedings be suspended during the time they are seeking a reconciliation. The petition or agreement shall also be accompanied by a reconciliation plan which shall specifically state what the parties are doing in an attempt to reconcile. During this period, no progress shall be required of the case, except as hereinafter provided. (i) All cases on the reconciliation calendar shall be called for status within one year, and if the matter has been on the calendar for twelve (12) months it will be dismissed or returned to the active calendar. If the case has been on the reconciliation calendar for less than twelve (12) months on the status date, then the court may continue the case on the reconciliation calendar for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months. Failure of the petitioner to respond to the status call shall result in a dismissal for want of prosecution. (ii) Upon motion of either party, the case shall be removed from the reconciliation calendar and returned to the active calendar. (iii) During the pendency of any case on the reconciliation calendar, all prior orders of court, including access to the court for enforcement and discovery, shall be considered suspended, unless otherwise expressly agreed to by the parties or ordered by the court. (h) Military Calendar - There shall be established a military calendar which shall serve to ensure that no court action will take place while a party is engaged in active military service and that no default may be taken against a military member based upon an absence or inability to comply with court orders. (i) The party engaged in active military service must demonstrate to the court by documentation from the JAG or commanding officer or other ranking member that he or she will not be able to participate in court proceedings on account of said active military service, and any such person called to active military duty may petition the court for the transfer of his/her case to this military calendar. (ii) Any party may petition the court for the return of the case to the court s regular calendar sixty (60) days after the termination of the active military service or upon a showing that the party is now able to participate in the court proceedings. (iii) Cases transferred to this military calendar shall remain on the calendar until such time as the court transfers the case back to the regular calendar. (iv) All existing orders at the time of the transfer shall remain in full force and effect while the case pends on the military calendar.

4 (i) Absent Judge - In the event of the absence of the regularly assigned judge, the Presiding Judge shall designate another judge to hear the matters assigned to the absent judge in accordance with General Order of the Circuit Court of Cook County Filing, Service and Assignment (a) Filing, Required Documents (i) Pre-Judgment Cases - All pre-judgment Domestic Relations cases shall be commenced by filing with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County a praecipe, petition or other pleading conforming to Illinois statutes and court rules, accompanied by the following: A Domestic Relations Cover Sheet; A Certificate of Dissolution or Invalidity of Marriage as required by 750 ILCS 5/707 in cases involving dissolution or invalidity of marriage; and The applicable filing fee as published by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. (ii) Post-Judgment Cases - All post-judgment Domestic Relations cases shall be commenced by filing with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County a petition, motion or other pleading conforming to Illinois statutes and court rules and accompanied by the applicable filing fee, if any, as published by the Clerk of the Circuit Court. (iii) Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage - The following forms, as approved by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division, shall be filed to obtain a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage: Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage; Affidavit in Support of Joint Petition for Simplified Dissolution of Marriage; Agreement for Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage; and Judgment for Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. Pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/457, the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County may provide to interested persons, upon request, the above forms and a brochure approved by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division setting forth the procedures and requirements for obtaining a Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage. (b) Service - Service of praecipes, petitions, motions and other pleadings shall be in accordance with the law governing same. (c) Assignment - Original petitions shall be randomly assigned to either a team of judges or to an individual calendar judge. Each team shall be identified by letter, and the calendar of the preliminary judge shall bear the letter of the team. Each individual calendar shall be identified by number. Judicial teams and individual calendar judges shall each be responsible for all aspects of the cases assigned to them.

5 (i) Post-Judgment Cases - Post-judgment matters shall initially be assigned as follows: a. Any post-judgment motion or petition arising from a judgment entered in a case assigned to a team of judges shall be assigned to the judge presently designated as that team s post-judgment judge. b. Any post-judgment motion or petition arising from a judgment entered in a case assigned to an individual calendar judge shall be assigned to that same individual calendar. c. Any post-judgment motion or petition that cannot be assigned to a post-judgment judge pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) above shall be randomly assigned by Order of the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. (ii) Dismissed Cases - Any domestic relations case between the same parties that is re-filed after a dismissal shall be assigned to the same judicial calendar to which the prior case was assigned immediately before its dismissal. The parties and/or their attorneys shall inform the Office of the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division that the cause is a re-filed matter. (d) Individual Calendars - Judges assigned to suburban Domestic Relations Division calendars are designated Individual Calendar Judges and shall hear all aspects of cases assigned to them, including pre-judgment, trial, and post-judgment matters. (e) Commencement in and Transfer to Suburban Locations - Domestic Relations Division actions may be filed in and transferred to suburban municipal district court locations as follows: (i) Original Filing - Original Domestic Relations cases may be filed at the designated suburban municipal district court locations if at least one of the parties resides within the geographical boundaries of the respective suburban district. These cases filed shall receive a suburban D case number designating the courthouse location by the municipal district number. (ii) Default Prove-Ups - Default prove-ups pending on calendars in the Richard J. Daley Center, in which at least one of the parties resides within the geographical boundaries of the suburban district, may be transferred to such suburban municipal district court location for hearing upon motion by the petitioner. (iii) Uncontested Causes - Uncontested causes pending on calendars in the Richard J. Daley Center, in which at least one of the parties resides within the geographical boundaries of the suburban district, may be transferred to such suburban municipal district court location for hearing upon agreement of the parties. (iv) Contested Pre-Judgment Matters - Contested pre-judgment matters pending on calendars in the Richard J. Daley Center, where a party resides within the geographical boundaries of the suburban municipal district, may be transferred to such municipal district court location upon agreement of both parties and a finding of good cause by the Presiding Judge of

