The following special instructions guide filers through the process of e-filing in the Cook County Circuit Court. Please check back often for updates.
1. When eFiling a new case or subsequent filings, Cook County attorneys must input a Cook County Attorney Code Number in the Case Cross Reference Number field in Section 2 on the initial screen. Select Cook County Attorney Code in the drop down, click Add Case Cross Reference Number and then click Save changes. Failure to add your Cook County Attorney Code Number in the Case Cross Reference Number field will cause your filings to be rejected.
New attorneys must obtain a Cook County Attorney Number prior to eFiling in Cook County. The form is available on our website at http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/Forms/pdf_files/351-006.pdf, or in the Law Division, Room 801, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago.
2. For Domestic Relations Division cases, Probate Division cases, Chancery Division cases and for Law Division cases only if you need to file on Calendar 5 and M1, the Case Cross Reference Number field is used to enter your Cook County Attorney Code Number and in addition, the Case Cross Reference Number field is also used to schedule Motions. To schedule a motion for Domestic Relations, Probate and Chancery type the word Motion in the Case Cross Reference Number field and then select the type of motion you are filing from the drop down, click Add Case Cross Reference, click Save changes. Motion dates cannot be scheduled unless these steps are taken.
3. Filings will be rejected for the following reasons: they are filed without payment of the fees required by statute; the filing does not comply with the requirements set forth in GAO No. 2014-03 (effective July 1, 2018) for filing multiple documents in the same submission; the filing does not comply with the requirements in GAO No. 2014 -03 for electronic file formats; are illegible pursuant to Ill.S.Ct.R. 131 (effective January 1, 2016); are filed in the incorrect Division; are marked confidential without submission of a separate order permitting the document to be filed confidentially; the Cook County Attorney Code Number was not entered in the Case Cross Reference Number field; a return date is required and no return date was selected; are submitted as an initial filing but is a subsequent filing; and, are filed as a new case but the new case type Filing Code was not selected from the available options in the Filing Codes field.
4. Multiple documents with the same case number may be filed in the same transaction, however each document requires a separate activity code and must be a separate PDF.
Waiving Court Fees
5. If a Waiver payment type is chosen: Self-Represented litigants must upload either an ’Application for Waiver of Court Fees’ form or a copy of the order allowing the fees to be waived; Civil Legal Service Providers must upload a completed CLSP form; government agencies must upload a completed Fee Exempt Reduced Fee Agency Cover Sheet. Forms are available on the Clerk’s Office efile portal at www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org. Filings that omit completed fee waiver forms where a Waiver payment type is chosen, will be rejected.
6. Government filers who have approved Intergovernmental Billing Agreements must choose Gov’t Billing as the payment type and must upload a copy of their approved Intergovernmental Billing Agreement with filings that require filing fees. Do not choose Waiver as the payment type. To set up a billing arrangement call the Clerk’s Office’s Accounting Department at 312.603.5035.
Initiating a New Case
7. When eFiling, the first dropdown the eFiler sees is the location. The location drop down will list each district and the location of each district (i.e. Cook County – Civil – District 2 – Skokie. If you do not know the correct district to file in please visit our website, www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org for village and municipal boundaries for each of the courthouse locations.
8. All new cases must also upload a completed Cover Sheet for the Division where the case will be heard.
9. For Civil cases, the amount claimed or the Ad Damnum amount must be entered in the Fees Section in order to get the appropriate filing fee. If the Ad Damnum is not entered correctly and the wrong fee is paid, the filing will be rejected.
10. For Mortgage Foreclosure cases, after you select the filing type and you have uploaded your documents, Add Optional Services and Fees must be selected in order to select the appropriate tier for the Mortgage Foreclosure case. Selecting the appropriate tier must be completed prior to proceeding. If the wrong tier is selected and the wrong fee is paid, the filing will be rejected.
11. When filing Foreign Judgments, Counterclaims, Administrative Review cases and for Civil Division cases when there is more than one (1) defendant the filer must click on the Optional Services so the correct mailing fees can be paid.
12. When filing a Name Change case, enter the current name as the Plaintiff’s name and the new name being requested as the Defendant’s name.
