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Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
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Adoption

Mental Health

Name Change

Real Estate Taxes

Elections

Emancipation
County Division

Building Name
Richard J. Daley Center
 
Address
50 West Washington Street
Room 1202
Chicago , IL 60602
   
Chief Deputy Clerk
Perpetua Gautier
Assistant Chief Deputy Clerk
Russell Thompson
   
Hours
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, Excluding Court Holidays  
Telephone Numbers
(312) 603-5516

 
TDD
(312) 603-6888  
Fax
(312) 603-3335  

Judiciary Website


 


Click Tabs above for more information.


Case Types: Annexation, adoption, adoption - confidential intermediary, adoption - father identification, change of name, disconnection, election, emancipation of minors, expunge hospital record, indemnity, mental health record, reassessment of inheritance tax, special education, termination of parental rights, writ of habeas corpus, action in debt, estate tax, involuntary mental health commitment, minor marriage, forced treatment, tax deed, tax deed scavenger, estray, election, special assessment, tax objection vacated tax sale and certificate of error.
Dates: 1871-present
Courts: County Court, 1871-1964; County Division, 1964-present
Available Indexes: County Court case file indexes, 1871-1964 are impounded by statute because of adoption records listed therein. Docket Books and Clerk's Record Books that exclude impounded case types are available for public inspection, 1871-present (most stored off site).
Content:

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

Illinois Supreme Court Rules

Circuit Court Rules and Orders

Circuit Court of Cook County – An Informational Guide

Clerk of the Circuit Court County Division Forms

Clerk of the Circuit Court General Forms

The Circuit Court of Cook County website has additional information on adoptions, elections, mental health proceedings, and real estate taxes.

Link to Legal Services Provided

Mental Health Emergency Writ
Cook County State’s Attorney - Mental Health Division
69 West Washington St.
Suite 930
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-8649

Mental Health Division is also located at :
Chicago-Read Mental Health Center
4200 North Oak Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 794-3761

Tuesday only at:
Tinley Mental Health Center
7400 West 183rd Street
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 614-4000

Chicago Police Department

Mental Health Centers
Chicago-Read Mental Health Facility
4200 North Oak Park Avenue
Chicago, IL 60634
(773) 794-4000

Tinley Park Mental Health Center
7400 West 183rd Street
Tinley Park, IL 60477
(708) 614-4000

Madden Mental Health Center
1200 South First Avenue
Hines, IL 60141
(708) 338-7400

Tax Deeds
Cook County Clerk

Real Estate and Tax Service Department
118 North Clark Street
Room 434
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-5645

Adoption Matters


Midwest Adoption Agency

3158 South River Road
Suite 120
Des Plaines, IL 60018
(847) 298-9096
(847) 298-9097-FAX
E-mail: mac@macadopt.org

Additional Resources

American Bar Association
750 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL. 60611

Cook County Bar Association
120 West Madison
Suite 450
Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 630-1157

Illinois State Bar Association
20 South Clark Street
Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 726-8775

For additional assistance to people representing themselves (pro se litigants), please visit the Clerk of Circuit Court Self Represented (Pro Se) Resources page.

1)      Obtaining a Name Change
2)      Filing Petition for Tax Deed
3)      Receiving Certified Copy of Adoption Judgment Order
4)      Obtaining an Emergency Mental Health Writ
5)      Reviewing County Division Court Files in Room 1202


1.      Petition for Change of Name

Request and retrieve the necessary forms from the information counter in County Division, Room 1202:

a)           Three Petitions (Form CCCO 0038);

b)           Three Judgment forms (Form CCCO 0039; and

c)           A cover sheet (Form CCCO 0520).

Affidavits must be completed by someone not named on the petition or a relative.  The non-related individual of the person who wants his name changed presents the affidavit.  The non-related individual is affirming that the person wanting the name change is in fact who he/she says he/she is.  Additionally, the affidavits must be notarized.

The affidavit must be published in any newspaper with a circulation of over 100,000.  Any paper will suffice.  The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin has a desk in Room 802.

You will be given a date to return, and it will be published for six weeks.

The day the publication expires is your court date.  Pick up your notice of publication from the paper, pay the $337.00 filing fee in the County Division, and you will be assigned to a judge.

After receiving a judgment from the judge, have the document certified. 

If the name change is for a minor, publishing the name in a newspaper is not necessary if:

a)            Both parents are present; or

b)            There is an affidavit from the missing parent.

