Remember how everyone thought the world was going to end on January 1st, 2000? Well, it’s 2018 and we are still here. Just like that daunting day, July 1st, 2018 has come and gone, and everyone is getting used to the Circuit Court of Cook County’s mandatory e-filing system. All jokes aside, after working with Amata members on their e-filing, and thanks to the assistance of various clerks offices, I have gathered some e-filing tips and tricks.
What you need to know before e-filing for the first time.
- Each Division has free stations with computers & scanners available to assist with e-filing. My favorite is Law Division.
- All files must be in PDF format. Most documents can be saved in a PDF format from Microsoft word.
- For those who do not have access to Word, visit www.freepdfconvert.com. The site can convert text or image documents for free.
- Many easy to use court forms are also available in PDF at www.illinoiscourts.gov/Forms/approved
- Save changes after each section you enter information.
- If you are trying to print case files from a docket but the clerk’s printer is down, check with another division or even a different floor; they may be able to print the same documents.
Small tricks that will help you e-file with ease
- When searching for a case to file into, use the full year. For example: 17 CH 12345 should be searched as 2017CH12345.
- The case number you are filing into should match the case number on the documents you are e-filing.
- Your attorney code should be entered in Case Cross Reference Number.
- If you know there is a fee for your e-filing make sure it says, fee populates at the bottom of your screen.
- All documents should be filed “non-confidential” unless filed under seal.
- If filing under seal, your 1st lead document should be an agreed order from the Judge on the case granting leave to file under seal.
Diana Garcia, Paralegal with Amata Law Office Suites
Diana began with the company in 2010 as a Client Consultant and moved up to Paralegal in 2016 after attending DePaul University’s Paralegal Studies Certificate Program. In addition to being a Paralegal, she works as a translator for Amata members working with Spanish-speaking clients. Diana holds a BA in Public Relations also from DePaul University.