Image Spacer for correct size distribution.
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
Contact Information | Help |
Translate this page:
SYSTRAN is the leading provider of the world's most scalable and modular translation architecture.
Official image of Clerk Dorothy Brown

Clerk of Circuit Court Self Represented (Pro Se) Resources

Going to Court

Introduction

 

Introduction

Court Forms

Filing Fees and Fee Waivers

Statutes and Court Rules

Finding an Attorney

Research and Links

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County hosts a website that includes a great deal of information including general information on the court system and specific information on the various Divisions and Districts of the Clerk’s Office, Court Forms and On-line Case Information.

The Circuit Court of Cook County also hosts a website that includes information on the Cook County Court system including an informational brochure entitled Circuit Court of Cook County (An Informational Guide).”

The Illinois Supreme Court hosts a website that includes a wealth of helpful information.

Illinois Legal Aid provides a website that includes a great deal of information to assist self represented litigants in many aspects of going to court and using the legal system.  For general information on Going to Court, click here.  The same group includes additional self-help resources.

The Chicago Bar Association publishes a booklet entitled Your Guide To The Law - A basic legal handbook that provides answers to commonly asked questions about the law. In 100-plus pages and 18 chapters, it covers everything from Bankruptcy and Buying a Home to Jury Duty and Small Claims - The Pro Se Court. Only one booklet is available per request.

Chicago Bar Association General Legal Information for the public.

The Illinois State Bar Association website also includes a section entitled “The Law and You in Illinois”.

The American Bar Association also provides a website which includes a section entitled “A Consumer’s Guide to Legal Help In Illinois”.

TIPS ON SELF-REPRESENTATION

The Court is a very traditional and polite place. When you are representing yourself in Court you are trying to persuade a judge or a jury that you are right. So you must act, dress, and speak in a way that helps you with your case. Here are some tips:

  • When you come to Court, dress as professionally as possible. This means clothes that are neat and clean, and without holes. You should be clean and neatly groomed.
  • How you act is as important as how you look. You must be respectful to everyone in Court. This includes the judge, court staff, the other party involved in your case, witnesses, and people in the hallways.
  • The Court has a very busy schedule, so you must be on time for the judge or for any other appointment. If you are late, your case might get postponed, or you could get in trouble with the judge. Make sure you bring all the court documents you need for your appointment.
  • The judge or commissioner cannot speak to you about your case except when your case is being heard and when the other party is there. The judge’s staff will help you in any way they can with questions like when your hearing is scheduled or whether the judge has decided yet on your case. But, staff cannot give you legal advice or recommendations on what you should do. Always be polite with judges and with Court staff, and be prepared to provide any information they request.
  • When you represent yourself in Court, get legal advice from a lawyer ahead of time to make sure you are doing the right thing. Legal advice includes deciding what option is best for you. Some lawyers provide "coaching" which is a way of helping you help yourself. This is different from and cheaper than hiring a lawyer to represent you.
  • In summary, always remember the 4 p’s; Professionalism, Punctuality (or being on time), Politeness, and Preparation. This will go a long way toward helping you help yourself in Court.

Court Forms

Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Court Forms

Filing Fees and Fee Waivers

Cook County Circuit Court Filing Fees

Fee Waivers

Statutes and Court Rules

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

Illinois Supreme Court Rules

Circuit Court of Cook County Rules & Orders

Supreme Court Small Claims Rules

Research and Links

Finding an Attorney

Navigating the Court System

 

 


© 2002 - 2009, Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County. (Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy)