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Details | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Illinois Supreme Court approves report and recommendations from Pretrial Release Appeals Task Force


The Illinois Supreme Court has received and approved the report and recommendations from the Pretrial Release Appeals Task Force (Task Force). The Task Force was convened to thoroughly review pretrial release appeals and their impact on the caseloads in each of the five Appellate Court districts. The report notes the staggering increase in caseloads the appellate courts have faced since the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA) began on Sept. 18, 2023, going from an average of 17 annual bond appeals to a projected 4,557 appeals under the PFA – a 268-fold increase.

The amendments are available here and are effective April 15, 2024.

“There is no doubt that the volume of PFA cases is a problem; that’s why the Task Force was created,” said Fourth District Appellate Court Justice Eugene G. Doherty, who Chaired the Task Force. “We think our recommendations can help address the volume while making the process of appellate review more meaningful.”

The full report with recommendations can be found here.

The Task Force’s creation was announced in January 2024 in response to the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA) in September 2023 creating a dramatic increase in the number of appeals from pretrial release decisions by the circuit courts.

In its report the Task Force proposed amendments which are intended to streamline the PFA appeal process while ensuring meaningful review of decisions to detain, release, or impose conditions of release in the pretrial setting.

The Task Force solicited input from relevant stakeholders in the appellate process with its focus on both the quantity of appeals in the Appellate Court and the effectiveness and quality of those appeals. These stakeholders were the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor, the Office of the State Appellate Defender, the Cook County State’s Attorney, the Cook County Public Defender, the Illinois States Attorneys Association, the Illinois Public Defender Association, the Clerks of the Appellate Court Districts, the Illinois Attorney General, the Illinois Appellate Lawyers’ Association, the DuPage County State’s Attorney, and the Justices of the Illinois Appellate Court.

The additional members of the Task Force are First District Appellate Justice David Ellis, Second District Appellate Justice Margaret Mullen, Third District Appellate Justice Lance Petersen, and Fifth District Appellate Justice Mark Boie.