Filing Into an Existing Case
13. When eFiling subsequent filings, the case number must be entered as follows: a four (4) digit century, upper case letter(s) for the division designation (except for Civil Municipal Division cases in districts 1-6 where there is no letter designation at all), followed by six (6) numbers if the letter designation is one (1) letter like this: 2018L000818. For cases that have two (2) letter division designations such as Chancery (CH) and Orders of Protection (OP) the division designation is followed by five (5) numbers like this 2018CH01247. Law Division and Domestic Relations cases in Suburban Districts 2-6 case numbers have the Suburban District’s number following the division designation like this: 2018D400012. If you do not know your case number or need assistance finding your case number please visit our website, www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org.
14. When filing an Appearance, the Return Date Not Applicable must be checked. This does not pertain to the return date already issued on the summons. The system will then generate the status date.
Selecting a Court Date
15. A return date from the pop-up calendar must be chosen when the case requires a Return Date (A return date is required if a summons is being issued.) If a court date is required on the filing as well, the system will generate the court date after the filing is accepted. If you are not sure if a return date is required, click Validate and if a return date is required the system will provide you with the first available return date, and if a return date is not required the system will place a check in the Return Date Not Applicable box.
16. In the Civil Division and Law Division, the hearing box may display dates when filing into an existing case. DO NOT choose a hearing Date unless the filing requires it. If you have questions whether a hearing date is required call the Division or Suburban District where the case is being heard. Contact information is available on the Clerk’s Office’s website www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org.
17. To get a court date for post judgment cases in Civil Municipal Districts 1-6 you must select Return Date to get a court date.
18. eFilers must clear their internet browser’s cache/cookies/browsing history prior to eFiling. Failure to do so may prohibit your documents from being filed properly.
19. Changes made in each section of the eFile application must be saved prior to proceeding to the following section. For multiple filings, changes must be saved after each filing is added prior to clicking Add Another Filing.
20. The information that will show on the electronic docket regarding which party filed a document comes from the Fees Section field labeled Party Responsible for the Fees, therefore, if you are filing you must select yourself as the Party Responsible for the Fees.
21. Each time a document is uploaded you need to select whether the document is Confidential or Non-Confidential. If you select Confidential you must also upload a copy of an order allowing the document to be filed confidentially. If you do not have an order allowing the document to be filed confidentially, you must select Non-confidential. If Confidential is selected, and the court order is not included, the filing will be rejected. Documents that may be filed confidentially pursuant to rule or statute are exempt from this requirement, such as Notices of Confidential Information Within Court Filing.
Self-Represented Litigant Information
22. When eFiling a new case or subsequent filings, self-represented litigants must type this number 99500 in the Case Cross Reference Number field in Section 2 on the initial screen. Select Cook County Attorney Code in the drop down, click Add Case Cross Reference Number and then click Save Changes. Failure to type 99500 in the Case Cross Reference Number field will cause your filings to be rejected.
23. When filing a new case you need to upload a completed Summons for every defendant on the case. Once your new case is accepted you need to print out each Summons and copies of the FILED stamped documents that are returned from the Clerk’s Office for each defendant. Then, take the documents to the Sheriff’s Office location where your case is being heard so the Sheriff can serve the Summonses on each defendant. Note, the Sheriff’s Office charges a fee for service of each Summons.
24. If you are filing a Small Claims case in the Civil Municipal Divisions/Districts 1 – 6 you have the option of choosing the Sheriff’s office to personally serve each defendant on your case, or you can choose to serve each defendant on the case using certified mail. A Small Claims case is where the amount in controversy is $10,000.00 or less. If you choose to use the Sheriff’s office for service, follow the instructions in #23. If you choose to use certified mail service follow these instructions. After you upload your Lead Document click Add Optional Services and Fees and select Certified Mail in the Enter a Quantity box, then select the number of defendants that are on your case in order to pay the correct fee.
25. The system only allows an attorney to select one litigant to represent per case; not multiple litigants. However, if you represent more than one litigant in a case make sure that the documents that are submitted properly reflect all the litigants you are representing.