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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

Cooling My Heels

As a litigant in a law case in Cook County, Chicago, Illinois, it is my responsibility to notice my defendants with exact copies of every document that enters my case, including judge's orders to schedule hearings. All I can say is that the Illinois, Cook County, Clerk of Court, Law Division's conversion from paper files to online filings has been rife...

After my most recent hearing I sought a copy of the scheduling judge's order setting a date for prove-up against my last defaulting defendant; but I was told that I would have to come back the next day as the scheduling judge puts his seal on all of his orders at one time-at the end of each day. When I explained that I do not live in Chicago and that I could not possibly drive up from southern Illinois two days in a row, the counter clerks admonished me "Don't bother the judge." I stuffed the offense that gave me and murmured that I was not "bothering the Court", I am a "citizen" with "business with the Court." The counter clerks began to consider me more carefully, but were unmoved by my logic that without the judge's seal the "order" is not an order, saying "Just send the defendants what you have." I was invited to take a 20th century spy camera image of the order that I had prepared for the judge's seal. I took a photograph to keep the dialog going, but that was unacceptable, as anyone could write up any silly order and a order is not an order without the judge's seal on it. An order without a judge's seal is certainly not something I could notice to my defendants with any authority.

I stated all of the above several times as quietly and clearly as possible, to several different counter clerks in several different departments, then I sat down to wait. I may have dozed, I needed the rest. Within the hour a manager in the Clerk of Court, Law Division provided me with the scheduling judge's seal on his order setting my prove-up date. Said manager made a great to-do about how difficult it had been to get the judge's seal on his order. She may have mocked me for falling asleep, saying "I am sorry to wake you up.", which I ignored because she is not old enough to understand the terrible stresses the Cook County Clerk of Court Law Division's ineptitudes are putting upon me.

I do not know how other people are handling these dilemmas.

Caption: Cooling My Heels Waiting For The Seal Of The Scheduling Judge

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

Caption: Cook County Clerk Of Court-Law Division Implements 20th Century Spy Tactics

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019

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