10.9 Rules Governing the Use of Videoconferencing Equipment in Hearings Under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code


Section 1.  Purpose and policy

(A) These rules are promulgated to implement section 3-806.1 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, 405 ILCS 5/1-100, et seq.

(B)  These rules are designed to accomplish the following:

1.      Facilitate fair, just, timely and clinically appropriate hearings for persons alleged to be subject to involuntary admission on an inpatient or outpatient basis as defined in sections 1-119 and 1-119.1 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code or in need of psychotropic medication or electroconvulsive therapy by court order under section 2-107.1 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.

2.      Reduce unnecessary, clinically inappropriate and burdensome transportation of persons with serious mental illnesses from mental health facilities to courtrooms.

3.      Specify how videoconferencing may be utilized to permit hearings under the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code when participants are in separate locations.

Section 2.  General rules governing all hearings

(A) Exhibits.  The proponent of any exhibit must ensure that accurate copies of such exhibit are available to all participants in a timely fashion.

(B)  Public hearing.  The location of the trial judge shall be open to the public and the press consistent with the provisions of section 3-800(c) of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code. A court reporter shall be present in the location where the trial judge is presiding and shall make a verbatim record of the hearing as provided in section 3-817 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.

(C) Courtroom etiquette.  Irrespective of their location, all participants in videoconference hearings shall observe normal courtroom etiquette including rising when the judge enters the courtroom. Witnesses shall be sworn to testify under oath as in any other court hearing.


Section 3.  Participation by mental health facilities

(A) Location and equipment

 Any facility wishing to participate in hearings must provide:

1.      A physical location for the respondent and his counsel and any other participants which has appropriate lighting and security.

2.      Videoconferencing equipment compatible with the court’s system and which permits all participants to be heard and seen and to communicate.

3.      A secure means of transmission of the communications to the court.

(B)  Participation by application and prior approval

Any mental health facility wishing to participate in hearings through the use of videoconferencing equipment may apply to the Presiding Judge of the County Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County for approval of its videoconferencing facilities as follows:

1)      The application shall specify in writing the location within the facility, the video and sound equipment and means of transmission.

2)      The court may require a demonstration of the appropriateness of the arrangement to insure that it complies with subsection 3(A) of this rule.

(C) Participation on an ad hoc basis

Any mental health facility may request to have a hearing through the use of videoconferencing equipment on a case by case basis, upon making an adequate and timely showing to the court that the facilities and equipment available for such a hearing comply with subsection 3(A) of this rule.

Section 4.  Hearings in which the parties are at a location other than the location of the judge

A videoconference hearing is permitted if all of the parties, including the respondent, and their lawyers, including the State’s Attorney, are at a mental health facility, or some other location to which the respondent may be safely and conveniently transported and the judge and any court personnel are in another location.

Section 5.  Hearings in which the respondent and his or her counsel are at a location other than the location of the judge and any other party

A videoconference hearing is permitted if the respondent and his or her lawyer are at a mental health facility, or some other location to which the respondent may be safely and conveniently transported and all of the other participants, including the judge and any court personnel, are in another location, if, and only if, agreed to by the respondent and respondent’s lawyer.

Section 6.  Jury trials

Videoconferencing may not be used in hearings in which the respondent has exercised his or her right to a jury to determine whether he or she is subject to involuntary admission on an inpatient or outpatient basis pursuant to section 3-802 of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.

Section 7.  Testimony of a witness by videoconferencing

The court may permit any witness, including any psychiatrist or other expert witness, to testify from any location by videoconferencing equipment.

[Adopted, effective September 2, 2016.]

print
Copyright 2017 by Circuit Court of Cook County