6 the Domestic Relations Division. (v) Post-Judgment - Where judgment in a case is entered in the Richard J. Daley Center, post-judgment matters may be transferred to the suburban municipal district court location in which a party resides upon agreement by the parties and a finding of good cause by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. (vi) In the event a party moves to another court district during the pendency of any proceeding, the cause may be transferred to that district upon agreement of both parties and a finding of good cause by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. (f) Removal to Daley Center - Domestic Relations Division actions may be transferred from suburban municipal district court locations to the Richard J. Daley Center as follows: (i) Pre-Judgment Cases - Removal of a pre-judgment case filed within a suburban municipal district shall occur by the sole action of the Respondent when the Respondent files an appearance, together with the District Transfer form. The appearance fee in the suburban district shall be waived if Respondent provides proof that Respondent has filed a case in the Richard J. Daley Center. Upon a motion to consolidate where there is a case pending in the Richard J. Daley Center, the pre-judgment case shall be transferred from the suburban district to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division to be consolidated with the prior pending matter in the Daley Center. Cases removed from the suburban municipal district pursuant to this paragraph shall be transferred to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division in the Richard J. Daley Center for random assignment to a team or individual judicial calendar within the Richard J. Daley Center. Such a transfer shall not be deemed an exercise of statutory rights for Substitution of Judge. (ii) Post-Judgment Cases - Post-judgment matters will remain in the suburban municipal district court to which the case is assigned unless objected to by one of the parties and a finding of good cause for removal is made by the judge presiding over the matter in the suburban municipal district in which the case was last pending. If neither party resides in the suburban municipal district when the post-judgment matter is filed, either party may have the matter removed, without a showing of good cause, to the Richard J. Daley Center or to such other district or jurisdiction as is appropriate under 750 ILCS 5/511. Cases removed from suburban calendars pursuant to this paragraph shall be transferred to the Presiding Judge for reassignment within the Domestic Relations Division in the Richard J. Daley Center. Such a transfer shall not be deemed an exercise of statutory rights for Substitution of Judge. (g) Orders of Protection (i) When a petition for an order of protection is filed in the Richard J. Daley Center or the Domestic Violence Division at 555 West Harrison Street and there is a domestic relations matter pending in a suburban municipal district, the order of protection shall be consolidated with the pending domestic relations matter after the hearing on an emergency order of protection.

7 (ii) When a petition for an order of protection is filed in a suburban district and there is a domestic relations matter pending in the Richard J. Daley Center, the order of protection shall be consolidated with the pending domestic relations matter after the hearing on an emergency order of protection. (iii) Notwithstanding any contrary provisions in these Rules, if a petition for an order of protection is filed in a district or in the Domestic Violence Division at 555 West Harrison Street at any time, the judge presiding over the petition in the district or 555 West Harrison Street shall have the discretion to retain the petition for the order of protection in the district or at 555 West Harrison Street until the petition is adjudicated by entry of an interim or plenary order of protection or order of dismissal, regardless of the subsequent filing of a domestic relations matter in another district. (iv) Nothing in this section shall prevent any petitioner from filing a petition for an emergency order of protection in accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Domestic Violence Act. (h) Filing - Initial and subsequent pleadings for cases pending in the Richard J. Daley Center may be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Court in any of the suburban municipal districts and will be transmitted by the Clerk to the Richard J. Daley Center or at any other office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Initial and subsequent pleadings for cases pending on a suburban district calendar shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Court in the suburban municipal district where the case is pending or in the Richard J. Daley Center and the Clerk will transmit such pleading to the appropriate suburban municipal district location. (i) Substitution of Judge - Nothing within this rule shall limit any party s rights to substitution of judge pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/ However, any request granted for substitution of judge from a suburban municipal district calendar judge shall result in a transfer of the case to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division for reassignment. (j) Depositions Arising from Out of State Cases (i) Petitions to issue subpoenas for depositions in cases pending in foreign jurisdictions shall be presented to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 204. (ii) The Petition to issue a subpoena requiring a deponent to appear for a deposition in such a matter will only be heard after paying the applicable filing fee with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, obtaining a case number, and presenting a Petition for Issuance of Subpoena. (iii) Such Petition shall be presented upon proper notice to the putative deponent in accordance with local notice rules. (k) Random Assignment - When an action is transferred to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division pursuant to General Order 1.3 of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Presiding Judge, or his/her designate, shall order the Clerk to randomly assign the case to an

