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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:
  1. The applicant's occupation or means of subsistence.
  2. The applicant's income for the year preceding the application.
  3. The source and amount of any income expected by the applicant.
  4. The nature and value of any property, real or personal, owned by the applicant.
  5. The particulars of all applications for leave to sue or defend as a poor person made by the applicant or on their behalf during the year preceding the application.
  6. That the applicant is unable to pay the costs of the suit.
  7. That the applicant has a meritorious claim or defense.
If the application is denied, the court shall endorse the fact of denial on the application.

If the application is granted, the court shall enter an order allowing the applicant to sue or defend as a poor person (Illinois Supreme Court Rule 298).

When properly completed, the applicant can appear before the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division for ruling.

If approved, the Circuit Court of Cook County will waive filing fees.