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Chancery Division

The Chancery Division hears matters of equity which are filed under the following categories:  class actions, declaratory judgments, mortgage foreclosures, injunctions, administrative reviews, general chancery and mechanics liens.

Records Maintained

Case Types: Matters of equity involving class actions, declaratory judgments, mortgage foreclosures, injunctions, most administrative reviews, general chancery and mechanics liens.
Dates: 1871 - Present
Courts: Circuit and Superior Courts, 1871-1964; Chancery Division, 1964-present
Available Indexes: Circuit Court and Superior Court, both plaintiff and defendant indexes (on microfilm), 1871-present
Chancery Division index (microfiche), 1966-1971
Docket books and clerk's record books, 1871-present (stored off site)

A lawsuit brought to secure a formal statement of account from one partner to others in order to obtain a judicial determination of rights of the parties in a shared asset.
Administrative Review
A lawsuit seeking a judicial review of a final decision by an administrative agency.
The submission of controversies, by the agreement of the parties thereto, to person chosen by themselves for determination.
A lawsuit seeking review of a matter by the Supreme Court.
Class Action
A lawsuit brought by a representative member(s) of a large group of persons on behalf of all members of the group. The class must be ascertainable and the members must share a common interest in the question of law and fact raised by the plaintiff(s), among other special requirements.
Declaratory Judgment
A lawsuit seeking the judgment of the court establishing the rights of the parties or expressing the court's opinion on a question of law without ordering anything to be done. No executory process follows as a matter of course.
Dissolution of Corporation
The termination of a corporation's legal existence by expiration of its charter, by legislative act, by bankruptcy or by other means (Black's Law Dictionary, 2004).
Dissolution of Partnership
The termination of a previously existing partnership upon the occurrence of an event specified in the partnership agreement, such as a partner's withdrawal from the partnership, or as specified by law (Black's Law Dictionary, 2004).
Equitable Lien
A lawsuit seeking to enforce equitable right to have specific property applied in satisfaction of a debt.
General Chancery
The General Chancery Section hears actions and proceedings, regardless of the amount of the claim, concerning class actions, arbitration, injunctions, temporary restraining orders, mandamus, quo warranto, declaratory judgments, interpleader, ne exeat, specific performance, rescission and reformation of contracts, creditors rights, complaints for contribution, actions to quiet title and the setting aside of deeds, partition, equitable liens, redemption rights, declarations concerning the constructions of trust and wills (other than during the period of an estate administration), the appointment of trustees, successor trustees and the removal of trustees (other than during the period of an estate administration), receiverships, accounting cases, dissolution of partnerships and corporations, or other proceedings under the Corporations and Partnership Acts, proceedings under the Illinois Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, statutory review, certiorari (except under the Workers' Compensation Act, and all administrative review (except tax matters, matters, and decisions of the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority imposing civil fines pursuant to authority granted under the Toll Highway Act, and all other actions or proceedings formerly cognizable in courts of Chancery not otherwise provided for (GENERAL ORDER NO. 1.2,2.1 - County Department). 
A court order commanding or preventing an action. To get an injunction, the complainant must show that there is no plain, adequate, and complete remedy at law and that an irreparable injury will result unless relief is granted.
A lawsuit in which a debtor, not knowing to whom among his creditors a certain debt is owed, and having no claim or stake in the fund or other thing in dispute other than its proper disposition, petitions the court to require that the creditors litigate the claim among themselves.
A lawsuit seeking an extraordinary writ from the court to an official compelling performance of a ministerial act that the law recognizes as an absolute duty, as distinct from other types of acts, which may be at the official's discretion
Mechanics Lien
A lawsuit seeking to enforce a lien filed for the purpose of securing priority of payment of the price or value of work performed and materials furnished in erecting or repairing a building or other structure, and as such attaches to the land as well as building and improvements erected thereon.
Mortgage Foreclosures
A lawsuit filed by a lender seeking to compel payment of a mortgage. It is precipitated by non-payment of the debt and leads to the selling of the property to which the mortgage is attached in order to satisfy the debt.
Ne Exeat
A lawsuit filed to secure the payment of a co-obligor who is about to move outside of the jurisdictional limits of the state and taking their property with them.
A lawsuit seeking the judicial separation of the respective interest in land of joint owners, or tenants in common thereof, so that the parties hold their estates in severalty.
Quiet Title
A lawsuit seeking to determine all adverse claims to the property in question so as to obtain a final determination as to the title to a specific piece of property.
Quo Warranto
A lawsuit to determine an individual's right to hold a corporate or public office.
A lawsuit seeking the court appointment of a receiver to control and preserve property for the benefit of affected parties.
Redemption Rights
A lawsuit seeking to enforce statutory rights to redeem property that has been forfeited because the mortgagor defaulted on the mortgage payments, which can be exercised only after a foreclosure and sale of property.
Reformation of a Contract
An equitable remedy to modify a written agreement to reflect the actual intent of the parties, usually to correct fraud or mutual mistake in writing (e.g., such as incomplete property description in a deed). In cases of mutual mistake, the actual intended agreement must usually be established by clear and convincing evidence. In cases of fraud, there must be clear evidence of what the agreement would have been but for the fraud.
Rescission of Contracts
A lawsuit seeking a decree that a contract should be rewritten because the written terms of the contract do not express what was actually agreed upon. Rescission is generally available as a remedy or defense for a non-defaulting party, and is accompanied by restitution of any partial performance, thus restoring the parties to their precontractual positions.
Specific Performance
A lawsuit seeking a court order requiring a party to perform a specific act, such as to complete performance of the contract.
Statutory Review
A lawsuit challenging the legality of a statute.
Subpoena, Action Out of State, Compliance in Illinois
A lawsuit filed seeking to have a subpoena issued to be served in another state.
Temporary Restraining Order
A lawsuit seeking the court to require a party to refrain from doing or continuing to do a particular act or activity.
Trust Construction

