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May 21, 2016

New Trial Setting Call System replaces Black Line Call in Cook County Courts


Law division cases will now be scheduled for a trial setting date in courtroom 2005 either 15 months or 28 months from the date filed. All litigants will receive postcard notice of such hearings. The new system is explained in the following order from the new Law Division Presiding Judge. This Trial Setting Call system replaces the unconstitutional Black Line Call System.

STATE OF ILLINOIS           )
)  SS
COUNTY OF COOK            )

 

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS LAW DIVISION

GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 16-2 TRIAL SETTING CALL

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: Effective April  1 , 2016, the Black Line Call currently heard in Courtroom 2006 will be replaced by a Trial Setting Call, that will also be heard in Courtroom 2006.

I.  The following Law Division Black Line Call General Administrative Orders are hereby vacated: 03-1, 04-2, 05-1, 05-2 and 06-1.

II.  Law Division Master Calendar System:

A. Cases included in the Master Calendar System:

  1.   All cases currently assigned to the Motion Calendar Section of the Law Division as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law Division.

B. Cases excluded from the Master Calendar System:

  1.   All cases currently assigned to the Individual General Calendar Section, Individual Commercial Calendar Section, or the Tax and Miscellaneous Remedies Section of the Law Division, unless designated by specific order.

C.  The Master Calendar System consists of the following:

  1.   Motion Calendars as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law
  2.   (Courtroom 2006) Trial Setting
  3.   (Courtroom 2005) Trial Call, Trial Setting Status Call, Prove-up Call and Motion Calls.
  4.   Trial Rooms as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law Division.

Ill.      This General Administrative Order will apply to all cases currently assigned to the Law Divisions Master Calendar System and all cases filed in the future assigned to the Master Calendar System as designated by the Presiding Judge of the Law Division.

IV.     Master Calendar Case Designations:

A.  Category 1 Case Type: All cases assigned to the Master Calendar excluding: Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice, Product Liability and Construction

  1.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 15 months from the filing date of the
  2.   Trial Setting Date: Electronic or postcard notice will be sent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court to all parties of record or pro se litigants approximately twelve (12)months from the filing date of the
  3.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 90 days from the date electronic or postcard notice is sent out.

B.  Category 2 Case Type: Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice, Product Liability  and Construction Injury

  1.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 28 months from the filing date of the lawsuit.
  2.   Trial Setting Date: Electronic or postcard notice will be sent by the Clerk of the Circuit Court to all parties of record or pro se litigants approximately twenty-four {24) months from the filing date of the Lawsuit.
  3.   Trial Setting Date will be approximately 120 days from the date electronic or postcard notice is sent out.

V.  All cases appearing on the Trial Setting Call will receive Trial All parties should discuss, prior to appearing for Trial Setting, reasonable Trial Dates to suggest to the Court on the Trial Setting Date.

VI.  Motion Procedure for Master Calendar Cases:

A. The assigned Motion Judge will address all discovery issues and hear all motions excluding motions to continue a trial, motions to vacate, alter, modify, or reconsider orders entered in Courtroom 2005 or 2006 and those motions that must be presented to the Presiding Judge of the Law Division by Circuit Court General Order. These excluded motions should be presented on the appropriate Courtroom 2005 Motion Call.

B.  All motions to continue trial on a case assigned to the Master Calendar Section must be presented to the Presiding Judge of the Law Division or his or her designee on the appropriate Courtroom 2005 motion call. Motion Judges may not set or continue a case for trial.

C.  If all discovery is complete and pending motions ruled upon, the assigned Motion Judge shall enter a Trial Certification This order shall be entered prior to any assigned trial date. If the certified case has no assigned trial date, the case shall be placed on the Trial Setting Status Call in Court room 2005, fourteen (l 4) days from the entry date, for the attorneys to appear and receive a trial date. Failure to have a trial certification order entered will not serve as a basis to continue the trial date.

