There is No Turning BackFrom Diana Garcia, paralegal for Amata Law Office Suites

Procrastination. We are all guilty of it at some point in our lives, and attorneys are no exception. As you may or may not know the courts have been moving towards e-filing with January 1, 2018 being the date that this will be mandatory across Illinois. I recently had the chance to attend a seminar on how to avoid the pitfalls of e-filing. While I am not an expert on this yet, I have learned enough to share some quick tips & links for those out there that will be plunging into this sometimes-daunting task.

Not everything will need to be e-filed. Below are the four (4) exceptions:

  1. Documents filed by an incarcerated, self-represented litigant in jail or correctional facility
  2. Wills
  3. Documents under the Juvenile Court Acts of 1987
  4. Document in a specific case by court order

You will need to create a username and password to e-file.

To file in Cook County: https://efile.cookcountyuscourts.com/Login.aspx. For outside Cook in Illinois: http://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm

There are also several services providers that can assist with the e-file process. The below link provides a comparison of some approved vendors. Attorneys are not required to use a service provider, but there are fees associated with add on services.
http://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/documents/Service-Provider-Comparison-Table.pdf

You will need to upload a PDF version of your document.

The size of the document you can upload varies by county and site. Check with the clerk’s office for size requirements. If your document is too large, you can compress it using this free site https://smallpdf.com/compress-pdf.

It is important to have a standard naming convention.

Example:
Type -> Description -> Client -> Date
MOT-Extension of Time- Rabiela -091417.doc
LTR-to client re status hearing-Munoz-052317.pdf)

There are strict guidelines on this mandatory process, and by no means is this all you need to know about e-filing. Please visit the following link for more information:
http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/EBusiness/Electronic_Filing.asp

If you are an Amata member, you can always ask our on-staff paralegals for assistance. Just shoot us an email at paralegal@amataoffices.com. Members, be sure to stay tuned for our daily tips regarding e-filing starting Monday, December 18, 2017 through the end of the year.