Many times, people go to court and expect an immediate ruling to be issued after speaking to the Judge. Sometimes you will find yourself ranting to the judge about the entire issue and you’re cut off, or the judge doesn’t immediately issue a ruling.
In domestic relations courts in Illinois, a court date is scheduled with a certain objective, such as status or a hearing. It is imperative to know the difference so that you (and your attorney if you have one) can be adequately prepared.
A “status” is where a judge is given an update regarding the case, and he or she can determine what steps, if any, are needed before the next scheduled court date. A status is not meant to take very long and usually is an update to the Judge. Most Judges schedule several status dates at one time on a given morning.
A “hearing” on the other hand gives the parties a chance to give testimony and present evidence and other information. A hearing gives the Judge more relevant information about the case, and he or she is more likely to issue a significant decision. During a hearing, the Judge usually allocates more time for you to speak related to your case. The Judge will review evidence and even allow testimony from not only you, but your witnesses (if it applies).
Knowing if your next court date is a status or hearing can allow you to understand what you need to bring to court and what you can generally expect. It can help you from being frustrated because you thought you were there for a hearing and it was just a status.