Electronic court filing as a statewide system is brand new to Illinois, with all the opportunities and questions that come with a recently introduced program.
We’ve gathered up the questions that get asked the most about eFiling in Illinois, to try to make the eFiling process a smooth one.
#1 How can I eFile court documents in Illinois?
By establishing statewide standards for electronic court filing, Illinois has made it a straightforward process to eFile documents in your court. Electronic service providers (EFSPs) integrate with the courtside case management system to get documents from the filer to the clerk.
#2 Can I eFile documents for existing cases?
Once eFiling is mandatory in your county, filings for both initial and subsequent cases are required, regardless of the format of the first filing. And in the case of upcoming transitions, the effective mandatory dates will also apply to initial and subsequent case filings.
#3 Do I have to eFile in Illinois?
By July 2018, every Illinois court will have mandatory eFiling, and many will have mandated eFiling by January 2018. Some counties, such as Cook, have been given extra time to make the transition, given that they had already been using a system to accept digital court documents.
For now, each county is introducing the process with a short introductory period first. Find your court on this schedule of planned eFiling implementation for Illinois to see the status of your county.
#4 What if I was already eFiling in Cook County?
Several Illinois courts, such as Cook and DuPage Counties, had begun eFiling before the statewide implementation was decided upon. These counties were using a different system to accept and interact with court documents, and had to begin planning to transition once the state decided to implement a single unified approach to eFiling.
So while the Clerk of the Circuit Court may still be listing eFiling training through its site, very soon they will be on a different system altogether. Here, too, there will be a permissive period during which filers can get accustomed to the new approach.
#5 How do I eFile in Illinois’ appellate courts?
#6 How do I know when my document is accepted after eFiling?
One Legal’s eFiling system sends users a notification almost instantly to confirm that the court has received your document. You will be notified again once the document has been processed, whether it was approved or rejected. By tracking your order for real-time updates, you can even see when it is being viewed by the county clerks.
#7 Why did my document get rejected?
There are many reasons for a document to get rejected, from formatting issues to incorrect filing code to missing information. The court should have given a reason for rejecting your document, and you can note their requirements and learn more about the top reasons that courts may reject eFiled documents to avoid rejections in the future.
Want us to take a look? Our Double Check feature tasks one of our document specialists with examining your document to look for reasons why it might not comply to the court rules. If we see anything, we’ll call you right away to discuss your options.
#8 Can I eFile confidential documents?
Confidential or sealed documents must be designated as such at the time of filing. If filing a motion to file a secured document, this must be submitted at the same time as the document itself, but in a separate order, according to Illinois Supreme Court eFiling rules.
#9 What if my documents exceed the MB limit?
There are several ways that you can try reducing the size of your PDFs, first, to fit the entire file into a single envelope without exceeding 35 MBs. But if your documents are lengthy, then you’ll need to submit separate filings in a series of ‘volumes’, each of which should have its own cover page.
#10 Do Illinois courts require a hard copy in addition to an electronic copy?
As a rule, any documents that have been electronically filed in Illinois courts do not need any hard copies to accompany them. Check specifically on requirements for your specific document as there may be exceptions. Some individual judges or courthouses may also prefer to receive courtesy copies.
One Legal has been at the forefront of electronic court filing in California since the very beginning and is still a part of many transitions across counties. We’ve come across just about every question regarding eFiling that you can think of—and have the answers to each!
Have other questions about eFiling in Indiana? Contact us for more information. Or come to one of our virtual office hours, where eFiling specialists can answer questions, give demonstrations, and more.