8 appropriate calendar unless the court finds that the matter should be assigned to a calendar where there is an existing related matter. (l) Reassignment (i) All cases that are transferred for reassignment, except for reassignment due to a substitution of judge, shall be first transferred directly to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division, who shall then either order the Clerk to randomly assign the case or transfer the case to a different calendar. (ii) Transfers within a team calendar shall be determined by the preliminary judge of the team calendar for further assignment. (m) Out of County Transfer - When a party petitions the court to transfer a pending case to a different county, the judge to whom the case is assigned shall rule on the motion to transfer. If the motion is granted, the case shall be assigned to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division or his/her designate for transfer to the appropriate jurisdiction. Before the case may be transferred, all applicable fees, including the fee to transfer the case, shall be paid or waived through the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The moving party shall pay all transfer fees unless otherwise determined by the court. (n) Consolidation of Cases (i) A motion to consolidate cases pending on separate calendars within the Domestic Relations Division shall be heard by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. a. Cases consolidated pursuant to subparagraph (i) above shall be assigned to the calendar to which the case with the lowest docket number was assigned, unless determined otherwise by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. In the event a petition for an emergency order of protection is filed and a domestic relations matter is pending, the emergency order of protection shall be heard by the domestic relations judge before whom the domestic relations case is pending, unless impracticable. In that event, the emergency order of protection shall be heard by another domestic relations division judge or domestic violence judge or any other judge qualified to hear the matter, but shall be made returnable to the judge before whom the domestic relations case is currently pending. b. Pending orders of protection shall be consolidated with the domestic relations case pending between the same parties, and the case shall be heard by the domestic relations calendar. In the event a petition for an order of protection is filed in a suburban municipal district or the Domestic Violence Division at 555 West Harrison Street before the filing of another Domestic Relations proceeding, the judge presiding over the petition in the suburban municipal district or the Domestic Violence Division shall have the discretion to retain the petition for an order of protection in the suburban district or Domestic Violence Division until the petition is adjudicated by entry of an interim or plenary order of protection or order of dismissal, regardless of the subsequent filing of another Domestic Relations proceeding in the Richard J. Daley Center or the

9 removal to the Richard J. Daley Center by the respondent. (ii) A motion to consolidate a case pending in the Domestic Relations Division with a case pending in any other division of the Circuit Court of Cook County shall be heard pursuant to General Order 12 of the Circuit Court of Cook County. (o) Substitution of Judge (i) Motions for Substitution of Judge, if granted from an individual calendar, preliminary calendar judge, or post-judgment calendar judge, or the recusal of an individual, preliminary or post-judgment calendar judge, shall result in the return of the case to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division for random reassignment. (ii) Motions for Substitution of Judge, if granted from a team calendar judge other than the preliminary judge, or the recusal of a team calendar judge other than the preliminary judge, shall result in the return of the case to the preliminary judge of the team calendar for further assignment within the team, unless there are no judges available, and in that case, to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division for assignment. (iii) If a substitution of judge is taken from a judge sitting in an individual calendar judge or preliminary calendar judge s stead, the matter will be temporarily reassigned by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. If a substitution of judge is taken from a judge sitting in a team calendar judge s stead, the matter will be temporarily reassigned by the preliminary judge. The temporary reassignment shall cease pending the return of the absent judge and returned to the regular call. (iv) Matter of Right - A Motion for Substitution of Judge as of Right may only be presented before the judge to whom the case is currently assigned and pending. a. If the judge regularly assigned to the case is absent, then the Motion shall be continued and heard when the judge returns. b. In cases of emergency and only for good cause shown, the Motion for Substitution of Judge as of Right may be brought before the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. (v) For Cause - A Motion for Substitution of Judge for Cause, which properly alleges a basis for cause, shall be presented before the judge to whom the case is currently assigned. The judge to whom the case is currently assigned will transfer the case to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division who will then assign the case to another judge in the Domestic Relations Division for hearing.] (p) Application to Sue as an Indigent Person (i) Procedure