D.  If at any time All Parties Agree that their case is ready for trial they may present a motion in Courtroom 2005 for Immediate Trial Assignment and the case will be assigned by random computer assignment for the trial to begin

VII. The Transition from the Black Line Trial Call to the Trial Setting Call:

A.  Commencing April I , 2016, Master Calendar Cases will no longer enter the Black Line Pool of

B.  Cases will no longer be categorized or re-categorized, removed from the Black Line Pool or re-sequences within the Black Line

C.  The Black Line Call will continue in Courtroom 2006, until all cases currently in the Black Line Pool have been assigned a trial

D. Cases not currently in the Black Line Pool will be identified as Transition

  1.  The Transition Trial Setting Call shall be conducted from May l, 2016 through July 31, 2016, in Courtroom 2006, with the oldest cases appearing first.
  2. The cases identified for transition will begin appearing in Courtroom 2006 at a rate approximately 60 per day for Trial
  3. Electronic or postcard notice will be sent out to attorneys and all pro se litigants to appear in Courtroom 2006 on the Transition Trial Setting Call, at least thirty (30) days prior to the court
  4. Parties shall be assigned a trial date on the Transition Trial Setting Call, and should discuss an agreed upon trial date, prior to their appearance on the Transition Trial Setting
  5. Effective July 31, 2016, the transition process shall be

VIII. Trial Setting Call

A. Effective August 1, 2016, the Trial Setting Call will commence in Courtroom 2006 with up to thirty (30) cases appearing per day, based on case type and filing

IX.  Nothing in this order will limit the inherent power and discretion of any Judge to enter an order the Judge feels is

It is further ordered that this Order be spread upon the records of this Court.

Dated at Chicago, Illinois this 23rd day of March, 20 1 6.

Honorable James P. Flannery Jr.

Presiding Judge Law Division

May 18, 2009

Black Line Trial Call – Judge Maddux’s Illegal Scheme to Quash Suits


NOTE: As of April 1, 2016 the Black Line Trial Call has been abolished and a Master Trial setting call has been established. See article about this new system. You no longer will have hearings without notice !!!

Judge Maddux Violates Constitutional Rights – Dismisses Torts with Dual Court Assignment for Same Case – hidden “Black Line Trial Call” WITHOUT Notice to Litigant – RICO Violation?

In the Circuit Court of Cook County Law Division Presiding Judge William D. Maddux has devised a system that has been in place for several years that serves to quash cases primarily of pro se and indigent plaintiffs  by “dismissing for want of prosecution” (“DWP”) without notice in violation of Illinois Supreme Court Rules. Judge Maddux appears to suffer from arrogance, a controlling obsessive-compulsive character where he must micro-manage as many aspects of all cases in his division as possible, narcissism in that he must be involved in every case and grandiose delusions in that he must boost his self-esteem by controlling others in all cases – even to the point of denying civil rights and the law.

This scheme involves assigning each case to two parallel courts. The first is the motion judge and then trial judge. The second is the “Black Line Trial Call.” Litigants are not informed or given notice about the “Black Line Trial Call.”  The second parallel court hearings are used to cause DWP without notice.

This scheme that he devised purportedly to move cases along faster, but which actually denies the First Amendment right to redress of grievances, amounts to a RICO violation. Judge Maddux is enriching the courts and clerk’s office or County of Cook by taking money for filing fees and then illegally quashing the cases by DWP in clear violation of law. This makes the Cook County Circuit Court Law Division and the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office a criminal enterprise used by Judge Maddux, with approval of Chief Judge Timothy Evans and Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, essentially influencing this criminal enterprise by influencing through racketeering the outcome of every case in the Law Division. The crimes are fraud in that the Circuit Court appears to permit a person redress of grievances and accepts their filing fee, but instead DWP without notice in an unconstitutional scheme. This is also felony violation of civil rights under color of law and conspiracy to violate civil rights under color of law. As the mails are used in this scheme to inform the plaintiffs that their cases have been dismissed this is also mail fraud. Finally, this is also theft of honest services, as courts are supposed to uphold the constitution, not purposely violate it.

