Friday, April 3, 2020

A coronavirus case curtails some operations at domestic violence court, even as hotline calls increase

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx in the lobby of Leighton Criminal Court Building on Dec. 11, 2019.(E. Jason Wambsgans / Chicago Tribune)

By DAVID JACKSON

Chicago police and domestic violence advocates say they were caught off guard this week when Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced she was removing prosecutors from the domestic violence courthouse for 14 days after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

Except in the most violent cases, prosecutors have stopped accepting criminal complaints in person from people seeking the arrest of their alleged abusers. The office said it is setting up a way to handle the complaints by phone. Also, people are being told they can petition in civil court for emergency orders of protection, then return in two weeks for a personal review by prosecutors.

The cutbacks come as hotline calls are ticking up amid the stay-at-home order and the stresses caused by the coronavirus outbreak.  Read more >>