On July 1, 2018, E-Filing is mandatory in Illinois for all Civil Areas (except Wills and a few other exceptions)
You will need to do the following:
✓ Obtain an email address.
✓ Select an Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSPs).
What is an Electronic Filing Service Provider?
EFSPs are Electronic Filing Service Providers who have partnered with the state of Illinois in the eFileIL initiative. eFileIL is the Electronic Filing Manager [EFM] that connects with all of the certified ESFPs and interface with our case management system. Currently a filer can choose one from a number of certified EFSPs in order to file.
When eFiling a new case or subsequent filings, Cook County attorneys must input a Cook County Attorney Code Number in the Case Cross Reference Number field in Section 2 on the initial screen. Select Cook County Attorney Code in the drop down, click Add Case Cross Reference Number and then click Save changes. Failure to add your Cook County Attorney Code Number in the Case Cross Reference Number field will cause your filings to be rejected.
For Domestic Relations Division cases, Probate Division cases, Chancery Division cases and for Law Division cases only if you need to file on Calendar 5 and M1, the Case Cross Reference Number field is used to enter your Cook County Attorney Code Number and in addition, the Case Cross Reference Number field is also used to schedule Motions. To schedule a motion for Domestic Relations, Probate and Chancery type the word Motion in the Case Cross Reference Number field and then select the type of motion you are filing from the drop down, click Add Case Cross Reference, click Save changes. Motion dates cannot be scheduled unless these steps are taken.
Filings will be rejected for the following reasons: they are filed without payment of the fees required by statute; the filing does not comply with the requirements set forth in GAO No. 2014-03 (effective July 1, 2018) for filing multiple documents in the same submission; the filing does not comply with the requirements in GAO No. 2014 -03 for electronic file formats; are illegible pursuant to Ill.S.Ct.R. 131 (effective January 1, 2016); are filed in the incorrect Division; are marked confidential without submission of a separate order permitting the document to be filed confidentially; the Cook County Attorney Code Number was not entered in the Case Cross Reference Number field; a return date is required and no return date was selected; are submitted as an initial filing but is a subsequent filing; and, are filed as a new case but the new case type Filing Code was not selected from the available options in the Filing Codes field.
Multiple documents with the same case number may be filed in the same transaction, however each document requires a separate activity code and must be a separate PDF.
WAIVING COURT FEES
If a Waiver payment type is chosen: Self-Represented litigants must upload either an Application for Waiver of Court Fees form or a copy of the order allowing the fees to be waived; Civil Legal Service Providers must upload a completed CLSP form; government agencies must upload a completed Fee Exempt Reduced Fee Agency Cover Sheet. Forms are available on the Clerks Office efile portal at www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org. Filings that omit completed fee waiver forms where a Waiver payment type is chosen, will be rejected.
Government filers who have approved Intergovernmental Billing Agreements must choose Govt Billing as the payment type and must upload a copy of their approved Intergovernmental Billing Agreement with filings that require filing fees. Do not choose Waiver as the payment type. To set up a billing arrangement call the Clerks Offices Accounting Department at 312.603.5035.
INITIALIZING A NEW CASE
When eFiling, the first dropdown the eFiler sees is the location. The location drop down will list each district and the location of each district (i.e. Cook County - Civil - District 2 - Skokie. If you do not know the correct district to file in please visit our website, www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org for village and municipal boundaries for each of the courthouse locations.
All new cases must also upload a completed Cover Sheet for the Division where the case will be heard.
For Civil cases, the amount claimed or the Ad Damnum amount must be entered in the Fees Section in order to get the appropriate filing fee. If the Ad Damnum is not entered correctly and the wrong fee is paid, the filing will be rejected.
For Mortgage Foreclosure cases, after you select the filing type and you have uploaded your documents, Add Optional Services and Fees must be selected in order to select the appropriate tier for the Mortgage Foreclosure case. Selecting the appropriate tier must be completed prior to proceeding. If the wrong tier is selected and the wrong fee is paid, the filing will be rejected.
When filing Foreign Judgments, Counterclaims, Administrative Review cases and for Civil Division cases when there is more than one (1) defendant the filer must click on the Optional Services so the correct mailing fees can be paid.
When filing a Name Change case, enter the current name as the Plaintiffs name and the new name being requested as the Defendants name.
FILING INTO AN EXISTING CASE
When eFiling subsequent filings, the case number must be entered as follows: a four (4) digit century, upper case letter(s) for the division designation (except for Civil Municipal Division cases in districts 1-6 where there is no letter designation at all), followed by six (6) numbers if the letter designation is one (1) letter like this: 2018L000818. For cases that have two (2) letter division designations such as Chancery (CH) and Orders of Protection (OP) the division designation is followed by five (5) numbers like this 2018CH01247. Law Division and Domestic Relations cases in Suburban Districts 2-6 case numbers have the Suburban Districts number following the division designation like this: 2018D400012. If you do not know your case number or need assistance finding your case number please visit our website, www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org.