If you are only changing your last name, and you have a spouse or minor children who want to change also, they may be listed on the same petition.  A spouse, however, will be required to publish an independent notice.

If you need a new Illinois birth certificate reflecting your name change, mail a copy of the original birth certificate and the certified copy of the Court Judgment for the Change of Name along with $15.00 to:

Illinois Department of Public Health

925 E. Ridgely Avenue

Springfield IL 62702-2737

2.       Filing Petition for Tax Deed

A Petition for Tax Deed is filed when a person or an entity has purchased real estate taxes that have been sold by Cook County.  A Petition for Tax Deed can be filed in the County Division; Room 1202 of the Richard J. Daley Center.

·            The Petition for Tax Deed must include a copy of the Certificate of Purchase as an attachment and refer to the Certificate of Purchase Number in the body of the Petition for Tax Deed; the legal description of the property and the Personal Identification Number (“PIN”) associated with the property must also be included in the Petition for Tax Deed.

·    The petitioner must ensure that notice of the tax sale has gone out to all parties that are entitled as required by law via United States certified mail and/or service by the Cook County Sheriff's Office.

·    The petitioner must ensure that all general taxes and special assessments that are due and payable on the real estate before the date of the sale are paid or redeemed, as the law requires.

·    The petitioner must have fully complied with all of the applicable provisions of the Property Tax Code and all other applicable Statues of the State of Illinois, which will entitle the tax purchaser to a Tax Deed.

3.       Receiving Certified Copy of Adoption Judgment Order

There are times when it is necessary to provide an institution with proof of an adoption.  These events most often occur when a petitioner is attempting to:

·            Enroll a minor in school,

·            Receive a social security number,

·            Add a minor to the petitioner's insurance,

·            Obtain a passport, or

·            As a retiring adult, obtain proof of his/her birth name or age.

The Clerk's Office works with the judiciaries to provide the necessary documentation for the adoptee or the petitioner.  All adoption matters are impounded, and a court order is required to receive any information from the file.  The procedure is as follows:

The petitioner or adoptee should file it with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Room 1202, Daley Center.  In the body of the letter he/she is to address what is needed and why it is needed (i.e., enrolling a child in school, etc.).  The adopting parent name and the year that the adoption took place should also appear in the body of the letter so that we may locate the file.

·            Enclose a photocopy of current picture identification with a check or money order made payable to the Clerk of the Circuit Court.  (Fee Schedule)

·    Mail your correspondence to the Clerk's Office at the following address

Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County

50 West Washington, Room 1202

County Division

Chicago, IL 60602

Attention:  Adoption Unit

·            When the letter has been received by the Clerk's Office, the file will be located and sent for review to a County Division Judge, so that it can be determined if an order will be signed allowing our office to provide the requestor with a certified copy of the Judgment Order.  At that point, the Clerk's Office will certify the Judgment Order and send it to the requestor by first class mail.

4.       Obtaining an Emergency Mental Health Writ of Detention

In cases where there is an issue of the mental stability of a person who seems to be a danger to him/herself or others (i.e. not sleeping, loss of weight, talking to self, not eating, combative behavior, etc.), there is a remedy through the Illinois Mental Health Code.  That person can be picked up for detention by the Police Department if an Emergency Writ is issued.  To petition the Court for an Emergency Writ on behalf of a person in question:

·            The petitioner must be at least 18 years of age.

·    The petitioner would contact the Office of the Cook County State's Attorney - the Mental Health Division @ (312) 603-8649.

·    An Assistant State's Attorney (“ASA”) will interview the petitioner to determine if the behavior of the person in question qualifies for an Emergency Writ.

·    If it is determined that the person indeed qualifies, the ASA will draft a petition and file it with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Room 1202, Daley Center; the Chicago Reed Mental Health Center; or the Tinley Park Mental Health Center.

·    After filing the petition with our Office, the ASA will bring the petitioner to a County Division Judge for an interview & testimony as to the behavior of the person in question.  From the testimony given in open court, the determination will be made if that person qualifies for detention and evaluation. If the person is deemed to be a danger to him/herself or others, the Courts will issue an Emergency Writ.  The petitioner will then have the Emergency Writ certified by the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

·    Once the Emergency Writ is issued, the petitioner must contact the Police Department and inform them that there has been an Emergency Writ issued for the person in question and also inform the Police Department of the location of the “patient,” so that he/she can be picked up and taken to the facility named on the Emergency Writ for an evaluation.  The Emergency Writ is in effect for 72 hours after being issued by the Court. It is important that the petitioner act promptly in locating the respondent.  If the respondent is not located within 72 hours, the petitioner will have to repeat the process.

