Cook county online filing

Cook county online filing DEFAULT

Sheriff’s Office Launches E-File Service for Civil Process Requests

Individuals requesting the Cook County Sheriff’s Office serve civil court documents have a new, convenient way to do so.

The Sheriff’s Office E-filing Portal allows members of the public to request service for documents, such as summons and subpoenas, upload documents for each case in which service is requested, and pay Sheriff’s Office service fees from any computer with an Internet connection. The portal may be found on the Sheriff’s website here.

The E-File portal creates a more efficient way to submit requests for service, saving requestors from having to deliver paperwork to the Sheriff’s Office in person or by mail. Last year, the Sheriff’s Office received approximately , filings that would have been eligible to be filed via the Sheriff’s E-File portal.

The public may continue to file their requests for service in person at any Cook County Sheriff’s Office civil process location or by mailing their papers and payment to the Sheriff’s Office’s Daley Center civil process office.

Enforcement orders, such as orders of protection, eviction orders and body attachment orders, are not eligible to be filed through the online portal at this time.

Users are reminded that they must file the paperwork for cases heard in Cook County with the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court before they are filed with the Sheriff’s Office for service. If the case is being heard in a jurisdiction other than Cook County, the papers must be filed with court clerk’s office in the jurisdiction in which the case will be heard before filing a service request.

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Do you have an email address?

  • Yes - Good, you'll use it to learn if the circuit clerk accepted your filing. The clerk may also email you about other filings in your case.
  • No - You need to create an email account. There are a lot of free e-mail providers. See how to create an email.

Do you have a credit card or e-check through a bank?

  • Yes - Good, you need to add a payment method when you create your account.
  • No – In Cook County, you can only pay with a credit/debit card or an e-check. You can buy a pre-paid debit card at most convenience or grocery stores. Please keep in mind that a % fee is added on top of the court filing fees for any credit or debit card payments.

Do you want to apply for a fee waiver? 

  • Yes - You can still e-file your paperwork while you are waiting for a decision on your fee waiver application, but you will need to follow a few extra steps. In Cook County, the court requires an in-person hearing before a judge can decide whether to grant your application. See Applying for a Fee Waiver - Cook County. 
  • No - While it is free to use Odyssey File & Serve, you may need to pay court fees for the papers you file in a court case. These fees depend on the type of case you have. You can see a list of Cook County court fees here. If you use a different e-filing service, you may have to pay additional fees. 

Do you have each of your papers saved as a PDF?

  • Yes - Great, e-filing requires that each document is in PDF format.
  • No - You need to upload each document one at a time in PDF format. To create documents as PDFs use an online tool like this one or select "Save as PDF" as your printer on a computer. If you filled in your forms by hand, you will need to scan and save them as a PDF to a computer. If you do not have a scanner at home, you can go to the courthouse to use a scanner for free, or you can download a scanner app on your phone like CamScanner.

What do “Confidential” and “Non-Confidential” mean?

Most cases are “Non-Confidential” Do not select “Confidential” unless you have a court order or rule to file with your document proving that it is confidential. If you are not sure if your case is a “Confidential” one, you should choose “Non-Confidential.” The Clerk may dismiss your case if you file it as “Confidential” without the required paperwork.

Do you know which Cook County District you are filing in?

  • Yes - Great, you need that information to make sure your case is heard at the correct courthouse.
  • No - The Circuit Court of Cook County is divided into six districts, each with their own courthouse. If you don’t know your courthouse, you can look it up here. The courthouses are located in Chicago (District 1), Skokie (District 2), Rolling Meadows (District 3), Maywood (District 4), Bridgeview (District 5), and Markham (District 6). If you are not sure which District your town is located in, you can look it up on the Circuit Court’s website.

For Plaintiffs filing a new case, do you know your case category and case type?

  • Yes - Great, you need that information to make sure a judge hears your case in the correct division.
  • No – You need to find that information to e-file. It’s critical you choose the correct case category and type, or the court may dismiss your filing. For a list of common legal problems and their case categories, please click here. If you still aren’t sure, call the Clerk’s office at () HELP () or go to the courthouse for help. 

For Defendants responding to an existing case, do you have a case number?

  • Yes - Great, you need the case number to file your court papers.
  • No - Look at your court papers. The case number should be in the top right corner of the first document filed in this case (usually called a complaint, a request or a petition). If you do not have this information, you can search for it on the Cook County Circuit Clerk’s website here.

More resources

  • Need technical support with the e-filing service provider? Call the Odyssey File & Serve Hotline at ()
  • Need help looking up legal information like your case number and division? Call the Circuit Clerk of Cook County at () HELP (), email [email protected]
  • Need help in-person or free access to computers and scanners? Go to the E-filing Self-Help Center at the Daley Center, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL , Lower Level, Hours: Monday-Friday am – pm. In the suburbs? Go to the Clerk’s office in any suburban district court for help.
  • If you can’t e-file, you can apply for an e-filing exemption due to hardship or disability
  • Visit the Illinois Supreme Court e-filing self-help resource page for instructional videos and detailed guides about using Odyssey File & Serve.
  • Search for a sign- or spoken-language interpreter in the Language Interpreter Registry. Foreign language interpreters and sign language interpreters are available for a felony, misdemeanor, and traffic cases.  Spanish and Polish interpreters are in the building on a daily basis. Other interpreters may be requested through a judicial court order.  
  • Locate a Legal Self Help Center near you that may provide access to computers and scanners free of charge 
  • Need live help e-filing? Please visit Illinois Court Help. 
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