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Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court
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Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
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Services and Resources

Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Cook County, Illinois

Dorothy Brown
Family Law Bureau
an information guide

GENERAL INFORMATION

Domestic Relations Division

Location: The Domestic Relations Division is located in Room 802 of the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, Illinois. The Clerk's Office also provides full-service Domestic Relations operations in all Suburban Districts.
 

Operational Hours:  The Clerk's Office is open to the public Monday  through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Daley Center and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Suburban Districts.

Administrators:

General Office No...........................(312) 603-6300

Kelly Smeltzer.......................(312) 603-6352
Chief Deputy Clerk

Anne Smith...............................(312) 603-6986
Asst. Chief Deputy Clerk

POLICIES, PROCEDURES & FUNCTIONS

The Domestic Relations Division receives, maintains and processes court documents and records filed in domestic relations cases. Specific information regarding policies, procedures, and responsibilities is set forth below.

The following case types are heard for either marriages or civil unions:

Dissolution, Legal Separation, Declaration of Invalidity, Praecipe for Dissolution & Praecipe for Legal Separation.

The Domestic Relations Division also hears cases for:

Custody, Custody (Hague Convention), Visitation, Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage and Registration of Foreign Judgments.

The Filing Process

Domestic Relations files contain all original documents filed and entered in each case. The files are kept by case number in numerical order. The files are available for public inspection unless a judge has determined that a file should be either impounded or sealed. It is unlawful to tamper with public records.

When a case is filed downtown, it is randomly assigned to a calendar. Cases filed to be heard in the suburbs are assigned to the sitting Domestic Relations judge in that District.

Filing Fees

The cost for filing a new case is $337.00. The fee for filing an Appearance, as a respondent, is $206..00. There are other miscellaneous fees charged for various filings and services.

Court Records

Court files are stored at the Daley Center in Room 802 for four years. Files for prior years are housed in the Clerk's Record Center. The files stored at the Record Center must be ordered by submitting a request to the Domestic Relations staff in Room 802 or in one of the suburban districts.

Computer Terminals

Public access computer terminals are located in Room 802 in the Daley Center and are also available in the Suburban Districts.


CHILD SUPPORT DIVISION


GENERAL INFORMATION

Location: The Child Support Division is located at 28 N. Clark St., Room 200, Chicago, Illinois. Child support services are also available in all Suburban District locations. The Parentage Court is located at the Daley Center, 50 West Washington, Chicago, Illinois.

Operational Hours:  The Child Support offices are open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Administration:  Child Support maintains a voice information menu (312) 603-2000 for information on child support payments, access to office operators and teams, and general information on the IV-D program.

POLICIES, PROCEDURES & FUNCTIONS

The Child Support Division receives and disburses child support payments to the custodial parent, as ordered by the court. The office also maintains permanent records of payments and court records (directed to do so by state statute) on behalf of the custodial and non-custodial parent. 

Payment Processing 

The payment processing unit receives payments directly from the non-custodial parents or through their employers. All payments received are processed within 48 hours unless a court holiday intervenes. A custodial parent may verify last payments received on their account by calling our Voice Information System, (312) 345-4000.

Accounting 

In the event that a child support payment has been sent to a custodial parent, but is not received, our Accounting department can put a stop payment on the check and reissue the check. The Accounting department also handles issues related to check forgeries and daily bookkeeping functions.

Client Research 

The Client Research Unit has the responsibility for locating individuals who have moved and failed to notify our office.

Public Information Office

The Child Support Public Information Office was established to provide child support information to the public regarding the Clerk's role in the IV-D program. This office also acts as a liaison to the IV-D agencies (Illinois Department of Public Aid, Cook County Sheriff's Office, Cook County State's Attorney's Office) and the public. The Public Information Office also operates a speaker's bureau for single parent groups in Cook County and develops and distributes pamphlets and flyers on child support.

Job Diary

The Job Diary Unit is responsible for maintaining records on non-custodial parents ordered by the court to obtain employment. The unit assists the court in ensuring that non-custodial parents remain accountable by following-up on employment leads submitted by the non-custodial parent.

