Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Chief U.S. Judge: Government shutdown is causing funding shortage

By Chase Cavanaugh

ROCKFORD — Federal courts are feeling the effects of the government shutdown. This includes the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  It’s based in Rockford and Chicago and hears both civil and criminal cases.

Chief District Judge Ruben Castillo says if the court runs out of money to make payroll, it will prioritize criminal cases for people detained and awaiting trial.

“We need to get those cases to trial as soon as we can,” he said. “Somebody shouldn’t spend not even one extra day in jail unnecessarily.”

Judge Castillo says the court has enough money to make payroll for Jan. 25, but isn’t confident about funding if the shutdown goes beyond that date.

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