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eFiling launches in Cook County for some case types

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Tyler Technologies announced in an email Tuesday that filers in several civil case types could begin using any Illinois certified eFiling service provider — including One Legal — to file in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

The milestone marks the first time civil filers in Chicago will be able to file using eFileIL — the new, statewide court filing platform already adopted by the Supreme Court, the appellate courts and 95 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

eFileIL is expected to replace the county’s “OLIS” eFiling system on the Clerk’s website when electronic filing becomes mandatory for civil cases on July 1. Instead, Cook County filers will be directed to the Providers page of efile.illinoiscourts.gov to choose a certified eFiling service provider (EFSP) to file and serve through.

What’s an Illinois certified eFiling service provider?

An EFSP is an online portal that allows you to file civil cases in multiple counties. By this summer, using an EFSP will allow you to file civil cases in every Illinois court except the Circuit Court of DuPage County ( which has until 2019 to join the eFileIL system).

eFileIL works differently than older eFiling systems, in which each county has its own portal for filing civil cases online—typically on the county clerk’s website.

On eFileIL, filers log in through their eFiling service provider (EFSP) of choice — such as One Legal — where they can choose whichever Illinois court they’d like to file in. This “single sign-on” approach means that firms eFiling in many different Illinois courts don’t have to get trained on multiple systems. Each Illinois certified EFSP has completed a rigorous testing program that certifies it is capable of filing in courts across the state.

Which civil case types can be filed in Cook County using an EFSP?

Fully operational

As of April 3, 2018, all civil case types in the County Division of Cook County can be filed normally using an EFSP like One Legal.

According to the Circuit Court of Cook County website, these case types include:

  • Adoption
  • Marriage of minors
  • Annexation and deannexation of land to a tax body
  • Elections
  • Inheritance taxes
  • Mental health proceedings
  • Real estate taxes
  • Municipal organizations
  • Orders of protection filed in conjunction with a mental health proceeding

Partly operational

It’s also possible to eFile civil cases outside of County Division, as long as they can’t be filed under Cook County’s old eFiling system.

However, because Cook County has not yet connected its case management system to other divisions, existing cases in these divisions cannot be searched, and therefore must be recreated in your EFSP.

Also, users filing in these divisions cannot yet schedule hearings or retrieve return dates.

These divisions with partial functionality as of April 3, 2018 are:

  • Chancery
  • Civil
  • Domestic Relations
  • Domestic Violence
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Law
  • Probate

By May 1, 2018, all civil cases in Cook County will be able to be eFiled using an EFSP–regardless of division.

When do I have to start using an EFSP in order to file in Cook County?

We don’t yet know when Cook County will retire its old eFiling portal on the clerk’s website. However, because that portal sends your filings to a different case management system than the county uses for eFileIL filings, it’s likely that the county won’t want to manage two systems for very long.

We expect that it will disappear sometime around July 1, 2018, when eFiling becomes mandatory for civil cases in Cook County.

How should I prepare my law firm for changes to Cook County eFiling?

Click here to create a free One Legal account, and get 30 days of eFiling in Cook County with no per-filing fee.

We’ve also assembled a 20-page eBook covering everything you need to know to make the switch to Illinois’ new eFiling system—including how it works, key dates and terms to know, and technology and document preparation requirements. Click below to download it.

Download Illinois kit

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