CHILD PROTECTION DIVISION

GENERAL INFORMATION

Location:

The Clerk's Office is located in Room 013 of the Cook County Juvenile Court Center, 1100 S. Hamilton St., Chicago, Illinois.

Operational Hours:  The Clerk's Office is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

POLICIES, PROCEDURES & FUNCTIONS

The Child Protection Division receives, maintains and processes court documents and records filed in cases involving abused, neglected or  dependent minors. Information regarding policies, procedures, and responsibilities is set forth below.

Cases Heard

The Child Protection Division hears actions and proceedings on allegations filed in violation of the Juvenile Court Act with respect to the following issues:

Abused Minor
Neglected Minor
Dependent Minor

The Filing Process

All pleadings, petitions, summons, motions, and other court documents should be filed in the processing section of the Clerk's Office located on the ground level of the Juvenile Court Center, Room 013.

Filing Fees

There are no fees for filing motions and appearances at Juvenile Court. There are fees for filing Juvenile Expungements, obtaining certified copies or photocopies of court records, and various other matters.

Who May File

A child protection case can be filed through an investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") and through a petition review by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Confidentiality of Court Records

Inspection and copying of all Child Protection records is restricted to those persons specifically identified pursuant to 705 ILCS 405/1-8 of the Juvenile Court Act. Based upon this restriction, Child Protection case files are not a matter of public record. Thus, the Child Protection Division does not permit the general public to view the record nor does the division maintain public access computer terminals.

JUVENILE JUSTICE DIVISION

GENERAL INFORMATION

Location: The Clerk's Office is located in Room 13 of the Cook County Juvenile Court Center,  1100 S. Hamilton Ave., Chicago, Illinois. 

Operational Hours:  The Clerk's Office is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Administrators:

General Office No.........................(312) 433-6872

Frederick Dunson, Chief Deputy Clerk......................(312) 433-6870

Vanessa Batchelor, Asst. Chief Deputy Clerk..........(312) 433-4704

POLICIES, PROCEDURES & FUNCTIONS

The Juvenile Justice Division receives, maintains and processes court documents and records filed in cases involving an allegedly delinquent child. Specific information regarding policies, procedures, and responsibilities is set forth below.

Cases Heard

The Juvenile Justice Division hears actions and proceedings arising under Articles I and V of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (as amended) and related matters arising under the following statutes: the Parentage Act of 1984, as amended (750 ILCS 45/1 et seq.); the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code, as amended (405 ILCS 5/1-100 et seq.);  and the School Code of 1961, as amended  (105 ILCS 5 / 1-1 et seq.). Under Illinois law, a child may be referred to the Juvenile Justice Division when he/she is charged with a criminal offense, he/she is a runaway or beyond the control of parents, or he/she is addicted to drugs.

Who May File

Juvenile Delinquency Matters:   In most cases involving a child who has allegedly committed a delinquent act, the pertinent police agency refers the child to juvenile court and the petition is filed in the Clerk's Office by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Minor Requiring Authoritative Intervention ("MRAI"): The parents of the MRAI child, the MRAI child representative, or a social service agency, may file an MRAI petition in Juvenile Court.

Addicted Children:  A child who is allegedly addicted to drugs may be referred to Juvenile Court at any time by anyone who wants to file an "addicted" petition.

The Filing Process 

All pleadings, summons, and appearances should be filed in the processing section of the Clerk's Office, located on the Ground Level of the Juvenile Court Center, in Room 013.

Filing Fees

There are no fees for filing a motion or appearance in Juvenile Court.

Court Records

All Juvenile Justice case files are stored in the Clerk's Office File Room located on the Concourse level of the Juvenile Court Center. The Clerk's Office maintains all Juvenile Justice court records for a period of twenty-one years. The viewing of all Juvenile Justice court records is restricted by the Juvenile Confidentiality Act. Those individuals who are allowed access to juvenile records may view such records upon request in the Clerk's Office.


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