On Monday, April 4, as defendants and attorneys filed into lines to get past security, some people were forced to rush back to their cars to store their cell phones. As of April 2, 2016, the Cook County Department of Facilities Management declared that they would no longer provide storage lockers for the public to store banned items at the courthouses. This declaration included the Leighton Criminal Court Building, located at 2650 S California Ave, Chicago, IL 60608. Smart-phones were banned from the building since 2013 due to recording and taking photos of jurors, intimidation tactics, and some individuals going as far as messaging court testimony during court proceedings. Individuals would continually bring these devices to court and as a result, the lockers were set up.
However, the lockers meant to be a compromise, still had serious issues. The Cook County Department of Facilities Management stated that courtroom patrons would place illegal items in the lockers and placed unnecessary harm to staff members who would confront patrons of these items. The department also stated the budget was not in place to support the lockers. The lockers would also deflect staff members and funding that could be utilized in other areas. With all of these concerns in mind, the lockers were removed for public use.
Although valid points are made against the lockers, concerns are raised about the chaos of not having these electronic/phone storage lockers. For example, an issue may arise for those who take public transportation to the courthouse and carry a cell-phone. When they are denied access where will they place their phones? Figuring out where to store a cell phone may result in a missed court appearance.
Another solution needs to be considered for court patrons.
Let the Law Office of Edward Johnson help your impending case today. Call 708.606.4386 for a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.
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