This is an interesting development. The press release is from the State’s Attorney’s Office:
COURT OPENS SEALED RECORDS
Louis A. Bianchi, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announces that hundreds of previously sealed search warrant petitions and orders (from 2007-2009) were opened to the public pursuant to an Illinois Attorney General Opinion.
The Attorney General advised that such files, after the warrants have been served, should be
“open to public inspection or dissemination unless the court enters an order specifically providing otherwise.”
Petitions and corresponding court orders are routinely filed with the court whenever law enforcement officers request search warrants for criminal investigations.
In certain situations, courts may order that the files remain sealed to preserve the secrecy of ongoing investigations, to protect the identity of witnesses and undercover police officers, and for other limited reasons.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office has been coordinating with the Office of McHenry County Court Clerk Kathy Keefe and local law enforcement agencies to identify sealed petitions that should be opened to the public.
Today, at the request of the State’s Attorney’s Office, 248 files were opened.