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Electronic Filing on its Way to Chicago Courts!
On April 1, 2013 the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County signed General Administrative Order No. 2013-02 (“Order”), the first step in allowing for the electronic filing (“e-filing”) of certain court documents. As soon as it is practicable, the Clerk’s Office is to make e-filing available in the following divisions of the Law Division: Chancery, Civil, Domestic Relations/Child Support, County, and Probate. The authorization to accept e-filing in these areas shall be pursuant to further order.
While entry of this Order is a great first step, some documents and/or exhibits will be excluded from e-filing, which means they must still be filed conventionally.
Certain case types will also be excluded from e-filing. Cases that are to be excluded are as follows: (1) adoption, (2) emancipation of a minor, (3) eminent domain, (4) fictitious vital records, (5) all juvenile court cases, (6) all mental health cases, (7) ordinance violations, (8) proceedings pursuant to the Illinois Sexually Transmissible Disease Control Act, (9) petition for judicial waiver of notice under the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 and (10) any other type of case required to be impounded or sealed by law, rule or order.
Further, the Order allowing e-filing delineates the procedures for filing, and addresses what will happen if a system or filer error occurs. The Order requires that all e-filing must be registered on the Clerk’s Office website. It sets forth that, documents received by the Clerk’s Office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., excluding court holidays, shall be deemed filed that day. Documents filed from midnight to 8:29 a.m., on weekends or court holidays shall be deemed filed at 8:30 a.m. the next court business day. Furthermore, the e-filing of a document will not alter any applicable filing deadlines, though it obviously extends the “end of day” from 4:30 p.m. to midnight, unless directed by a court order to file something by time certain or by the close of business.
1Documents to be specifically excluded from e-filing: (1) documents containing confidential information as specified in Ill. S. Ct. R. 15 (all documents containing social security numbers must have the social security number redacted), (2) documents containing the identity of individuals contained in reports made pursuant to the Communicable Disease Report Act 745 ILCS 45/1 (any individual who makes a report or who is named in a report involving an injury, or disease shall be kept confidential), (3) reports relating to an individual’s disability pursuant to the Illinois Income Tax Act (35 ILCS 5/917(a)(ii)) which states documents filed for tax purposes will be kept confidential, however documents filed by an attorney on behalf of a tax payer for an appeal or protest will not be kept confidential, (4) confessions of judgment, (5) documents required by law, rule, or order to be filed and maintained in their original form, (6) exhibits that don’t conform with the size requirements, (7) petition for marriage license by an underage petitioner, (8) petition for an order of protection, (9) “No Contact Orders”, (10) registrations of Illinois court judgments, (11) registrations of administrative judgments, and (12) all documents to be filed in cases previously impounded or sealed by law, rule or order.