22nd Judicial Circuit - James S. Cowlin, Chief Circuit Judge
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Local Court Rules                         Administrative Orders                             Live Streaming

Court Reestablishment Plan

The Court's plan for reestablishment can be found here: Court Reestablishment Plan. The press release for the plan can be found here: Court Reestablishment Plan Press Release. Chief Judge Cowlin's Administrative Order can be found here: Administrative Order 2020-11.

COVID-19 Response and Instructions


Civil, Family, and Juvenile Supplemental Standing Orders

The Civil Supplemental Standing Orders can be found below.

The Family Supplemental Standing Orders can be found below.

The Juvenile Division Supplemental Standing Orders can be found below. 

Standing Orders for the Civil Courtrooms can be found below.

Criminal and Traffic Supplemental Standing Orders

Standing Orders for the Criminal Courtrooms can be found below.

CourtCall Appearances

For those wishing to appear for Court telephonically, please schedule your CourtCall appearance by calling 1-888-882-6878, or by going to their website CourtCall.com.

Appearances must be scheduled 48 hours in advance.

Proposed Order Submissions

Please follow these guidelines for submission of proposed orders:

Email to [email protected]

This email is only for proposed orders in civil matters that do not require a court appearance. The email is not to be used for courtesy copies. Any documents to be filed must be handled through E-Filing with the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Information regarding E-Filing can be found on the McHenry County Circuit Clerk’s webpage.

The email subject line must include Case No. and assigned Judge’s name.

All parties to the case must be copied.

Proposed orders should be submitted no less than one week before the next court date. Orders which require the Judge to review the file [such as those submitted to close estates] can take one to two weeks.

The proposed order must follow any guidelines that the judge usually requires [i.e. what kinds of orders are accepted; litigant/attorney signatures, etc.]. The proposed order must comply with Standing Orders, Local Court Rules and Supreme Court Rules.  Due to COVID-19, both the Civil and Family Divisions have filed updated standing orders.  Copies are available at the links above.

If the proposed order is being submitted as a result of a telephonic appearance via CourtCall or at the direction of the judge, please submit the proposed order within 24 hours of that appearance and reference same in your cover email.

If the proposed order is a mediation order, please confirm beforehand with the mediator if and how he or she will conduct mediations during the current stay-in-place order. 

The proposed order must comply with Local Court Rules and Supreme Court Rules.

Your cover email must not include any communication which could be interpreted as ex parte.

You will need to check the case online via the Attorney Portal to see if the proposed Order has been filed. We generally do not email filed orders back. Certain

The Civil Case Manager will try to advise you if a proposed Order has been rejected or modified significantly by the judge. You may want to subscribe to the “Attorney Notification Service” through the Circuit Clerk’s Office, which will email you when something has been filed in one of your cases and link you to the document.


Mission Statement

Be the guardian of life, liberty and property to all seeking access to justice, by adhering to practices that ensure equality, fairness, and confidence in the judiciary.

Vision Statement

The 22nd Judicial Circuit envisions a court system that:

  • Guarantees the rights of due process to all;
  • Ensures that individual justice is done, in each case; and,
  • Promotes the prompt disposition of cases by using "best practices" case management techniques and technology as a means to better manage the court's caseload that is fiscally and systematically responsible.

About the Court

The Twenty-Second Circuit Court serves the County of McHenry which funds the majority of its operating and capital budgets. Located in northeastern Illinois, the court serves the sixth most populous county in the state, dubbed a "collar county" by virtue of the fact it borders the Chicago (Cook County) urban area. The 102 counties in Illinois are configured into 23 circuits. There are five single-county urban circuits, McHenry being one of them.

As with all circuit courts in Illinois, those in McHenry County are single-tiered, unified operations handling both general and limited jurisdiction matters. Eight elected circuit judges hear felony, major civil, family and juvenile cases. Ten appointed associate judges hear minor civil, traffic, protection orders, ordinance and misdemeanor matters.