1. Filing a New Case
The general Chancery complaints filed consist of actions and proceedings concerning arbitration, mandamus, quo warranto, interpleader, ne exeat, specific performance, rescission and reformation of contracts, creditors' rights, complaints for contribution, actions to quiet title and the setting aside of deeds, partition, equitable liens, redemption rights, declarations concerning or construction of trusts and wills (other than during the period of an estate administration), the appointment of trustees, successor trustees and the removal of trustees (other than during the period of an estate administration), receiverships, accounting cases, dissolution of partnerships and corporations, or other proceedings under the Corporations and Partnerships Acts, proceedings under the Uniform Gifts to Minor Act, statutory review, certiorari except under the Workers' Compensation Act, and all other actions or proceedings formerly cognizable in courts of Chancery not otherwise provided for. (See Circuit Court of Cook County General Orders 2.1 and 3.1)
All pleadings, summons and appearances should be filed in Room 802.
If a new complaint is being filed, the caption must also contain a description of the relief sought, such as an Injunction, Mortgage Foreclosure, Class Action, or General. (Circuit Court of Cook County General Order No. 3.5).
Along with the initial Complaint or Petition the party initiating the new action in the Chancery Division is required to complete a Civil Cover Sheet (Form # CCCH0623) obtained in Room 802.
2. Reviewing Files
Files can be reviewed in the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Room 802, Chancery Division. Proceed to Sign #6-Court File Requests.
Fill out a file request card and hand it to the file clerk along with a valid picture ID or valid drivers license.
Once the file is retrieved, you are free to view the file at the customer tables in the Chancery Area. Files cannot be removed from the Chancery Division.
A public copy machine is provided at a cost of $.50 a copy, or you can request the clerk to make copies for you for an additional fee . The copier is located in Room 802 near the Domestic Relations counter.
When you have finished reviewing the case record, return the file to the file clerk and retrieve your identification.
3. Obtaining a Certified Copy of a Document
Request the document to be certified along with the case number at the Court File Request Counter - Copies, Certified, Microfilm, Transcripts.
Fill out the certified request form and proceed to the next available cashier.
After paying the certification fee, present your receipt to the clerk at counters and retrieve your certified document.
4. Transferring a Chancery Case to Another Judge or Location
Circuit Court General Order 13 governs transferring cases between various Divisions and Districts of the Circuit Court of Cook County.
You must obtain an order entered by the judge to whom the case is assigned transferring the case to the presiding judge of the division or district where the case is pending.
The presiding judge of the division or district where the case is pending will then sign the bottom portion of the initial transfer order transferring the case to the presiding judge of the division or district to which the case is being transferred.
The case will then be assigned in accordance with the customary procedure of the new division or district. Check with the Judge's clerk for the proper transfer form order. (Click here to go to Chief Judge's Office website) Note that the parties may have to pay an additional filing fee if fees in the transferee court are higher. (Circuit Court of Cook County General Order 1.3, Subparagraph (f))
5. How to File An Emergency Motion
The emergency motion may involve a temporary restraining order or an injunction. It could be used to restrain someone from building something too close to someone's property; or cutting down a tree on the property line that may cause damage to a neighbor's property, or when a partnership is dissolving, keep the company funds in tact until the judge's rule.
The restraining order has nothing to do with restraining individuals in a relationship of any kind (personal). It's more about stopping an action from taking place.
The Chancery Division has a procedure for hearing matters that are filed as emergencies (i.e., Temporary Restraining Orders and Injunctions).
If filed before 4:30 p.m. on a weekday, the moving party goes directly to the Judge to whom the case has been assigned.
Clerk's Office personnel will also be delivered to the Judge; it is up to the discretion of the Judge and the nature of the emergency whether relief sought will be granted.
After 4:30 p.m. on a weekday, or during the weekend or holiday, reference is made to Circuit Court of Cook County General Order No. 3.1, Paragraph 1.8 (If at all possible, contact the Presiding Judge's Office during regular court hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for a determination of whether the matter is truly an emergency.)
If the emergency is on a previously filed case, check with the Presiding Judge's Office for a time that the motion can be heard. (Emergency Temporary Restraining Order.)
6. Pro Se Application to Sue or Defend as a Poor Person
An application for leave to sue or defend as a poor person must be obtained in the Chancery Division, Room 802, in triplicate and shall be in writing and supported by the affidavit of the applicant or, if the applicant is a minor or an incompetent, by the affidavit of some other person having knowledge of the facts, stating:
a.) The applicant's occupation or means of subsistence;
b.) The applicant's income for the year preceding the application;
c.) The source and amount of any income expected by the applicant;
d.) The nature and value of any property, real or personal, owned by the applicant;
e.) The particulars of all applications for leave to sue or defend as a poor person made by the applicant or on his behalf during the year preceding the application;
f.) That the applicant is unable to pay the costs of the suit; and
g.) That the applicant has a meritorious claim or defense.
If the application is denied, the court shall endorse the fact of denial on the application.
If the application is granted, the court shall enter an order allowing the applicant to sue or defend as a poor person (Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298).
When properly completed, the applicant can appear before the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division for ruling.
If approved, the Circuit Court of Cook County will waive filing fees.