10 a. Petitions to proceed as an indigent person shall be presented and heard by the preliminary judge or the individual calendar judge to whom the case is assigned prior to assignment of trial. b. Petitions to proceed as an indigent person shall be presented and heard by the trial judge if presented after assignment to trial. c. Petitions to proceed as an indigent person shall be presented and heard by the post-judgment judge if presented after judgment is entered. (ii) A person who is represented by a legal service provider as defined by 735 ILCS 5/ shall be exempt from this rule. (iii) Whenever any litigant files a Petition to Sue or Defend as an Indigent Person pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298, that individual must personally appear before the court to present his or her petition. This requirement does not apply to legal service organizations providing legal services pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/ This requirement does not apply to out of state litigants and incarcerated individuals filing their petitions pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298 by mail. (iv) Duration of Orders under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298 a. Any order entered by a Domestic Relations Court upon an application to sue or defend as a poor person pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298 shall only be effective for ninety (90) days prior to the filing of any Petition in the Domestic Relations Division. b. In the event that any person does not file a Petition within ninety (90) days subsequent to the entry of an order pursuant to an application to sue or defend as a poor person under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298, that person shall be required to fill out a new application to sue or defend as a poor person in the event ninety (90) days have expired since a prior application to sue or defend as a poor person was submitted to the Court. (v) Procedure for giving Notice by Publication - A person applying to sue or defend as an indigent person may also apply to have the fee waived for giving Notice by Publication. Such fee waiver shall be presented to the judge before whom the case is assigned. a. In the event the fee waiver is granted, the person shall fill out the appropriate fee waiver form and present it to any newspaper of general circulation. b. If the case is in the suburban municipal district, the fee waiver form may be transmitted by facsimile to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division at the Richard J. Daley Center. (vi) Before entry of any judgment for dissolution, legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage, determination of custody, parentage or any other matter within the jurisdiction of a judge in this division, the court shall inquire as to whether the Petitioner or Respondent has been

11 allowed to proceed as a poor person. Where the court determines that either party is able to bear the costs previously deferred, it shall assess such costs against the appropriate party and direct payment forthwith to the Clerk of Court, Sheriff, or other officer to whom fees or charges are due Pre-Trial Phase (a) Pre-Judgment and Post-Judgment Motions, Petitions and Applications, Hearings (i) In General a. All motions, petitions and applications shall be made in writing. A notice of motion is not a motion. b. All petitions and motions submitted to the court in Domestic Relations cases shall be titled with an accurate description of the primary relief sought in the petition or motion. Each responsive pleading shall specifically identify the petition or motion to which it responds. c. Petitions shall be verified. All petitions and motions shall state with specificity the statute or authority relied upon for the relief sought. If a petition or motion fails to state with specificity the statute or authority relied upon for the relief sought, it may be stricken, sua sponte, by the court. d. If an order submitted to the court is agreed, the word agreed shall precede the word order in the title. e. Petitions for Rule to Show Cause or Adjudications of Contempt shall state both the legal and the factual bases of the contempt finding sought. f. All motions, petitions and applications shall be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. g. Notice shall be in accordance with the applicable Illinois Supreme Court Rules, Cook County Circuit Court Rules and statutes. h. At the time of the appointment of an evaluation pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/604, the court may issue a protective order prohibiting the parties or their attorneys from disseminating the contents of said report for purposes other than the litigation or to the minor children or to anyone who is not a party to the litigation. i. Evaluators appointed pursuant to Section 604(b) of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act shall be required to send a detailed monthly bill to the parties or their respective counsel after their appointments unless they have previously entered into a written agreement for a flat fee.