5.       Reviewing County Division Files

All County Division files can be viewed in Rooms 1201 and 1202.  There are two exceptions:  (a) Adoption Files and (b) Mental Health Files.  Adoption files can only be viewed by an adoptee after obtaining a court order from a Judge.  Adoption files are impounded by law and are protected by the Confidentiality Act.  Only a Respondent in a mental health case can view his/her own mental health file with proper identification.  Mental health files are impounded by law and protected by the Confidentiality Act.

Many County Division files are located in Rooms 1201 and 1202 of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington, Chicago, Il. 60602.  Files for the current year plus two years of Adoption & Mental Health files are located in Room 1202, the current year plus two years of all other case files are located in Room 1201. Years 2004 through 1871 are located at the Record Center. To view a file, a valid photo I.D. must be presented at the time of viewing.  Files cannot be removed from the viewing site.  If a file has to be ordered from our Record Center, please allow 3 to 5 working days for return to the Daley Center site. Photocopy machines are available to meet any photo copying needs.  (Fee Schedule.)

 
The County Division court cases deal with a variety of matters. Jurisdiction has included municipal incorporation's, land titles, election contests, child support, and tax objections. The County Division hears actions and proceedings concerning the following:
Adoption The act of petitioning the courts to become the legal parent of a minor child or an adult.
Election A petition to the courts to review a decision made by the electoral board.
Emancipation of a minor A petition to the courts for a determination of the maturity of a minor at the age of sixteen or older to handle his/her own affairs as an adult (e.g., sign a lease, sign for school, contracts, etc.).
Emergency writ Also under the mental health act, which is issued by the courts, to have an individual picked up by the police to be transported to a mental health facility for examination and evaluation, due to behavior that seems dangerous. This writ expires within 72 hours.
Indemnity A petition by the former property owner, to the court to be found faultless in losing their real estate property and to be awarded a judgment for the market value of the lost property.
Mental health A petition to the courts to declare that an individual is subject to involuntary admission to a mental health facility for treatment due to behavior that is threat to self or others.
Special Assessment Court approval of a special assessment for public improvement instituted by a local government that benefits affected property owners (e.g., alley improvements).
Tax deed A petition to the courts by a tax buyer who has purchased delinquent real estate taxes on a particular piece of real estate to receive an order allowing that purchaser to have a deed issued for that particular property.
Tax objections (Valuation) an objection to the assessed value by the Cook County Assessor on a particular property (rate). An objection to the assessed rate used by the cook county assessor on a particular property.


Court Forms
Each of the Divisions provides access to official court forms. There are several ways to obtain the forms. In the office, forms are also available from staff at each of the Division’s public service counters. The public can also access court forms on this website.
Gold Certificates
Gold Certificates are used in lieu of birth certificates in adoption matters. Gold Certificates have vital information on them such as case number, date that judgment order was entered, name of adoptee, date of adoptee’s birth adopting parents name. Gold Certificates are signed by the Presiding Judge of the County Division and are sealed by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Gold Certificates are accepted in lieu of the birth certificate in proving that an adoption has taken place.
Emancipation of Minors
The County Division hears all matters involving Emancipation of Minors. Minors have been known to need emancipation for signing themselves in school, signing a lease or a legal contract. Most minors that ask the court for emancipation no longer live with their parents and have been on their own for a while. The minors must be at least sixteen years of age and demonstrate maturity as a minor to the court. The idea of emancipation for a minor is so that they have the ability to “sign” their name legally. The court might ask that the minor testify to the fact that they are employed and can physically take care of themselves and demonstrates maturity. Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (“CVLS”) will aid the minors in drafting petitions and navigating their way through the judicial system. CVLS will first interview the minor to determine if they meet the criteria for emancipation (a parent has given consent or the guardian has given consent for the emancipation process to take place). If the minor does
1)      How do I request access to adoption records?
2)      How do I obtain information in my adoption case file (biological parents, medical history, siblings, etc.)?
3)      What is a Confidential Intermediary?
4)      How do I obtain any copies of final judgments or Judgment Order for adoption cases to get a new birth certificate, or passport, or to get a Social Security card?
5)      How can I gain access to Mental Health Records?
6)      I have a family member who is behaving violently and I am afraid. What can I do?
7)      What if the family member is just acting erratic: appearing to have hallucinations; mumbling to him/herself; hitting him/herself or hitting or breaking or tearing my personal belongings, how can they get medical attention?
8)      If it is suggested that the person should receive medical attention, but the family member will not go voluntarily what do I do?
9)      What if the ill family member is no longer in the house and has gone to the streets & cannot be found right away?
10)      What happens if they are not found within 72 hours?
11)      If they do find the ill family member and have him or her transported to a mental health facility, how long will they keep him or her?
12)      If the hospitalized family member wishes to leave the hospital can he or she continue to be detained?
13)      Can anyone petition the Court for involuntary commitment of a non-family member?
14)      If the patient won’t take his/her medication what options do I have?
15)      I just received a “Take Notice” stating that my property has been sold for delinquent taxes and I paid these taxes already, what do I do?
16)      I just received a “Take Notice” stating that my property has been sold for delinquent taxes and I did not own the property at the time the delinquent taxes were due. Do I have to pay these taxes?
17)      I just received a “Take Notice” stating that my property where I live has been sold for delinquent taxes and I do not own the property, I am just an occupant. If I redeem the taxes will I own the Property?
18)      I want to look at a Tax Deed case but all I have is a PIN number.
19)      I am under 18 years of age and I want to be emancipated. How do I do that?
20)      How do I file for a Judicial Review of an Election matter?
21)      What is the criteria that must be met before applying for a Name Change?
22)      What is the procedure for a name change?
23)      Why does a name change have to be published?
24)      How much does a name change cost?
25)      Does a legal name change have to be filed when taking a spouse’s name or resuming use of a maiden name following a dissolution of marriage/civil union?
 
1)      How do I request access to adoption records?
Adoption records are impounded by statute and are not available for public inspection without a court order.

2)      How do I obtain information in my adoption case file (biological parents, medical history, siblings, etc.)?
The Clerk’s Office by law cannot release any adoption information. However, the petitioner can register with the Illinois Adoption Registry. It is possible your birthparent(s) may already be registered and you don’t need to search for them. If your birthparents are not registered, you can petition the Court for the appointment of a Confidential Intermediary.

3)      What is a Confidential Intermediary?
A Confidential Intermediary is usually a person from a child welfare agency certified to conduct a search of the information requested. Assistance in completing the petition for appointment of a Confidential Intermediary can be provided by Midwest Adoption Center. Their information can be found on their website or calling at 847-298-9096.

4)      How do I obtain any copies of final judgments or Judgment Order for adoption cases to get a new birth certificate, or passport, or to get a Social Security card?
You may choose any one of the various steps described below to obtain copies of the final Judgments or Judgment Orders for adoption cases.
Step 1
The petitioner must fill out a Request for Certified Copies of Court Records in Adoption Proceedings form which can be obtained on the Clerk’s Office website by visiting www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org and clicking on the County Division. Fill out the form and submit it in person or by mail (or see question below if you can not come in) to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, County Division, Room 1202, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Chicago, IL 60602.
The petitioner must present a picture ID with the same name on the identification as the name on the Judgment Order or Adoption file can be used. It would be helpful to have the case number. If the file is on site, the Petitioner will be escorted with the file and request to the Chambers of the Presiding Judge. The Presiding Judge will secure an order allowing the Clerk’s Office to release a certified copy of the Judgment Order of Adoption.
If it is a foreign adoption the Social Security Administration may require additional documentation for citizenship purposes (passport, naturalization papers, etc.). Contact the Social Security Administration. It will reflect the names of the adopting parent(s) and the name of the adopted child. It will also reflect the date of the Judgment Order.
Or, Step 2
Confirm that your adoption attorney requested that the birth certificate be amended to reflect the adoption. The attorney may have your copy of the amended birth certificate. If he/she does not, he/she should confirm for you that an amended birth certificate was issued. If one has not been issued, he/she should proceed with securing an amended birth certificate for you.
Or. Step 3
What if I cannot come into the Office?
The petitioner can write a letter to the Clerk of the Circuit Court detailing all the information regarding the adoption: name of adopting parents, name of adoptee & case number, if known. Make sure you include a copy of your picture identification with the same name on the identification as the name on the Judgment Order or Adoption file.
Mail the letter to Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, County Division, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Room 1202-County Division c/o Adoption Unit, Chicago, Il 60602.
The Request will be given to the Judge. The Judge will review the request and the file to determine whether to grant or deny it. If the Judge approves, the petitioner receives a certified copy of the judgment or a Gold Certificate. (A “Gold Certificate” [created on parchment paper] may be used in lieu of a final judgment to get a social security card or a passport.) In either case the Clerk’s Office will contact you by mail of the outcome and any fees that need to be collected from you so that we can honor your request.


