PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chief Judge Evans announces launch of "how to" DVD for eviction court litigants

Released On 04/25/2007

Circuit Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans and First Municipal District Presiding Judge E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. today announced that beginning May 2, 2007, pro se tenants and landlords in eviction cases will be able to watch a DVD in a courtroom of the Richard J. Daley Center to learn how to proceed when they go to court.

A joint effort of the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing (LCBH) and the Housing Advisory Consortium, the DVD, Going to Eviction Court, was filmed and produced by Illinois Legal Aid. Funding for the project was from United Way of Metropolitan Chicago through a Venture Grant to LCBH.

Chief Judge Evans said, "The daily showing of an educational DVD is a milestone in the court-based assistance programs that the Circuit Court offers to eviction court litigants who are representing themselves. The court greatly appreciates the work of the fine people at the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing and the Housing Advisory Consortium in helping to achieve this goal."

Evans noted that common eviction court procedures and appropriate decisions by judges are often incorrectly perceived as biased or unfair by pro se litigants when it is simply a matter of their lacking correct information. "Encouraging pro se eviction court litigants to watch the DVD before their initial court appearance should result in their gaining a greater understanding of court procedure and increased confidence in the court system," Chief Judge Evans said. He also said he expects the information presented in the DVD will contribute to eviction court proceedings running more smoothly and efficiently.

Going to Eviction Court will be shown in Courtroom 1402 of the Daley Center every day court is in session at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., prior to the holding of eviction court hearings. The 18-minute DVD walks landlords and tenants through the various steps of a hearing in an eviction case, instructing them on what to bring to court, proper court decorum and how to present their case to the judge.

While the DVD is aimed at litigants preparing for their initial eviction court hearing, anyone is welcome to attend. It may also be viewed online at www.illinoislegalaidonline.org. Persons without Internet access at home can access the Internet for free at all Chicago Public Library branches.

Currently the Circuit Court operates a number of help desks and programs located in the Daley Center and at the George W. Dunne County Office Building, 69 West Washington Street, Chicago, aimed at providing free assistance to those who choose to represent themselves in a variety of court proceedings. For more information, go to www.cookcountycourt.org, under "Programs and Services."

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