12 (ii) Emergency Motions a. Emergency motions shall be heard at a time designated by the judge to whom the case is assigned. b. Facts identifying the nature of the sudden or unforeseen circumstances which give rise to the emergency and the reason why the matter should take precedence shall be stated with particularity in an affidavit or verification in support of the emergency motion. (iii) Default Matters - When a party fails to file an appearance and/or an answer, cases transferred to another calendar for the limited purpose of a default prove-up with a court reporter, shall have the order of default entered before being transferred. (iv) Ex Parte Matters a. An ex parte matter is one where a party appears in court without giving notice for good cause shown. Such matters shall be heard at a time designated by the judge to whom the case is assigned. b. When an ex parte order is sought, the petition shall state the reason why notice should not be given and why the matter should be heard ex parte. c. If the court does not deem the matter appropriate to be heard ex parte, the movant may set the matter on the motion call, with proper notice. d. No ex parte order for custody shall be granted without notice unless it clearly appears from specific facts shown in a verified petition that immediate irreparable harm will be suffered by the child if notice is served before a hearing is held. All ex parte orders for custody shall set a status or hearing date on or before the 10th day after said order is entered and shall take precedence over all other matters. A copy of the ex parte custody order, with a copy of the underlying petition, shall be immediately served upon the other party. On two (2) days notice to the party who obtained the ex parte custody order, the adverse party may appear and move for a re-hearing or modification on the ex parte order. (b) Appointment of Guardian ad Litem, Attorney for the Child and Child Representative (i) The appointment of a guardian ad litem, attorney for the child, and child representative shall be in accordance with the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and Illinois Supreme Court Rules 906 and 907. (ii) The order of appointment shall provide that the appointment will terminate thirty (30) days after the entry of the final custody judgment unless extended by the court. (c) Children in Court - If the court finds that it is not in the best interest of a minor child of litigants to be inside the courtroom, the court may exclude the minor child from the courtroom.

13 (d) Assignment to Special Services (i) Supportive Services - The court may order an investigation and a written report from Supportive Services of Cook County. Said investigation shall be in accordance with 750 ILCS 5/605. (ii) Forensic Clinical Services - The court may order the parties to be evaluated by Forensic Clinical Services of Cook County in accordance with 750 ILCS 5/604(b). Forensic Clinical Services shall issue a written report with recommendations. (iii) Marriage and Family Counseling Service - The Marriage and Family Counseling Service shall provide the following assistance to litigants and their families: a. Mediation - In accordance with the provisions set forth in this set of rules, the Cook County Marriage and Family Counseling Service shall provide mediation services to parties litigating a dispute involving children in the Domestic Relations Division. b. Reconciliation - Where the judge has reason to believe that there is a prospect of reconciliation, the court, at the request of either party, or the attorney for the child, guardian ad litem or child representative, or on its own motion, may order the parties to attend a reconciliation conference. The content, use and administration of a reconciliation shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be disclosed to any party outside of the mediation or admissible at the time of trial. c. Conciliation - At the request of either party or the attorney for the child, guardian ad litem or the child representative, or on its own motion, the court may order the parties to attend a conciliation conference for the purpose of assisting the parties to improve their communication and parenting skills and to refer the parties to any community services which may be appropriate. The content, use and administration of said conference shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be disclosed to any party outside of the conciliation conference or admissible at the time of trial. d. Emergency Intervention - Where a judge has reason to believe that a child may be in imminent danger, the court may order the parties and children to an immediate interview with the Cook County Marriage and Family Counseling Service mediator who acts as the court s intervener(s) in the matter. The emergency intervention interview shall not be confidential or privileged and any statements made during the interview may be communicated to the court and subject to discovery. Following the interview, the intervener(s) shall report to the court in the presence of the parties with regard to the recommendations of the interviewer. (e) Provisions Governing Mediation (i) Matters Subject to Mediation - The Domestic Relations Division judge shall order mediation on any pre-judgment contested custody dispute pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rules 923(a)(3) and 905(b) unless the court finds that an impediment to mediation exists. The

