Cell phone ban in effect at Chicago Leighton Criminal Court building at 26th and California

April 15, 2013 9:43:15 AM PDT
If you're heading to the Leighton Criminal Court building at 26th Street and California in Chicago, you might want to leave your cell phone at home as a ban on all electronic devices is now in effect.

The inaugural day of the cell phone ban has not produced the long lines that some had feared.

The chief judge has said that this step is necessary because over the months a number of people have used their phones to take pictures during trial.

The warning's been out. The signs have been up for the last three months. But Monday it's real and not surprisingly there those unaware of the new rule.

"No, I did not know about it at all and it's a shocker," said Angela White. "I think the city is just trying to get more money for it."

There are two machines inside the courthouse lobby. One credit. One cash. You put your cellphone in a plastic bag, pay $3, put your gear in the machine and its locked up until you come back.

The lines were not as long earlier this morning as some had feared. But there was frustration.

"I mind, but I stay far south, 131st, so I needed my phone," Vonkisha Sutton said.

For some, the directions were not clear and they wound up talking to a voice at the other end of a red button.

And for some there was displeasure with the cost, $3, more than a CTA fare.

"Just to store you stuff in there, I think $3 is just too much," said Alisha White.

The two machines hold a total of 180 phones. When you have 5-6,000 people coming in the courthouse complex every day, the math might suggest that more storage space is needed.

There are exemptions to the ban. Jurors can carry their phones in, although on the first day of the ban, some did not know that and paid the $3 to park their phones.