It’s time to proceed with inevitable evictions - even though Cook County Circuit Court issued General Orders due to health concerns with spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19) and halted enforcements of any residential Eviction Orders.
A Brief History
All Cook County evictions were suspended as of March 14, 2020 due to the pandemic and resulting in Moratorium Orders and multiple statewide extensions issued by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. However, on August 26, 2021, it was ruled by a majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court that the ordering of a nationwide moratorium on evictions was not within the authority of the Centers for Disease Control. The Illinois eviction moratorium expired on October 3, 2021 (see Illinois Executive Order 2021-23).
All defendants in residential eviction cases have had access to the Early Resolution Program (“ERP”) created in Cook County to provide free legal aid, mediation services with access to other resources including rental assistance. It is a program available to all residents of Cook County free of charge and it does not require a pending lawsuit for any resident to receive any free assistance.
Where We Are Now
Residential eviction cases are assigned to a master eviction court room and not re-assigned to a trial judge until after each defendant has been (i) served, (ii) given an opportunity to meet with an ERP case manager; and (iii) participate in scheduled appearances before the assigned Judge.
Currently, Cook County Emergency Rental Assistance is available to both renters or landlords experiencing financial hardships during the pandemic.
See if you qualify and apply online https://www.cookcountyil.gov/rent-help the deadline to apply is October 29, 2021. Tenants and landlords may apply for grant.