Suffredin- Changing County Government  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Eighteen of the 20 largest banks in the world and more than 50 foreign banks have offices in Cook County.

E-filing now available in Cook County

Monday, May 11, 2009
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
by Pat Milhizer

The Cook County circuit clerk's office launched a program Monday that will save commercial litigation lawyers from making a trip to the Daley Center when they're ready to file lawsuits.

The program lets lawyers file lawsuits online at any time, and for now, it's limited to the Law Division's Individual Commercial Calendar Section.

The circuit court is the largest court system in the world to offer electronic filing, and plans for the project started about four years ago when Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans gave Circuit Clerk Dorothy A. Brown the go-ahead to file an application with the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.

''This is a win-win-win for Cook County,'' Brown said at a news conference Monday morning. ''It will save millions of dollars in time, taxpayer dollars, private dollars and best of all, it will help to contribute to the preservation of energy as well as our natural resources.… In short, it was the right thing to do.''

Registered users will be able to visit to file documents, pay the associated fees, receive file-stamped copies of documents and serve opposing parties. Along with the usual filing fees, the service will cost $4.95 per case, plus an additional 4 percent credit card charge of the total cost of the filing.

The system accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover and checking account payments, as long as the lawyer's Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission number reflects that the attorney is in good standing.

For first-time users, the Web site offers several video seminars to provide guidance on how to use the system.

In addition, the system will soon let litigants file draft court orders for submission to judges. Judges would then be able to edit, sign and electronically return the signed orders. There is no timetable for that process to begin, Evans said.

While the e-filing program is voluntary, Brown expects that demand for the service is high given that about 1,200 attorneys and legal assistants attended an e-filing seminar in March.

The clerk's office also conducted training sessions over a five-week period that attracted more than 500 people.

And by Monday morning, 25 lawyers had already registered for the service.

After about six months, Evans said the circuit will know if the program is working well. Courthouse officials can then discuss expanding the program to other divisions, with the County Division likely being next, Evans said.

''Yes, we start with the Commercial Section of the Law Division, but I want all here to know … that it is my thrust that we can expand this e-filing to the whole system in Cook County, so that there will be savings throughout the system,'' Evans said at the news conference.

County officials chose to start the program with commercial litigators because many of them already use e-filing in federal court, Evans said.

''We thought we'd start there because we thought the comfort level would be there,'' Evans said.

Brown said that the program isn't supported by tax dollars, and the service provider and training company will both be paid through the $4.95 per-case fees.

The e-filing program offers several features that the county won't charge for, including registration; converting documents to portable document formats, or PDFs; attaching an unlimited number of documents to a single filing; serving the opposing party; and viewing, printing or saving documents from the system.

E-filing is not totally new to Illinois, and a similar program is offered in DuPage County. Associate Judge Kenneth A. Abraham of the 18th Judicial Circuit said the system has proven convenient so far.

''I think the rules that were adopted, while not perfect, have provided a good basis for operations,'' Abraham said, saying the system allowed easy preservation of original documents and verification of complaints.

With multiple vendors providing access to the e-filing system in DuPage County, litigants have a variety of options for filing, including the traditional way, Abraham said. He added that there are issues to consider, however — namely whether e-filing should be mandatory and whether there should be a single vendor for quality control purposes.

Cook County's program has just one vendor, and as Cook County rolls out its e-filing system this week, Abraham advised that the county should keep an open mind to what the users have to say about the program.

''Our experience has been that when a court system is open to suggestions and modifications, it provides the best means for public access and the most efficient means to get into the system and get it done,'' Abraham said.

Patrick Yeagle contributed to this report.

Recent Headlines

Cook County forest preserve picnic, camping permits for 2020 season to go on sale Nov. 15
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago’s public defender plans to ask Illinois Supreme Court to reverse decision that permits holding preteens in custody despite county ordinance
Monday, November 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Clerk Yarbrough touts ‘method to her madness,’ says hiring criticism ‘is purely personal’
Saturday, November 09, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Nonprofit hospitals forced to defend hundreds of millions in property tax breaks
Friday, November 08, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

Cook County Land Bank must serve neighborhoods, not City Hall insiders
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

After judge’s dismissal, Skokie appeals federal lawsuit over Evanston water rates
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

2 teens in DCFS care were shackled and handcuffed during drive from a youth shelter: ‘Totally unacceptable,’ agency says
Friday, November 08, 2019
Chicago Tribune

The lifelong damage we do in Cook County when we jail kids as young as 10
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Unfair assessments lawsuit dismissed after assessor makes changes — full reform called a ‘years-long process’
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Editorial: Watch out, Cook County land bank. The public could foreclose — on you.
Thursday, November 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Niles raises property tax about $21 per average household
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Pioneer Press

Nov. 15 is Opening Day for Forest Preserves of Cook County Picnic and Special Event Permit Sales, 2020 Camping Reservations
Wednesday, November 06, 2019
Special to

$8M grant program aims to expand Cook County animal shelter space
Tuesday, November 05, 2019
ABC EyeWitness News

Even as Illinois court permits detaining pre-teens, across U.S. fewer youth being held
Monday, November 04, 2019
Injustice Watch

Cook County OK’d insider deal for Ald. Carrie Austin’s top aide
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A progressive measure intended to keep preteens out of Cook County jails was effectively struck down by an appellate court
Monday, November 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Health CEO Calls on Other Hospitals to Increase Charity Care
Friday, November 01, 2019

Labrador retriever sworn in at Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Yes, really.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County sheriff wants chief judge to take over electronic monitoring of suspects, citing the records of those released
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Illinois appellate court rejects ordinance banning detention of 10-12 year olds
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Injustice Watch

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.