Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court
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Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
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Clerk of Circuit Court Self Represented (Pro Se) Resources

Lawsuits, Injuries, Small Claims and Debts


Civil Cases and Lawsuits – Introduction

Civil and Law Divisions

Small Claims Forms

Self Help Resources

Additional Resources

Civil Cases and Lawsuits - Introduction
Lawsuits for money damages for things like injuries, bad debts, breach of contract, and small claims are heard in the Civil Division and Law Division of the Circuit Court. Please check the Civil Division and Law Division sections of this website for additional information, including procedures, Frequently Asked Questions and Forms. The Civil Division hears the following types of actions in which the amount of the claim is less than $30,000 where the event surrounding the lawsuit occurred in the City of Chicago.

Civil and Law Divisions


An agreement between two or more persons, which creates an obligation to do a particular thing. The bulk of these cases involve owing money to someone for something (breach of contract.)

Forcibles Entry & Detainer (Evictions)

A summary proceeding in which the landlord seeks to restore possession of the premises or payment of rent when the tenant has wrongfully withheld rent or possession of the premises.


A lawsuit which is brought into court by the City of Chicago in reference to housing violations, which include but is not limited to, lead paint, broken windows, broken stairs, heat cases, etc.

Personal Injury

Any wrong or damage done to another person, such as, physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition resulting from the careless or negligent actions of others. The most common cases involve auto accident injuries.

Pro Se Court

The Pro Se Court section of the Civil Division resolves disputes between parties where the amount at issue does not exceed $1,500. The party may act as their own attorney. For more information on pro se cases, please call the Civil Division for the First Municipal District (Chicago), which is located on the sixth floor of the Richard J. Daley Center (312) 603-5626.

Suburban Districts

Suburban Districts may also accept Civil Division filings and, may hear cases as those listed above where the claim is less than $100,000.


Private or civil wrong or injury other than a breach of contract for which the court will provide a remedy in the form of an action for damages. The majority of civil cases involve property or automobile damages resulting from accidents

Law Division cases reflect a variety of topics, including local area business and industry, labor issues, medical (and other) professions, sports and entertainment. The Law Division hears cases in which the claim is in excess of $30,000 where the events surrounding the lawsuit occurred in the City of Chicago, including those involving:

Administrative Review Action

Appeal Process for Workman’s Compensation Claims.


Damages arising from asbestos exposure. See asbestos registry

Breach Of Contract

Action filed when parties that have entered into a contract are in conflict.

Breach Of Warranty

Damages resulting from the failure of a party under contract to maintain or repair.


Process for a government agency to take a parcel of land.

Confession Of Judgment

These are filed when the parties that have signed the “Confession of Judgment” have broken their agreement. They provide for a quick remedy if the borrowing party fails to comply.

Construction Injuries

Damages arising from an injury at a construction site.

Consumer Fraud

Financial Remedy when a company engages in a fraudulent act.


Remedy to seek damage relief in property or money.

Dram Shop

Damage claim arising from a defendant being over-served which results in a vehicular accident or other physical damage.

Fen-Phen /Redux Litigation

Damages to a person arising from the use of the diet drug combo Fen-Phen or Redux.


Financial Remedy when an individual engages in a fraudulent act.

Intentional Tort

Damage claim when a party commits a tort with intention to harm.

Legal Malpractice

Remedy when a legal claim represented by a licensed attorney did not meet the standards for the profession.


Damages to a person arising from the use of defamatory information in writing or in a verbal manner.

Medical Malpractice

Damages arising from medical negligence

Motor Vehicle

Damages arising out of a vehicle collision

Pediatric Lead Exposure

Damages to children from exposure to and/or ingestion of lead paint.

Petition to Register Foreign Judgment

Registration Process for Judgments entered in other counties and states other than Illinois in order that monies owed may be collected.

Petitions For Discovery

Petition to take depositions or subpoena records before a case is filed.

Petitions For Qualified Orders

Petition to convert a structured settlement to a lump sum payment.

Petitions To Issue Subpoena

Petition to take a deposition of a person residing in Cook County in a case pending in another State or Country.

Premises Liability

Damages to a person from an unsafe condition on another party’s property.

Product Liability

Damages arising from the use of an unsafe product.

Professional Malpractice

Remedy when service provided by a licensed professional did not meet the standards for the profession.

Property Damage

Damages to property.


Statutory Relief for property or money before a suit is filed.

Retaliatory Discharge

Action filed when an employee charges that they were fired as a punishment.

Silicone Implant

Damages to a person due to the use of Silicone Implants (ex. Breast Implants)

Statutory Action

Damages from a claim based on a statute.


Appeal Process for Tax Claims.

Unemployment Compensation

Appeal Process for Unemployment Compensation Claims

Cases are heard pursuant to Circuit Court General Order 1.2(1)(a). Suburban Districts also accept Law Division filings and hear Law Division cases in excess of $100,000 pursuant to Circuit Court General Order 1.2.1(a) (4) (i). Once a case is filed in the Suburban Law Division under the provisions of Circuit Court of Cook County General Order 1.2.1(a)(4), it will only come to the 1st District if it is consolidated into a case pending in the 1st District or it is transferred to 1st District by motion hearing. Cases filed in excess of $100,000 may be heard in all Law Division locations including the 1st District and the suburban districts.

Self Help Resources

Illinois Legal Aid provides much information lawsuits, money and debt including the following:

·        Lawsuits resulting from accidents and injuries

·        Information on controversies involving consumer problems and debt

·        General Information on Going to Court.

Additional information concerning small claims, accidents, injuries and credit or collection actions can be found at the following links:

Self Help Legal Center of Southern Illinois

Illinois Attorney General “Consumer Corner”

Better Business Bureau

Small Claims Supreme Court Rules

Cook County State’s Attorney—Consumer Fraud—Public Interest Bureau

Consumer Actions—ITC-Garnishments, bankruptcy, foreclosure prevention, credit, automobiles


Additional Resources

Illinois Supreme Court

Clerk of the Circuit Court -- Court Forms

Self Help Resources in and Around the Daley Center

Finding an Attorney



ACCESSIBILITY: The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County provides reasonable accommodations to customers with disabilities who need access to the Clerk’s Office services and programs. If you have a disability that you believe may be affecting your access to our services and programs, please contact our ADA Coordinator Patience Keys, at 50 W. Washington Room 1003, Chicago, IL 60602, telephone number 312. 603.4048 or send email to prkeys@cookcountycourt.com. For GENERAL INFORMATION, please call 312-603-5030.

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