5)      How can I gain access to Mental Health Records?
Mental Health Records are Confidential and Restricted. If the records belong to the mental health patient, an Affidavit must be notarized upon completion. The Affidavit should state that the requestor is indeed the person seeking the records or that the requestor is authorizing someone to view his/her records. The affidavit should be brought to Room 1202, Richard J. Daley, 50 West Washington, with the appropriate picture identification. Present the information to a Manager in the County Division to view or obtain copies of the records. If the request is from someone other than the patient, the requestor must file a petition for a judicial hearing wherein the judge will review the request and decide whether the petitioner may be granted a court order allowing him/her access to the requested mental health file.

6)      I have a family member who is behaving violently and I am afraid. What can I do?
If your family member is committing violent acts you should call the police and be secure.

7)      What if the family member is just acting erratic: appearing to have hallucinations; mumbling to him/herself; hitting him/herself or hitting or breaking or tearing my personal belongings, how can they get medical attention?
If it appears that the family member may hurt him/herself or others, you should contact the Mental Health Division of the State’s Attorney Office. The number is 312-603-8649. That Office will guide you through the proper steps to take.

8)      If it is suggested that the person should receive medical attention, but the family member will not go voluntarily what do I do?
The State’s Attorney will interview you to determine if your family member needs to be evaluated by a mental health professional. If it is determined by the State’s Attorney that the person qualifies for evaluation, a Petition for Involuntary Judicial Admission will be prepared along with an application for an Emergency Writ so that the family member can be picked up by the Police Department & taken to the hospital indicated on the Writ for evaluation. The State’s Attorney will escort you to a County Division judge, who will determine by your testimony whether an Emergency Writ should be issued for your family member. The State’s Attorney will advise you on how to proceed once the Writ has been issued.

9)      What if the ill family member is no longer in the house and has gone to the streets & cannot be found right away?
The Writ allows the police 72 hours from the time the Writ is issued and filed to find the ill family member, detain him and transport him to the medical facility.

10)      What happens if they are not found within 72 hours?
The family must then apply for another Emergency Writ and start the process over.

11)      If they do find the ill family member and have him or her transported to a mental health facility, how long will they keep him or her?
The law does not allow a person to be held for more than 24 hours without having an examination.

12)      If the hospitalized family member wishes to leave the hospital can he or she continue to be detained?
The hospital determines whether a family member should remain hospitalized. If after the first 24-hour examination, the hospital certifies that the person is subject to involuntary hospitalization, another examination must be given within 24 hours from the first examination. If the second examination also finds the patient subject to involuntary commitment, then the patient will be treated and the hospital will bring the patient to the Mental Health Court within 5 days of the examination to secure an order for continued involuntary commitment.

13)      Can anyone petition the Court for involuntary commitment of a non-family member?
Yes. The process is the same whether it is a family member or not. It can be a co-worker, friend, someone in your building or anyone you are aware of that is exhibiting dangerous behavior towards self or others.

14)      If the patient won’t take his/her medication what options do I have?
The hospital or doctor will petition the court, requesting that the patient be forced to take the medication. If the judge issues the order, the patient can then be forcibly administered the required medications.

15)      I just received a “Take Notice” stating that my property has been sold for delinquent taxes and I paid these taxes already, what do I do?
Contact the Real Estate Tax Division of the County Clerk at (312) 443-5645 or in Room 434, at the Cook County Building, 118 North Clarks Street, Chicago, IL, for more information on your property tax status.

16)      I just received a “Take Notice” stating that my property has been sold for delinquent taxes and I did not own the property at the time the delinquent taxes were due. Do I have to pay these taxes?
The current property owner is responsible for all taxes due & owing on their property. Contact the Real Estate Tax Division of the County Clerk at (312) 443-5645 located in Room 434, of the Cook County Building, 118 North Clarks Street, Chicago, IL, for more information on your property tax status.

17)      I just received a “Take Notice” stating that my property where I live has been sold for delinquent taxes and I do not own the property, I am just an occupant. If I redeem the taxes will I own the Property?
The only person allowed to redeem the forfeited taxes is the legal property owner. If you redeem the taxes and are not the property owner, your redemption will be voided.

