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Request a Search for an Archived Case

Before you download any forms to request a search, please note the following important points. Failure to follow instructions may delay the search. Please call the Archives Department with any questions at 312-603-6601.

Provide us with specific information (dates, names, type of case). Our staff cannot carry out broad searches (i.e., every file about the Smith family, or every file about Prohibition).

We must find a case number in order to locate a file. To do this we search indices, or lists, for names of plaintiff(s) and defendant(s). These indices are formatted by date and type of case. We must search for the correct spelling of a name and the correct date(s) to find the case number of the record you want! (If you have the case number, we do not need to search for it.)

Case files are stored off-site (except for naturalization records). We usually receive case files within a week of ordering.

We charge SEPARATE fees for searches, for certified copies, and for informational uncertified copies of documents from a case file.
  • Searches: $9.00 for each year searched in the indices, payable in advance.
  • Certified copies: $9.00 per certified document, plus photocopy charges.
  • Informational uncertified copies: Per Illinois statute, photocopy charges are as follows:
First page copied $2.00
Next 19 pages @ $ .50
Remaining pages @ $ .25
(We will bill you for the correct amount after these pages are counted.)

All checks and money orders must be made payable to: Clerk of Circuit Court. On personal checks, please write your driver’s license number.

Please complete the request form for the type of case that you would like to search, such as Chancery 1871-1991, Criminal 1871-1983 or Domestic 1871-1986 search. Print and complete the form and mail it (with the required fee) to the Clerk of Circuit Court Archives at:

Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington
Room 1113
Chicago, IL 60602

This search request excludes Naturalization cases. Refer to our Naturalization Record Search page.