When filing an Appearance, the Return Date Not Applicable must be checked. This does not pertain to the return date already issued on the summons. The system will then generate the status date.
SELECTING A COURT DATE
A return date from the pop-up calendar must be chosen when the case requires a Return Date (A return date is required if a summons is being issued.) If a court date is required on the filing as well, the system will generate the court date after the filing is accepted. If you are not sure if a return date is required, click Validate and if a return date is required the system will provide you
with the first available return date, and if a return date is not required the system will place a check in the Return Date Not Applicable box.
In the Civil Division and Law Division, the hearing box may display dates when filing into an existing case. DO NOT choose a hearing Date unless the filing requires it. If you have questions whether a hearing date is required call the Division or Suburban District where the case is being heard. Contact information is available on the Clerks Offices website www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org.
To get a court date for post judgment cases in Civil Municipal Districts 1-6 you must select Return Date to get a court date.
eFilers must clear their internet browsers cache/cookies/browsing history prior to eFiling. Failure to do so may prohibit your documents from being filed properly.
Changes made in each section of the eFile application must be saved prior to proceeding to the following section. For multiple filings, changes must be saved after each filing is added prior to clicking Add Another Filing.
The information that will show on the electronic docket regarding which party filed a document comes from the Fees Section field labeled Party Responsible for the Fees, therefore, if you are filing you must select yourself as the Party Responsible for the Fees.
Each time a document is uploaded you need to select whether the document is Confidential or Non-Confidential. If you select Confidential you must also upload a copy of an order allowing the document to be filed confidentially. If you do not have an order allowing the document to be filed confidentially, you must select Non-confidential. If Confidential is selected, and the court order is not included, the filing will be rejected. Documents that
may be filed confidentially pursuant to rule or statute are exempt from this requirement, such as Notices of Confidential Information Within Court Filing.
SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANT INFORMATION
When eFiling a new case or subsequent filings, self-represented litigants must
type this number 99500 in the Case Cross Reference Number field in
Section 2 on the initial screen. Select Cook County Attorney Code in the
drop down, click Add Case Cross Reference Number and then click Save
Changes. Failure to type 99500 in the Case Cross Reference Number field
will cause your filings to be rejected.
When filing a new case you need to upload a completed Summons for every
defendant on the case. Once your new case is accepted you need to print out
each Summons and copies of the FILED stamped documents that are
returned from the Clerks Office for each defendant. Then, take the documents
to the Sheriffs Office location where your case is being heard so the Sheriff can
serve the Summonses on each defendant. Note, the Sheriffs Office charges a fee
for service of each Summons.
If you are filing a Small Claims case in the Civil Municipal
Divisions/Districts 1 - 6 you have the option of choosing the Sheriffs office
to personally serve each defendant on your case, or you can choose to serve each
defendant on the case using certified mail. A Small Claims case is where the
amount in controversy is $10,000.00 or less. If you choose to use the Sheriffs
office for service, follow the instructions in #23. If you choose to use certified
mail service follow these instructions. After you upload your Lead Document
click Add Optional Services and Fees and select Certified Mail in the
Enter a Quantity box, then select the number of defendants that are on your
case in order to pay the correct fee.
The system only allows an attorney to select one litigant to represent per case; not
multiple litigants. However, if you represent more than one litigant in a case make
sure that the documents that are submitted properly reflect all the litigants you are
Electronic filing or efiling enables filers and courts to efficiently process documents and fees online. eFileIL manages the flow of information between filers, clerks, court personnel, and judges within the state of Illinois.
Filer submits the document[s]
After selecting a certified Electronic Filing Service Provider [EFSP], filers log on to their providers website to efile documents to any participating court in Illinois.
EFSP delivers documents in the Court
EFSPs calculate filing fees and electronically deliver documents to participating courts.
Clerks Accept/Reject Submissions
The Clerks Office reviews documents received from EFSPs by verifying that statutory filing fees (if applicable) have been paid and that attorneys have added their Cook County Attorney Code Number in the Case Cross Reference Field. Documents are FILED stamped once accepted and a FILED stamped copy is returned to the efiler.
EFSPs are Electronic Filing Service Providers who have partnered with the state of Illinois in the eFileIL initiative. eFileIL is the Electronic Filing Manager [EFM] that connects with all of the certified ESFPs and interfaces with the Clerks Offices case management system. Currently an efiler can choose from one of many EFSPs but Odyssey File & Serve is the only free one and it is also the one which the Clerks Office have received training. Visit http://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm for more information regarding the various eFile service providers for Illinois.
There are no fees to efile using eFiileIL. However, if a statutorily required filing fee is required for a filing, eFileIL does charge a convenience fee for processing credit card and eCheck payments. Other EFSPs charge fees for eFiling as well as for special services they may offer.