18)      I want to look at a Tax Deed case but all I have is a PIN number.
You may come to Room 1202-County Division and provide the Counter Clerk with the PIN number (which requires a fee) for a research search. Any case number(s) associated with that PIN will appear in the electronic docket.

19)      I am under 18 years of age and I want to be emancipated. How do I do that?
The Clerk’s Office does not provide forms for these matters. The petition for Emancipation is self-drafted and is filed in the County Division—an original and a copy—in Room 1202 of the Daley Center. Once filed, you will be assigned to a Judge’s Calendar and can schedule the matter for hearing at the County Division Motion Desk in Room 1202. Should you need assistance in drafting the petition, you should seek the aid of an attorney or a legal service provider.

20)      How do I file for a Judicial Review of an Election matter?
The Petition for Judicial Review is a self-drafted document. The petitioner must file the original and a copy of a Petition for Judicial Review in Room 1202-County Division. Once filed, the matter will be assigned to a Calendar. The petitioner then goes to Room 1701 in the Richard J. Daley Center to get a court date for a judicial hearing.

21)      What is the criteria that must be met before applying for a Name Change?
  1. must live in Cook County for at least 6 months; otherwise you must apply in the County you live in;
  2. must have no convictions or any felonies, otherwise you must wait 10 years to change your name.
  3. cannot apply if you have been convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors that you must register with the Sex Offenders Office.


22)      What is the procedure for a name change?
  1. You must complete the Name Change Form with the Affidavit on the 3rd page, the Judgment form, and the Cover Sheet. The Affidavit must be signed by someone who knows you (not a relative) and notarized before submitting all forms. You may obtain the forms on the Clerk’s website by going to www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org. Click on court forms, scroll down to County Div., click, and scroll down to the forms.
  2. Once forms are completed, take them (Name Change, Judgment, and Cover Sheet) — including the notarized Affidavit on the Petition--to any one of the outlying 5 Circuit Court district offices: Rolling Meadows, Skokie, Maywood, Bridgeview, or Markham.
  3. Or, take the forms to the Circuit Court in the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Room 1202 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need assistance, there is an Advisory Help Desk in Room 1303 to answer any questions.
  4. Once forms are completed, pay the fee--at this time it is $337.00.
  5. You will be given a court day, judge, room number and time to appear in court at least 8 weeks from the date of filing.
  6. According to State Law, you must publish your name in the newspaper for three (3) consecutive weeks for a fee (check with the newspaper as to the fee).
  7. You must bring the publication piece with you to court.
  8. You must bring the old birth certificate with you to court.
  9. You must bring the Judgment form with you to court.
For adult name changes – the name change must be published in a legal publication for three consecutive weeks and filed in court on the date given (8 weeks out)
For child name changes – When both parents are in agreement to the Name change, and all forms are completed and filed, the judge may hear the case the day of filing. The judge will grant, deny or continue the name change.
For the child’s name change – If one parent cannot be located or the one parent is not in agreement with the name change, then the name change must be published for three consecutive weeks and the name change filed in court on the date given.
For family name changes – publish the family name change in a legal publication for three consecutive weeks and file the family name change (all names on one petition) in court on the date given for one fee.


23)      Why does a name change have to be published?
Publishing a name change is intended to combat petitioners looking to avoid creditors or acting under other fraudulent motives.

24)      How much does a name change cost?
The filing fee for a name change is $337.00 (effective 4/10). The publication fee varies depending on the publication used.

25)      Does a legal name change have to be filed when taking a spouse’s name or resuming use of a maiden name following a dissolution of marriage/civil union?
In case of marriage, no. A copy of your marriage license will suffice. In the case of a dissolution, usually the use of the maiden name is granted in the dissolution decree. If so, a certified copy of the decree is the only documentation needed. If not, the party in question has two years to amend the decree. After two years, the party in question must go through the name change procedure.

Title: Court Forms
Content: Each of the Divisions provides access to official court forms. There are several ways to obtain the forms. In the office, forms are also available from staff at each of the Division’s public service counters. The public can also access court forms on this website.

IMPORTANT / DISCLAIMER:

The information contained in this document is not intended as legal advice.   Persons with further questions on these subjects are strongly encouraged to seek legal advice from an attorney knowledgeable about these matters.

It is unlawful for any clerk or deputy clerk of a circuit court to prepare or draft any document that is to be filed or recorded in the Circuit Court in which he or she is clerk or deputy clerk, except such documents as such clerks are required or by some statute authorized to draft or prepare.   See 705 ILCS 110/1.


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