A constructive trust is an equitable remedy resembling a trust (implied trust) imposed by a court to benefit a party that has been wrongfully deprived of its rights due to either a person obtaining or holding legal right to property, which they should not possess due to unjust enrichment or interference.

Uniform Gifts to Minor Act
A lawsuit regarding the statutory method for making a gift in trust to minors.

Q: If my property is sold as a result of a mortgage foreclosure for more than the amount owed to the bank, what happens to the extra money?
A: The extra money is called surplus funds. The bank is only entitled to what is owed to them and their fees. The surplus, minus any liens due, belongs to you. If there are surplus funds, you should be notified by the foreclosing attorneys for the bank. The court will determine if the Clerk's Office or Sheriff's Office will hold the funds.

Q: As a tenant living in a property in foreclosure, is there any remedy available to me?
A: Unfortunately, there are no remedies available for tenants living in foreclosed homes. However, tenants can file for an extension of time to allow for relocation. The tenants must file a motion to request an extension before the judge assigned to the case.

Q: How do I claim a surplus?
A: To claim a surplus, you must file a motion to appear before the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division and obtain a court order to have your funds released. The order must be submitted to the office holding the surplus funds (i.e., Clerk's Office or Sheriff's Office). This office will then process the order, which takes approximately ten business days for the surplus funds to be released.

Q: Once a foreclosure is filed, can I sell my property?
A: Yes, the property can be sold until the end of the redemption period, which is established in the Judgment of Foreclosure. However, sometimes it can still be sold after the redemption period with the court's permission.

Q: How much is a new foreclosure case?
A: The cost to file a new case is $418.00.

View All Chancery Division Frequently Asked Questions

Article: Filing a New Chancery Case

The general Chancery complaints filed consist of actions and proceedings concerning arbitration, mandamus, quo warranto, interpleader, ne exeat, specific performance, rescission and reformation of contracts, creditors' rights, complaints for contribution, actions to quiet title, setting aside of deeds, partition, equitable lien,...

Article: Reviewing Files

Files can be reviewed in the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Room 802, Chancery Division. Proceed to Sign #6 - Court File Requests.

Article: Obtaining a Certified Copy of a Document

Request the document to be certified along with the case number at the Court File Request Counter - Copies, Certified, Microfilm, Transcripts.

Article: Transferring a Chancery Case to Another Judge or Location

Circuit Court General Order 1.3 governs transferring cases between various divisions and districts of the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Article: How to File An Emergency Motion

The emergency motion may involve a temporary restraining order or an injunction.

Article: Pro Se Application to Sue or Defend as a Poor Person

An application for leave to sue or defend as a poor person must be obtained in the Chancery Division, Room 802, in triplicate and shall be in writing and supported by the affidavit of the applicant or, if the applicant is a minor or an incompetent, by the affidavit of some other person having knowledge of the facts, stating:

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