All Immigration Courts are located at 525 W. Van
Buren (corner of Canal St) in Stuite 500.
There are many parking lots near the courts, because Union Station
is nearby. CTA trains are some distance but one could walk or take a bus across
town on Adams to Canal.
Getting to the
Take most any elevator to the 5th floor. There is a security station in Ste 500 that
tends to be slow 8:30 to 9a.m. but otherwise is fairly streamlined to get
Court Proceedings Times:
Proceedings are held Monday through Friday, 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.(except
for Federal and some other, holidays.)
These starting and finishing times can vary depending upon the number
and length of hearings being held. One
can stay the whole session, or leave when a case finishes.
focus of this Court Watch program is on hearings of Detained immigrants who are
usually heard via televideo conferencing. The list of each judge and his/her
schedule is on the wall of the first long corridor. A different colored sign
stating Detained appears on each of two or three Judge’s docket. If court is
not in session or there is a private hearing from which visitors are excluded,
try another courtroom. If there is no detained hearing to attend, enter one of
the other court rooms in which the immigrant appears in person. It is certainly
useful to bring any Immigrant Hearing
into public view.
Being identified as Court Observer:
If a Court Watcher arrives at the beginning of
the session an introduction should be made to the clerk and/or the Judge,
stating what program is being represented.. If court is in process it is still
ok to enter and introductions might be possible at a later point. Please wear a
Court Watch button if possible.
Going to Court
First time volunteers, please contact Court Watch volunteer coordinator, Mary
or call 773-373-7805 to tell her when you
would like to attend court and if you would like an experienced volunteer to go
Please document your observations using
the guidelines on the Observation form (You can click to download the form at the bottom of the page) and send it/them to Mary Naftzger via
If you have any questions, please contact one
of the following: Mary Naftzger, Court Watch volunteer coordinator,