The scheme or conspiracy to wholesale deny civil rights under color of law goes as follows:

The plaintiff files a lawsuit (tort) for damages and pays the filing fee thinking that they will obtain redress of grievances and have a just chance to present their case to court and be made whole by awarding of damages.

The case is assigned by a random system to a motion judge. If it finishes all pre-trial matters, it is then assigned to a different judge for trial. (The ABA recently advised that a case should stay with the same judge from pre-trial through trial as a matter of best practice. The present system is a mess as the motion judges are often changed in the middle of cases and then the judge is totally unfamiliar with the previous motion judge’s rulings and time is wasted and rulings become unfair and confusing because of ignorance of the judge. The trial judges are then also unable to make appropriate rulings through ignorance of previous rulings and this impairs a fair hearing.)

The case is also assigned to an 18 month or 24 month pre-trial “discovery” schedule for purposes of the “Black Line Call.” The plaintiff is NEVER told that the “Black Line Call” system exists and only find out about it by word of mouth, if they read the Circuit Court of Cook County web site in detail, or if they read the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk web site in detail, which contains a link to the Court web site and contains the “Black Line Case Docket”.  The majority of pro se litigants who are novices therefore do not know about this second court “system,” to which their case is also assigned.

When the case reaches the 18 mo or 24 mo discovery schedule date, it is assigned to the last number on the “Black Line Call”, a list of cases. The cases are heard about thirty a day without any notice except publication in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and the case being listed on the Court Clerk’s “Black Line” computer docket. A specific date is NOT given for the hearing, but rather the litigants must guess at the date that the case will move from the end of the line of about 300 cases to the first thirty cases (“above the Black Line”), or read the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin or court computer docket every day after 4:00 p.m.

The plaintiff must appear on that date at 9:00 a.m. or the case is DWP. No continuances of any kind are allowed. No accommodations are made for the disabled or pro se litigants of any kind. Then when the case is DWP, the plaintiff receives a postcard in the mail from the court that their case has been dismissed and the motion judge will refuse to hear it any or receive any motions. The litigant will have to make a motion to vacate the DWP before Judge Maddux within 30 days or make a 1401 petition before Judge Maddux for the case to be re-instated. Judge Maddux refuses to re-instate cases for unknown reasons.

For Judge Maddux’s Law Division rules and orders related to the “Black Line Trial Call: see:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/divisions/index.html

Illinois Supreme Court Rules 104 and 105 require proper notice be given to a litigant before a motion, including a motion of the court under the “Black Line Trial System,” can be heard by the court. Therefore, since all orders for DWP by Judge Maddux or his designee judge were done without proper notice to the litigant, these orders are all null and void. The court fails to make a motion or affidavit or order to hear the case in a hearing before a judge other than the judge assigned for the case and fails to specify that this hearing is ordered by the court, for the purpose of setting a trial date and ordering discovery be finished or closed or extended. A case cannot constitutionally be DWP for failure to appear at a “Black Line” hearing when the plaintiff was not legally notified of the hearing per the following Supreme Court Rules and Illinois Statutes:

“Rule 104. Service of Pleadings and Other Papers; Filing

(a) Delivery of Copy of Complaint. Every copy of a summons used in making service shall have attached thereto a copy of the complaint, which shall be furnished by plaintiff.

(b) Filing of Papers and Proof of Service. Pleadings subsequent to the complaint, written motions, and other papers required to be filed shall be filed with the clerk with a certificate of counsel or other proof that copies have been served on all parties who have appeared and have not theretofore been found by the court to be in default for failure to plead.

(c) Excusing Service. For good cause shown on ex parte application, the court or any judge thereof may excuse the delivery or service of any complaint, pleading, or written motion or part thereof on any party, but the attorney filing it shall furnish a copy promptly and without charge to any party requesting it.

