Cook Circuit Court adds wifi to juror assembly rooms

By Taryn Phaneuf | May 16, 2016

Prospective jurors reporting for service at three Cook County courthouses join others with new access to wifi in assembly rooms.

In April, Bridgeview Courthouse became the fifth to make wifi available to those being considered as jurors, Pat Milhizer, communications director in the Circuit Court of Cook County’s Office of the Chief Justice, told the Cook County Record. 

Rolling Meadows Courthouse and Markham Courthouse also enabled wifi this spring. The Richard J. Daley Center Courthouse and Leighton Criminal Courthouse, both in Chicago, added access in February, he said.

Milhizer said wifi was added for prospective jurors’ convenience.

“In the past, wifi was one of the common requests made by prospective jurors,” Milhizer said. “Jury Administration staff have reported that prospective jurors have expressed satisfaction with having the wifi service available to them.”

Courthouses ban cellphones and electronic devices in the courtroom, but allows people reporting for jury service to bring and use their tablets, computers, phones and other devices while they’re in the jury assembly room. Once jurors enter the courtroom, devices have to be turned off.

Prospective jurors spend the entire day at the courthouse. They’re asked to arrive at the assembly room between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. and, even if they're not selected, they stay until 4:30 p.m. or later.

Prospective jurors can log onto wifi using the username and password provided in the assembly room, Milhizer said. The Jury-Guest wifi SSID also is broadcast within the jury assembly rooms so mobile devices pick up the signal. Access is limited to jury administration rooms, Milhizer said.

The Circuit Court is working with the Cook County Bureau of Technology to set up wifi at courthouses in Skokie and Maywood, he said.

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