Now that you have created and configured your new account, you are ready to e-file!

These instructions are to File on an Existing Case in Cook County, Illinois. If one does not exist yet, you will want to Initiate a New Case.

These steps take you through the process of e-filing on an existing case that we have to retrieve from the Court’s system. Once the court’s filing clerk receives the submission, we’ll take a quick peek at our Filing Status screen.

Quick Steps

Scroll down for more detailed instructions.

From the Dashboard, click File on an Existing Case

  1. Select your Case, or Add a Case to retrieve your case from the court’s system, and add appropriate Cross Reference Codes.
  2. Select your Document Type and enter a Document Description. Then click the Click to Upload link to add your document.
  3. Give your document a Security Type, and review your choices in the Optional Services drop down. Select any necessary services.
  4. Enter your New Case Parties as required by the court.
  5. Choose the Party or Parties you are filing on behalf of.
  6. Add any Service Contacts to your filing to perform electronic service.
  7. Review your Filing Fees, and select a Payment Method to pay the estimated fees.
  8. Select the Filing Attorney if necessary, review all information for accuracy, and Submit Filing.

File on an Existing Case

From the Dashboard, click File on an Existing Case
File on an Existing Case in Cook County, Illinois

  1. Select Case – Choose your case, or click add a case to retrieve your case from the court’s system. If you do not see your case in the menu, click the Add a Case link. You may need to do an advanced case search by Party Name if it doesn’t come up on the first try.

    Once the filer selects the case, they will want to add the appropriate Cross Reference Codes.

    1. Choose the court location and case type to file your new case.
    2. Enter your Cook County Attorney Code. Pro Se (Self-Represented) litigants will enter 99500.
    3. If a filer needs to request a hearing when the filing is pending, they will want to select a Type from the drop down and then enter the word Motion for the Code / Value. Learn more…
      Note: The choices in the Type drop down auto-populate directly from the court. If the correct calendar for the court does not appear, the filer will still need to select one of the choices here or they will NOT be able to schedule a hearing date while the filing is pending. In this situation, it is recommended the filer picks something, and then leave the clerk a note at the bottom stating the true calendar needed.

      The Probate, Domestic Relations, and Domestic Violence (Civil) Divisions in Cook County have changed their method for selecting motion types in a filing. Please refer to this help article for their new procedure.
    4. If an Ad Damnum is required, enter your damage/claim amount.
  2. Add Documents – Define, select, and upload the documents that make up your filing.

    1. Select the Document Type: The Court prescribes the list of documents you see available in the Document Type field. If you don’t see the specific document type you are looking for then you’ll need to select the document type that most closely matches, or is somewhat generic in nature. If you enter some of the Document Type name in its form field, you will filter your choices down (ie. type ‘Petition’ to see petition choices). Some courts provide an option like “Other”, “Other Document Not Listed” or “Document – Other” which may work for you as well.
    2. Enter the Document Description: After making your selection, type the true document title in the document description field.
    3. Click the Click to Upload link to add your document. We’ll automatically convert most native file formats (i.e. Word, WordPerfect, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF) into the Court’s preferred Adobe PDF format, upon upload.
    4. Click the Edit button to edit a description, delete a document, replace a document, or add an attachment.
  3. Security & Optional Services – Choose a security level, and any needed optional services, for each document.
    Note: If a filer sets a document’s security to confidential AND they do not want anyone served those documents, filers will NOT want to electronically serve any party. Electronic service sends ALL of the documents in a filing to ALL selected parties regardless of the document security type chosen.

    1. Choose your Document Security: Most times your choices are public or confidential, but those choices will vary from court to court, and from document type to document type. You will need to pick something from the choices presented to you. While many people choose the public option, others choose confidential if there is sensitive information they do not think should be public.
    2. Choose any Optional Services: When you initiate a new case or file on an existing case, you have the choice of adding optional services for the document(s) you are filing. This can be for extra fees or services like the court reporter fee or first paper fee, or for extra things like ordering certified copies (if the court offers it). There are many different choices that can appear here, so always be sure to check it before submitting a filing. You can also add a Qty to these optional services if you need multiples of something.
  4. New Case Parties – If the party you are filing on behalf of is NOT listed in Section 5. Filing Party, the filer may click the Add Party link, define the party role, enter their information, and then select them in Section 5. Additionally, filers may add any party missing from the case in this section.
  5. Filing Party – Choose the party or parties you are filing on behalf of. If you do not see your party listed, you may add them in the step above, and then come back to this section to select them.
  6. Service Contacts – Add service contacts to your filing to perform electronic service. If the court doesn’t list any service contacts, or a filer needs to add additional service contacts; click the Add Service Contact link. If the court lists service contacts that shouldn’t be there, a filer may only remove them if they added them; only the person who adds the service contact can delete a service contact.

  7. Filing Fees – Select a payment method to pay estimated fees. The filing fees auto-populate from the court based on the case type, document type(s), and optional services filers select. If the fees seem incorrect to you, you may need to change one of these types.

    If you have a waiver of fees for your case, you will need to make sure to select a Waiver Payment type to avoid the charges listed in this section. To create a waiver payment account, click the Save Draft link on the upper right. Then click Settings at the top of the screen, and then select Payment Settings from the menu on the left. Next, you will click Add a Payment Account on the right side of the screen. Give the account a nickname, then select the account type as Waiver. Navigate back to your filing by clicking Filing Status in the left menu from the Dashboard, and choose this for the payment option.

    Please read this article regarding the use of Debit Cards with e-filing.
  8. Return Date – Select a return date for your filing. This is the date by which the opposing party must respond to your filing.

    1. If a Return date is not needed, check the Return Date Not Applicable box.
    2. Verify Button – If a Return date is needed, filers must enter and Verify the date.
      If the system does not generate a return date, the filer may try leaving the filing clerk a message in the Note to Clerk field along the lines of “This filing needs a return date, and the Odyssey system is not providing one no matter how I request and validate, please assign a return date of mm/dd/yy”.
  9. Review & Submit – Finalize your filing, review, and submit.

    1. If you are Filing for an Attorney select them from the menu or click the Add Attorney link.
    2. When a firm uses any sort of Client Matter No, the filer may enter it here. If you want an unofficial copy of the filing to go to anyone associated with the case, like a client, enter their email(s) here. Note: this is different from a service contact, and it, along with the client matter number, are for your internal purposes only.
    3. If your court has the option to leave the clerk a memo, enter any sort of note here in the Note to Clerk box.
    4. Review your entire filing for accuracy, and check the Verify box to acknowledge you have and also agree to any service provider fees.

    Click the Submit Filing button. Once filers click the button, the application immediately sends all documents to the court’s filing clerk for review. The system will then show the filing as Pending. The court assigns a submission time once the system completes its upload of all documents, and the court returns an Envelope Number.

Congratulations! You have submitted your filing to File on an Existing Case. The court will review it, and email you with a response in short time depending on their backlog. You can always go to the Filing Status page at any time to see where the filing stands.

If a filer needs to request a hearing while the filing is pending, and they correctly entered the Case Cross Reference Code(s) / Hearing Requests information in Section 1, they may now do so at this time, and any time while the filing is pending. Learn more…