(d) Failure to Serve Copies. Failure to deliver or serve copies as required by this rule does not in any way impair the jurisdiction of the court over the person of any party, but the aggrieved party may obtain a copy from the clerk and the court shall order the offending party to reimburse the aggrieved party for the expense thereof.

Rule 105. Additional Relief Against Parties in Default–Notice

(a) Notice–Form and Contents. If new or additional relief, whether by amendment, counterclaim, or otherwise, is sought against a party not entitled to notice under Rule 104, notice shall be given him as herein provided. The notice shall be captioned with the case name and number and shall be directed to the party. It shall state that a pleading seeking new or additional relief against him has been filed and that a judgment by default may be taken against him for the new or additional relief unless he files an answer or otherwise files an appearance in the office of the clerk of the court within 30 days after service, receipt by certified or registered mail, or the first publication of the notice, as the case may be, exclusive of the day of service, receipt or first publication. Except in case of publication, a copy of the new or amended pleading shall be attached to the notice, unless excused by the court for good cause shown on ex parte application.

(b) Service. The notice may be served by any of the following methods:

(1) By any method provided by law for service of summons, either within or without this State. Service may be made by an officer or by any person over 18 years of age not a party to the action. Proof of service by an officer may be made by return as in the case of a summons. Otherwise proof of service shall be made by affidavit of the server, stating the time, manner, and place of service. The court may consider the affidavit and any other competent proofs in determining whether service has been properly made.

(2) By prepaid certified or registered mail addressed to the party, return receipt requested, showing to whom delivered and the date and address of delivery. The notice shall be sent “restricted delivery” when service is directed to a natural person. Service is not complete until the notice is received by the defendant, and the registry receipt is prima facie evidence thereof.

(3) By publication, upon the filing of an affidavit as required for publication of notice of pendency of the action in the manner of but limited to the cases provided for, and with like effect as, publication of notice of pendency of the action.”

This “Black Line Trial Call” invented and administrated by Judge Maddux in violation of Supreme Court Rules and due process therefore amounts simply to a scheme to quash as many cases as possible without due process by having a dual court system, of which the litigant is not informed about, nor is given notice of hearings. In my opinion this amounts to a RICO violation, in that Judge Maddux with the agreement of Chief Judge Evans, Clerk Dorothy Brown, and Sheriff Dart use the Circuit Court of Cook County and its arm the Clerk’s office as a criminal enterprise to enrich the Clerk’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office by violating laws and depriving pro se, primarily indigent plaintiffs of their constitutional right to redress of grievances and due process. The laws violated are:

1)                  Constitutional right to redress of grievances;

2)                  Due Process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments;

3)                  Violation of Civil Rights Under Color of Law;

4)                  Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights Under Color of Law;

5)                  Theft of Honest Services by Judge Maddux and Clerk Dorothy Brown (Acting as a judge yet denying due process and violating constitutional rights, collecting fees knowing that due process will be denied and mailing a postcard verifying that due process was denied);

6)                  Obstruction of Justice (interfering with First Amendment rights to redress of grievances);

7)                  Mail Fraud (mailing a postcard to litigant that the case is dismissed [yet the dismissal is void as due process is denied]);

8)                  Extortion (of original filing fee and fees for service to Sheriff with no intention to actually give plaintiff due process);

9)                  Extorting money by denying due process in order to enrich a criminal enterprise including the Circuit Court of Cook County through the Office of the Clerk of the Court – filing fees; and through the Office of the Cook County Sheriff – service fees (all fees fraudulently obtained as the “Black Line Trial Call” system or scheme sets up the majority of pro se plaintiffs to have their cases dismissed without notice or due process).

The FBI and United States Attorney should be investigating this, should prosecute the offenders, and should restore constitutional rights to redress of grievances and due process to the citizens of Cook County.

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