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Special Instructions from the Circuit Court of Cook County

Special Instructions for eFiling in Cook County


Urgent Information


1.      When eFiling a new case or subsequent filings, Cook County attorneys must input a Cook County Attorney Code Number in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field in Section 2 on the initial screen. Select “Cook County Attorney Code” in the drop down, click “Add Case Cross Reference Number” and then click “Save changes.”  Failure to add your Cook County Attorney Code Number in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field will cause your filings to be rejected.


·      New attorneys must obtain a Cook County Attorney Number prior to eFiling in Cook County.  The form is available on our website at, or in the Law Division, Room 801, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago.


2.      For Domestic Relations Division cases, Probate Division cases, Chancery Division cases and for Law Division cases only if you need to file on Calendar 5 and M1, the “Case Cross Reference Number” field is used to enter your Cook County Attorney Code Number and in addition, the “Case Cross Reference Number” field is also used to schedule Motions.  To schedule a motion for Domestic Relations, Probate and Chancery type the word “Motion” in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field and then select the type of motion you are filing from the drop down, click “Add Case Cross Reference,” click “Save changes.”  Motion dates cannot be scheduled unless these steps are taken.

3.      Filings will be rejected for the following reasons: they are filed without payment of the fees required by statute; the filing does not comply with the requirements set forth in GAO No. 2014-03 (effective July 1, 2018) for filing multiple documents in the same submission; the filing does not comply with the requirements in GAO No. 2014 -03 for electronic file formats; are illegible pursuant to Ill.S.Ct.R. 131 (effective January 1, 2016); are filed in the incorrect Division; are marked confidential without submission of a separate order permitting the document to be filed confidentially; the Cook County


Attorney Code Number was not entered in the “Case Cross Reference              Number” field; a return date is required and no return date was selected; are  submitted as an initial filing but is a subsequent filing; and, are filed as a new case but the new case type “Filing Code” was not selected from the available options in the “Filing Codes” field.


4.    Multiple documents with the same case number may be filed in the same transaction, however each document requires a separate activity code and must be a separate PDF.



Waiving Court Fees


5.      If a “Waiver” payment type is chosen:  Self-Represented litigants must upload either an ‘Application for Waiver of Court Fees’ form or a copy of the order allowing the fees to be waived; Civil Legal Service Providers must upload a completed CLSP form; government agencies must upload a completed Fee Exempt Reduced Fee Agency Cover Sheet. Forms are available on the Clerk’s Office efile portal at Filings that omit completed fee waiver forms where a “Waiver” payment type is chosen, will be rejected.

6.    Government filers who have approved Intergovernmental Billing Agreements must choose “Gov’t Billing” as the payment type and must upload a copy of their approved Intergovernmental Billing Agreement with filings that require filing fees.  Do not choose “Waiver” as the payment type.  To set up a billing arrangement call the Clerk’s Office’s Accounting Department at 312.603.5035.


Initiating a New Case


7.      When eFiling, the first dropdown the eFiler sees is the location. The location drop down will list each district and the location of each district (i.e.  Cook County – Civil – District 2 – Skokie. If you do not know the correct district to file in please visit our website, for village and municipal boundaries for each of the courthouse locations. 

8.    All new cases must also upload a completed Cover Sheet for the Division where the case will be heard.

9.      For Civil cases, the amount claimed or the “Ad Damnum” amount must be entered in the Fees Section in order to get the appropriate filing fee.  If the Ad Damnum is not entered correctly and the wrong fee is paid, the filing will be rejected.

10.  For Mortgage Foreclosure cases, after you select the filing type and you have uploaded your documents, “Add Optional Services and Fees” must be selected in order to select the appropriate tier for the Mortgage Foreclosure case. Selecting the appropriate tier must be completed prior to proceeding.  If the wrong tier is selected and the wrong fee is paid, the filing will be rejected.

11.    When filing Foreign Judgments, Counterclaims, Administrative Review cases and for Civil Division cases when there is more than one (1) defendant the filer must click on the “Optional Services” so the correct mailing fees can be paid.

12.  When filing a Name Change case, enter the current name as the Plaintiff’s name and the new name being requested as the Defendant’s name.