14 Domestic Relations Division judge may order mediation on any post-judgment contested custody dispute within the judge s discretion. Additionally, the Domestic Relations Division judge may order mediation on any pre or post-judgment contested issue of visitation and/or removal of the minor child(ren) from the state of Illinois. (ii) Commencement of Mediation - The mediation process shall commence pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 923(a)(3) or as soon as practicable after any issue arises as set forth in this Rule. Wherever possible, the parties shall be referred to an orientation process wherein the mediation process is explained to them and scheduling occurs for the commencement of mediation. (iii) Discovery - The Domestic Relations Division judge shall have discretion to stay discovery related to the mediation until such time as mediation is concluded. (iv) Mandated Conference - Each case directed to mediation shall receive no less than one mediation conference, and additional conferences as are deemed appropriate by the mediator to be necessary. Each mediation conference shall last for approximately two (2) hours unless mediated issues are resolved prior to that time. At the time the court orders mediation, the court shall set a court status date as soon as practicable. The court may issue temporary orders prior to or during mediation. If a party fails to appear at a duly noticed mediation conference without good cause, the court, upon notice and motion, may enter an order the court deems appropriate under the circumstances, including sanctions against a party for failure to appear. (v) Appointment, Qualification and Compensation for Mediators - Mediators hired under the program should possess a Master s Degree in Social Work, Psychology, Counseling, or a Juris Doctorate degree or an equivalent in a related field, and at least five (5) years post-degree experience in mental health mediation or a related field. Mediators will be compensated according to the grade level as contained on the schedule of salaries established by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Prior to conducting mediation conferences, mediators shall be required to attend a forty (40) hour approved mediation training course which shall cover conflict resolution and mediation process and techniques. All mediators shall be required to attend continuing education programs as determined by the Director of the Marriage and Family Counseling Service which shall include, at a minimum, psychological issues and needs of children in cases of separation as well as family dynamics. (vi) Conflict of Interest - No mediator shall continue service on a case in which his or her impartiality is impaired by any personal, financial or other relationship with either party or his or her counsel. If the mediator has or has had any conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, a current or previous therapeutic, personal, or economic relationship with either any child, stepparent, other relative, counsel, or anyone else involved in the case, he or she shall decline the appointment. (vii) Duties of Mediator - Preliminary Responsibilities - Before mediation may begin, the mediator shall screen for issues of impediments to mediation. An impediment to mediation may include, but is not limited to, family violence (child or spousal abuse has occurred in the past or

15 is occurring on an ongoing basis), mental or cognitive impairment (one or both parties are mentally or cognitively impaired to the extent that such impairment would interfere with mediation unless the impairment is addressed and resolved), alcohol abuse or chemical dependency (one or both parties are chemically dependent to the extent that such dependence would interfere with mediation unless the dependence is addressed and resolved), or any other circumstances which would unreasonably interfere with mediation. In the event that the mediator finds an impediment to the mediation, the mediator may, at his or her discretion, institute such protocols as to address the impediment during mediation. (viii) Duties of Mediator Information at Initial Conference - Before mediation may begin, the mediator shall: a. Advise the parties that the mediator neither represents nor advocates for either party and will not provide therapy or counseling to either party; b. Explain that no legal advice will be provided; c. Advise the parties that each has a right to consult with an attorney during the mediation process; d. Define and describe the process of mediation to the parties, including the appropriate procedure when evidence of impairment surfaces after mediation is in progress; e. Explain the mandated reporting requirements of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq. as well as the application of rules of privilege and confidentiality in the mediation process; and f. Disclose the nature and extent of any existing relationships with the parties or their attorneys and any personal, financial, or other interests that could result in bias or a conflict of interest on the part of the mediator. (ix) Confidentiality and Privilege - Mediation conferences shall be private. Except as otherwise provided in this rule, the mediator shall have authority to exclude all persons other than the parties from conferences at which negotiations are to occur. Mediation proceedings and all information obtained through the mediation process shall be treated as confidential. Except as otherwise provided by law, all oral or written communications in a mediation conference conducted pursuant to these rules, other than an executed settlement agreement, shall be exempt from discovery and shall be confidential and inadmissible as evidence in the case. Communications shall not be disclosed by the mediator to any third party, including the parties attorneys. However, where there is a clear danger of imminent harm to the child or other individual, the obligation of the mediator to maintain confidentiality will not apply as to the danger of imminent harm. (x) Evidentiary Privilege - Admissions, representations, statements, and other communications made or disclosed in confidence, by any participant or observer in the course of

16 a mediation conference are privileged and shall not be admissible as evidence in any court proceeding. Except as identified herein, a mediator may not be called as a witness in any proceeding by any party or by the court to testify regarding matters disclosed in a mediation conference, nor may a party be compelled to testify as to privileged communications. This privilege shall not prohibit any person from obtaining the same information independent of the mediation, or from discovery conducted pursuant to law or court rule. Evidence regarding alleged settlement agreements shall be admissible in proceedings to enforce the settlement. (xi) Exceptions to Confidentiality - Admissions, representations, statements and other communications are neither confidential nor privileged if: a. The communication reveals either an act of violence committed against another during mediation, or intent to commit an act that may result in bodily harm to another; b. The communication reveals evidence of abuse or neglect of a child; or c. The communication took place during an Emergency Intervention. (xii) Reporting Risk of Bodily Harm - In the event of any communication in the course of mediation which reveals an act of violence committed against another or an intent to commit an act that may result in bodily harm to another, the mediator may report such communication to an appropriate law enforcement agency. When the identity of an endangered person is known to the mediator, the mediator may warn that person and his or her attorney of the threat of harm; such notification shall not be considered a breach of the confidentiality mandated by this rule. The mandated reporting requirement of the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq, as applied to mental health professionals shall also apply to all mediators. (xiii) Mediator Ex-Parte Communication - The mediator shall not communicate with either party without the presence of all parties to the mediation and shall not discuss mediation issues with any persons without the consent of the parties. (xiv) Termination of Mediation - Termination by a mediator may be based upon a reasonable belief that: a. The parties have reached a final impasse; b. The willingness or ability of any party to participate meaningfully in mediation is so lacking that an agreement on voluntary terms is unlikely to be reached by prolonging the negotiations; c. Either party is acting in bad faith; d. The mediation process is harmful to either party; e. An impediment to mediation exists as set forth in these rules; or

