McHenry Jury Trials Suspended, Remote Orders of Protection Available

From the McHenry County Circuit Court:

22nd Judicial Circuit Suspends Jury Trials and Authorizes Remote Emergency Orders of Protection

The 22nd Judicial Circuit continues to operate during the Coronavirus pandemic with safety measures in place for the protection of all people who enter the Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center.

The seal of the 22nd Circuit Court.

However, due to the increased positivity rate, effective November 30, 2020, Chief Judge James S. Cowlin, has ordered that all cases scheduled for jury trial shall be continued to a future date to be set by the assigned judge.

Judge Cowlin recognizes the importance of taking necessary action to protect potential jurors, case parties, members of the public, other judicial partners, court employees, and judges from the spread of Covid-19.

All jury trials will be continued until further order of the Chief Judge.

Additionally, Turning Point of McHenry County, and the McHenry County Circuit Clerk’s Office, are available to assist individuals who wish to seek petitions for emergency orders of protection, stalking no contact orders, and civil no contact orders by use of remote video conferencing technology. Emergency orders of protection, stalking no contact orders and civil no contact orders may be filed be filed with the Court between the hours of 8:00 am until 4:30 pm, on days when the Judicial Center is open for business. Individuals seeking these orders may contact Turning Point of McHenry County at (815) 334-4624, and representatives will assist with completing the petition, aid in electronically filing of the documents, and provide direction on how to access a judge remotely.

If you need to come to the Judicial Center the following strategies must be used by all patrons to promote the health and well-being of all:

  1. BEFORE coming to the Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center, check your court date & time by accessing the McHenry County Circuit Clerk of the Court’s website.
  1. BEFORE coming to the Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center, if you are represented by an attorney, please speak with your attorney to determine if your attendance is absolutely necessary.
  2. If you have a petty traffic offense, you may appear for court remotely via Zoom. On your court date, 30 minutes after the time listed on your ticket, simply log into Zoom using the following link: 102.
  3. Both the Civil and Family division are using Zoom and/or CourtCall to provide remote appearances. Standing Orders of Judges for procedures in their courtrooms are posted
  4. through at Additional information about remote appearance can be found on the McHenry County Circuit Clerk’s website at
  5. government/departments-a-i/circuit-clerk/virtual-courtroom-information. The Court encourages attorneys and litigants to take advantage of remote appearance opportunities.
  1. If you have to come to the Judicial Center, arrive no earlier than 15 minutes prior to your scheduled court time and leave the building promptly when finished.
  2. Only people necessary for the proceeding should attend. Please leave family and friends at home.
  3. Entry to the Judicial Center is controlled by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office. Bring only your keys, photo ID, cash/credit card and court papers into the building. Only cellphones needed for court related purposed are permitted to be brought in the Judicial
    Center. In order to speed entry into the Judicial Center, do not bring purses, backpacks, bags, electronics, etc. to the building. Also avoid wearing metal, jewelry items, large belt buckles, steel-toe shoes, money clips, watches, etc. Metal items trigger the magnetometer,
    slowing entry to the building.
  4. Wearing masks or face coverings over your mouth and nose and practicing social distancing is required in all areas of the Michael J. Sullivan Judicial Center. Any person who is experiencing fever, chills, other symptoms, or has been exposed to COVID-19 or lives with a family member who has symptoms of COVID-19, should stay away from the Judicial Center. Notify your attorney, or if there is no attorney representation, notify the Circuit Clerk of the Court of your inability to appear and a new court date will be assigned. The phone number for the Circuit Clerk of the Court is 815-334-4190.


McHenry Jury Trials Suspended, Remote Orders of Protection Available — 7 Comments

  1. Wow, just buys more time for the accused to remain the accused…one dude, arrested July 2019 for attempted abduction of child under 13, hit and run and fighting cops (all the same day) has been getting court continuances since a year ago September, is scheduled to go tomorrow again, only to probably find,with this new order from Judge Cowlin, case now continued indefinitely.

    Guess Justice works slow—and now REAL S-L-O-W…

  2. Dowling is a disgrace personally.

    He was Al Jourdan’s “feeb” for years.

  3. Not Dowling, Cowlin!

    A back room boy and gravel pits’ errand boy.

    He makes “Judge” Chmiel, of Bob Miller ill fame, look brilliant and scrupulous.

  4. Why don’t they just eliminate juries for good, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights?

    That’s where we’re heading.

  5. Get with the times people, get AI juries, they won’t be biased or intimidated and will probably be the smartest in the room?

    Yes, even smarter than Judge Wildebeast.

  6. Wonder what happens to those that need to go to traffic court ?

  7. Never fear, JP. We are already down that road past the point of no return.

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