Service of original complaints, also known as service of process, must be personal service by the Cook County Sheriffs office. Subsequent filings may be sent to the other party on a case using traditional mail service, hand delivery, email or by using eFileILs option of electronic service, or eService. eService is a feature available in eFileIL where documents are electronically sent to the other parties on a case via email [utilizing the Courtesy Copy box, and inserting the email addresses of each individual]. The eService feature allows an efiler to track when the other party receives and opens the document.
Unfortunately this feature is currently unavailable, however the Sheriffâ€™s office is working with eFileIL toward a solution.
eFileIL is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Clerks Office accepts documents that are submitted throughout the work day (Office hours are Monday Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Documents that are submitted after office hours are typically accepted at the start of the next workday.
Documents are stamped when they are accepted by the Clerks Office. The date and FILED stamp for documents submitted after Office hours will reflect the date and time when the document was originally submitted.
No, court orders will continue to be accepted in the courtrooms. However, motions, appearances, or other pleadings will no longer be accepted in the courtrooms and will have to be eFiled.
Yes, all users must register prior to using the system. Once you register to use to use eFileIL your registration is good throughout the state of Illinois.
The Clerks Offices staff will continue to provide helpdesk services where efilers can call and speak to a live individual with eFileIL specific issues and questions. How To webinars for eFileIL are also available on the Clerks Offices website www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org. Efilers using a different EFSP must contact that EFSP for assistance. Contact information for the other EFSPs may be found at http://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm.
Yes, mandatory efile applies to everyone. However, Self-Represented Litigants who meet the criteria for an exemption may file an exemption form and continue to file conventionally (in paper). Exemption forms are available on the Clerks Offices website at http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/Forms/pdf_files/EWC3401-1.pdf and will be available in each of the Clerks Offices locations.
If the efiler does not have an email address, they may create one at an efile kiosk located in each of the Clerks Offices locations. Email addresses are required to efile.
Efilers may use eChecks and pre-paid visas or mastercards. In addition, efilers may pay cash if they efile at the Clerks Office using one of the Clerks Offices eFile kiosks.
Yes. Illinois judges and Clerks Office personnel will also have the ability to access efiled documents any time, from any place, and on any device through a single online portal, across the various jurisdictions within the state of Illinois through http://research.illinoiscourts.gov. Parties to a case who efiled through eFileIL may login to http://research.illinoiscourts.gov using their eFileIL login credentials.
Public Service List (a list of all attorneys currently utilizing eFileIL) are populated by attorney information currently on file with the Illinois ARDC.
Individual firms will be responsible for maintaining their service contact lists to receive notifications of filings, etc. within the eFileIL portal.
The cross reference field is where Cook County Attorneys must enter their assigned Cook County Attorney Code. This field is also used for filing specific motions.
Filings will be rejected if the statutory filing fees are not paid, if the incorrect amount is paid, if the Cook County Attorney Code is not submitted in the Cross Reference Field, if a document is marked confidential but an order allowing filings to be filed under seal is not submitted with the filing, when cases are filed in the incorrect division and when documents from different cases are submitted together in one submission.
Yes, you can go into your Filer Dashboard and click on Returned. This will allow to see all of your envelopes of efilings that have been returned or rejected. You can go to the right of the line item, click Actions and highlight Copy Envelope. This allows the entire filing to be duplicated so the errors can be corrected and resubmitted.
This helpful list is made available to provide information about what types of cases are filed in each division.
Matters of equity involving class actions, declaratory judgments, mortgage foreclosures, injunctions, most administrative reviews, general chancery and mechanics liens.
The Civil Division maintains records for all claims under $30,000 as listed above, including, but not limited to the following matters: Contracts, Personal Injury/Tort, Administrative Review, Housing, Forcible/Joint Action (Evictions).
Annual Tax Sale
Certificate of Error
Emancipation of a Minor
Judicial Waiver of Notice
Putative Father Identification
Scavenger Tax Sale
Administrative Review Action
Breach of Contract
Breach of Warranty
Confession of Judgment
Fen-Phen /Redux Litigation
Pediatric Lead Exposure
Petition for Discovery
Petition for Qualified Orders
Petition to Issue Subpoena
Petition to Register Foreign Judgment
Wills of deceased, estates of deceased, estates of disabled adults, estates of minors and wards of the state, guardianship of minors, and guardianship of disabled adults.
We attempt to update this list of links as we become aware of available training, however, you can click on each Electronic Filing Service Provide
rs (EFSPs) Website to get more information. List of EFSPs
E-Filing News and Events
Clerk of Court Change Management Newsletter
Get important information on how you should prepare for mandatory eFiling that starts on July 1, 2018
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The new Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County website features a streamlined format that is easier to use and includes an improved court case search function that enables users to find pertinent information easily and efficiently. Click here to test drive our new website, and remember to let us know what you think.