PART 23.00 Criminal Division

23.01 Reporting "Ready for Trial" - Winnebago County


A. Policy. It is the policy and expectation of each of the Judges in the Criminal Division of the 17th Judicial Circuit that when the Responsible Prosecuting Attorney for the State and/or the Responsible Attorney for the Defendant in a criminal case each report that he or she is “Ready for Trial,” that all of the following have been complied with.

1. Both Attorneys. Both the responsible prosecutor and defense attorney, individually, represent that, prior to answering “ready,” he or she has:

a. Confirmed the accuracy of the charging document and has decided whether motions directed to the charging document -- including requests for dismissal, amendment or severance – should be presented;

b. Personally confirmed the issuance and service of subpoenas for all witnesses who are necessary to the presentation of the case/defense and has personally confirmed the availability of all subpoenaed witnesses;

c. Fully complied with all then-known discovery obligations under applicable law or prior orders in the case;

d. Prepared and filed all anticipated pretrial motions and/or motions in limine necessary or advisable to bring to the Court’s attention anticipated contested evidentiary or other issues at trial; and

e. Considered whether to file a written motion to continue, supported by affidavit, pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/114-4 and has decided, as of the date and time of reporting “ready,” not to request a continuance and to instead cause prospective jurors to be summoned for trial.

2. Prosecutor. The Responsible prosecuting attorney represents that, prior to answering “ready” on the charge on which the State has elected, he or she has:

a. Issued and received returns on any subpoenas duces tecum for documents within the scope of the State’s discovery obligations to the defense or which seek information the State anticipates using at trial, and has provided all such materials to defense counsel;

b. Confirmed that the State intends to proceed on the elected charge; and,

c. Extended the State’s final offer (if any) of a negotiated plea to defense counsel.

3. Defense Attorney. The responsible defense attorney represents that, prior to answering “ready,” he or she has:

a. Conveyed to the defendant all plea offers made by the State (as well as the status of responses to all counter-offers)

b. Responded to the State’s most recent plea offer; and

c. Discussed with the defendant and together decided:

1. whether to request a SCR 402 conference;

2. whether to advance any affirmative defenses; and

3. whether to waive jury and proceed to bench trial.

B. Double-Booking. An attorney answering ready for trial on a case must disclose to the judge whether he or she has answered ready, or intends to answer ready, for another matter which would conflict with the ability to try the subject case.

When the same attorney or attorneys answer ready on more than one case or in more than one courtroom, it is the prerogative of the judge(s) presiding in those cases to determine which case will proceed. Additionally, it is the Court’s role to determine whether a backup judge or judges may be made available to make it possible for more than one case on a judge’s trial call to proceed to trial at the same time. A judge may determine that an attorney serving as a “second chair” in another courtroom does not constitute unavailability for trial in that judge’s courtroom.

C. Candor to the Court. An answer of “ready” for trial, as defined in this Rule, as well as the disclosure of other scheduled trials as discussed in the preceding paragraph, will be relied on as a representation to the Court pursuant to Illinois Rule of Professional Conduct 3.3.

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(Enacted 12/19/2019)


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