Filing Into an Existing Case


13.    When eFiling subsequent filings, the case number must be entered as follows: a four (4) digit century, upper case letter(s) for the division designation (except for Civil Municipal Division cases in districts 1-6 where there is no letter designation at all), followed by six (6) numbers if the letter designation is one (1) letter like this: 2018L000818. For cases that have two (2) letter division designations such as Chancery (CH) and Orders of Protection (OP) the division designation is followed by five (5) numbers like this 2018CH01247. Law Division and Domestic Relations cases in Suburban Districts 2-6 case numbers have the Suburban District’s number following the division designation like this: 2018D400012. If you do not know your case number or need assistance finding your case number please visit our website,

14.  When filing an Appearance, the “Return Date Not Applicable” must be checked.  This does not pertain to the return date already issued on the summons.  The system will then generate the status date.



Selecting a Court Date

15.  A return date from the pop-up calendar must be chosen when the case requires a “Return Date’’ (A return date is required if a summons is being issued.)  If a

court date is required on the filing as well, the system will generate the court date after the filing is accepted. If you are not sure if a return date is required, click “Validate” and if a return date is required the system will provide you

with the first available return date, and if a return date is not required the system will place a check in the “Return Date Not Applicable” box.

16.  In the Civil Division and Law Division, the hearing box may display dates when filing into an existing case.  DO NOT choose a hearing Date unless the filing requires it. If you have questions whether a hearing date is required call the Division or Suburban District where the case is being heard. Contact information is available on the Clerk’s Office’s website

17.  To get a court date for post judgment cases in Civil Municipal Districts 1-6 you must select  “Return Date” to get a court date.

General Information

18.  eFilers must clear their internet browser’s cache/cookies/browsing history prior to eFiling.  Failure to do so may prohibit your documents from being filed properly.

19.  Changes made in each section of the eFile application must be saved prior to proceeding to the following section.  For multiple filings, changes must be saved after each filing is added prior to clicking ‘Add Another Filing’.

20.  The information that will show on the electronic docket regarding which party filed a document comes from the “Fees Section” field labeled “Party Responsible for the Fees,” therefore, if you are filing you must select yourself as the “Party Responsible for the Fees.” 

21.  Each time a document is uploaded you need to select whether the document is “Confidential” or “Non-Confidential.”  If you select Confidential you must also upload a copy of an order allowing the document to be filed confidentially. If you do not have an order allowing the document to be filed confidentially, you must select Non-confidential. If Confidential is selected, and the court order is not included, the filing will be rejected. Documents that

may be filed confidentially pursuant to rule or statute are exempt from this requirement, such as Notices of Confidential Information Within Court Filing.


Self-Represented Litigant Information


  22. When eFiling a new case or subsequent filings, self-represented litigants must          

  type this number “99500” in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field in   

        Section 2 on the initial screen. Select “Cook County Attorney Code” in the

        drop down, click “Add Case Cross Reference Number” and then click “Save

        Changes”. Failure to type 99500 in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field

        will cause your filings to be rejected.


  23. When filing a new case you need to upload a completed “Summons” for every   

        defendant on the case. Once your new case is accepted you need to print out

        each “Summons” and copies of the FILED stamped documents that are

        returned from the Clerk’s Office for each defendant. Then, take the documents

        to the Sheriff’s Office location where your case is being heard so the Sheriff can

        serve the Summonses on each defendant. Note, the Sheriff’s Office charges a fee

        for service of each Summons.


24.   If you are filing a “Small Claims” case in the Civil Municipal 

       Divisions/Districts 1 – 6 you have the option of choosing the Sheriff’s office

       to personally serve each defendant on your case, or you can choose to serve each

        defendant on the case using certified mail. A “Small Claims” case is where the

       amount in controversy is $10,000.00 or less. If you choose to use the Sheriff’s

       office for service, follow the instructions in #23. If you choose to use certified 

       mail service follow these instructions. After you upload your “Lead Document”

        click “Add Optional Services and Fees” and select “Certified Mail” in the

       “Enter a Quantity” box, then select the number of defendants that are on your

        case in order to pay the correct fee.





Attorney Information


  25. The system only allows an attorney to select one litigant to represent per case; not 

        multiple litigants. However, if you represent more than one litigant in a case make 

        sure that the documents that are submitted properly reflect all the litigants you are



















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