17 f. A disqualifying impairment exists and termination is required. (xv) Expeditious Mediation - Cases assigned for mediation shall be completed in a timely manner as expeditiously as possible. (xvi) Report to the Court - A Mediation Status Report shall be provided to the court on or before the scheduled status date. The Report shall inform the court if a full agreement, partial agreement, temporary agreement or no agreement was reached. Parties shall not be compelled or pressured by the mediator to reach an agreement on any issues arising in an action, which is subject to mediation, by rule or court order. If an agreement is reached, a copy of that agreement shall be attached to the Mediation Status Report. The parties may enter into an agreed order on the status date finalizing the agreement reached through mediation. Agreements reached in mediation are not binding on the parties unless memorialized in a court order and approved by the court. Parties shall review any agreements reached in mediation with their attorneys. Agreements reached in mediation are not binding until entered as a court order. (xvii) Personal Safety - At all times while any mediation is occurring, a Cook County Sheriff s Deputy shall be posted at the mediation facility to provide for the personal safety of the mediators and parties. (xviii) Data Collection Requirements - The Marriage and Family Counseling Service shall collect, compile and report such data as may be required by the Illinois Supreme Court or its administrative director to assist in measuring and monitoring the performance of mediation programs. Mediators shall report monthly on forms provided by the court, the number of cases pending and the average time elapsed for all cases pending in which mediation is in progress. (xix) Annual Report - An annual report shall be filed with the Illinois Supreme Court through the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. This report shall contain a statement of the nature of the mediation program and the number and type of cases referred to mediation through the mediation program. Said report shall be submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court for the calendar year not later than the first day of March of the next calendar year. (xx) Family Mediation Advisory Committee - The Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division shall establish an advisory committee whose membership shall consist of at least six (6) persons, including two (2) Domestic Relations Division judges, the Director of the Marriage and Family Counseling Service, two (2) practicing attorneys in the field of domestic relations, and a practicing mental health professional. Members of the committee shall be appointed by the Presiding Judge for terms not to exceed two (2) years. At least annually the committee shall assist the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division in reviewing these rules and the Marriage and Family Counseling Service and recommend whether any changes should be made in the program. (xxi) Private Resources - The parties, counsel appointed to represent a child or children, or either or any of them, may also request private counseling or mediation services or any other private evaluation, and the court, in its discretion, may order the same. The court shall apportion

18 the costs, if any, to the parties in accordance with the governing law. (f) Parenting Education Program - A parenting education program will be available to protect the child(ren) s best interest pursuant to Section of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and Illinois Supreme Court Rule 924. The Program shall be called FOCUS ON CHILDREN. (i) Program attendance shall be in accordance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 924. (ii) The program may be divided into sessions, which in the aggregate shall not exceed four (4) hours in duration. A certificate shall be issued in the name of the attendee upon completion and shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court. (iii) The program shall be educational in nature and not designed for individual therapy. (iv) Where a parent resides outside the State of Illinois, the court may accept evidence of attendance at a similar parenting education program offered by any court of competent jurisdiction in that state, in lieu of his/her attendance at the FOCUS ON CHILDREN program. (v) Each person shall pay a fee before registering for the educational sessions. The standard fee shall be established by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division by General Order and shall be paid to the Clerk of the Court upon court order. The fee shall be waived for parties represented by civil legal service providers in accordance with 735 ILCS 5/ (vi) The standard fee also may be reduced or waived for persons whose income from all sources is 125 percent or less of the current official federal poverty income guidelines. All persons requesting such relief shall apply to the judge to whom the case is assigned or to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division before assignment and shall execute the appropriate form provided by the Clerk of the Court. (vii) Persons registered for a session who do not attend or complete that session and who do not cancel their registration at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance shall be required to re-register and may be required to pay an additional full fee. (g) Supervision of Discovery - Discovery shall be conducted pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rules, and all motions, petitions and applications concerning discovery shall be brought before the appropriate judge for supervision and enforcement. (i) The time for the commencement, completion and compliance with discovery shall be governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rules and as the judge may direct. (ii) After discovery closes, except as provided by Illinois Supreme Court Rules 213(i) and 214, no discovery shall be allowed except as specifically approved by order upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances.

19 (iii) Every objection to an interrogatory or answer shall include the interrogatory and/or the answer giving rise to the objection. (iv) Every Illinois Supreme Court Rule 214 Affidavit of Compliance shall, in addition to the requirements of the Illinois Supreme Court Rule, list with specificity the documents produced in accordance with the request. (h) Status Call - The number and frequency of automatic status calls during a calendar year shall be pursuant to order of the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division. Notice of the first status for any case shall be sent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court to the attorneys of record by postcard no less than thirty (30) days prior to the commencement of said call and shall also be published in a newspaper of general circulation and posted in the courtroom. All cases shall be called for status report no later than six (6) months after the case is filed. Failure of the petitioner to answer the status call shall result in a dismissal for want of prosecution. (i) Case Management Conferences - Case management conferences shall be held as prescribed by Illinois Supreme Court Rules 218, 904 and 923. (j) Pre-trial Settlement Conference (i) At the request of any party by written motion or by order of the judge, a settlement pre-trial conference may be held to attempt to resolve contested issues. (ii) The completed Uniform Pre-Trial Memorandum, in the form promulgated by the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division, shall be delivered to the judge and each attorney of record and unrepresented party no less than seven (7) days prior to the Settlement Pre- Trial Conference. The Pre-Trial Memorandum shall not become part of the common law record in the case unless otherwise agreed to by the parties. (iii) Failure to comply with this rule shall subject the non-complying party to sanctions, unless good cause is shown for failure to comply. (iv) Upon assignment to a trial calendar, the trial judge may conduct a pre-trial conference in addition to any previous conference(s). Participation in a pre-trial conference with the trial judge may constitute a waiver of a party s right to a substitution of judge as permitted by 735 ILCS 5/2-1001(a)(2). The trial judge may require the parties to waive their right to request a substitution of judge in the event the trial judge proceeds to conduct a pre-trial conference Trial (a) Assignment for Trial - It shall be the responsibility of the preliminary judge and the individual calendar judge to schedule matters for trial. (i) Default Cases - On application of the Petitioner and the filing of the Certification for

20 Default Hearing, when appropriate, an order of default shall be entered and the matter assigned instanter to a trial judge for hearing. (ii) Uncontested/Agreed Cases - The following procedure shall be used with regard to all uncontested final matters (prove-ups): a. In the event the matter was assigned to a trial judge as a contested matter and the parties subsequently resolve all outstanding issues, the parties shall schedule the hearing as an uncontested matter with the judge to whom the case is assigned. b. An uncontested cause may be heard when an Uncontested Cause Stipulation is signed by the parties and their attorneys. The parties shall schedule the uncontested hearing with the Clerk of the Circuit Court or, at the preliminary or individual judge s discretion, directly with the judge or the judge s coordinator. c. The parties shall submit to the court at the time of prove-up the following: 1. A proposed Judgment for Dissolution of Marriage or Civil Union; 2. A signed settlement agreement, if any; 3. A Parenting Agreement when relevant; and 4. An Order for Support when relevant. (iii) Contested Cases - When the individual calendar judge or preliminary judge schedules a contested case for trial, the case shall be assigned a date certain for trial to commence. The preliminary judge shall assign the case to a trial judge from that team, or if no trial judge is available, to the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Relations Division for further assignment, on the date scheduled for the trial to commence. To the extent that scheduling permits, all contested cases will be heard on a consecutive day basis until conclusion with priority given to custody cases Post-Judgment (a) Filing - All post-judgment motions, petitions and applications shall be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. (b) Assignment - Post-judgment matters include all matters arising after a judgment is entered. All post-judgment matters shall be heard by a post-judgment judge assigned to each team or the individual calendar from which judgment was entered except that if the judgment is entered by a judge not permanently assigned to the case, then any subsequent post-judgment motion shall be heard by the judge or team to whom the case is permanently assigned. (c) Motions Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/ These motions shall be returned to and heard by the judge who entered the judgment unless otherwise ordered. (d) Motions Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/ Petitions pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/ shall be heard by the calendar to whom the case is currently assigned. However, if the judge hearing the

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