Mandatory E-Filing

E-filing is mandatory July 1, 2018 in all IL state courts. Clerks at the Daley Center will no longer be able to accept in-person filings. Learn how to do it asap.

In addition, the clerk’s current e-filing system is discontinued July 1. If you are using that system, you must register with another Electronic Filing Service Provider (“EFSP”). Click here for a list of service providers and access to a comparison chart. http://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm

CVLS has selected Odyssey eFileIL.

Electronic Filing Service Providers

There are many EFSP’s to choose from. CVLS uses Odyssey eFileIL for Appellate Court filings, and will continue to use it for state trial court eFiling. CVLS has chosen Odyssey eFileIL because it is the only fully free service that charges no service fees for its use. It can be found here https://illinois.tylerhost.net/OfsWeb/ along with their training videos, webinars and user manuals here https://tylertech.egain.cloud/kb/ilh5/home.

Although Odyssey eFileIL lacks features of other EFSP’s, we think that it will accommodate our needs. If you need our help, this is the only EFSP that we plan to use at this time.

Lawyer Registration

You must register with Odyssey eFileIL or another service provider of your choice before you can eFile. This is required of every attorney who files in Cook County.

If you have already registered with a service provider using your own Cook County Law Firm number, you may still use CVLS’ Law Firm Number for CVLS cases. For example, when filing on Odyssey eFileIL, you can insert 91139 the “case cross reference number” field.

Filing Fees & Fee Waivers

Until the kinks are worked out, we believe that you should always include a CLSP form with your filings in order to show the Clerk that your fees should be waived.

To file as a CLSP, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Create a new Payment Account and select “Waiver” as your method of payment. You will be prompted to name the account.
  2. Follow the steps for e-filing a document.
  3. Upload your primary document as the “Lead Document.”
  4. Upload a completed CLSP certificate as an “Attachment” to your filing. Please note, the new e-filing system will not automatically generate the CLSP form. You must fill it out and upload it as separate document with each filing or your filing may be rejected.
  5. Select your named “Waiver” account as the payment method.

As stated above, you must set up a “Waiver” payment account and use it when filing for a CLSP eligible client so that you can get filing fees waived. CVLS cannot reimburse for fees that are eligible to be waived using a CLSP.

If the case is not a CLSP case and client is paying filing fees you may set up and use a “Pay at Counter” payment account and CVLS staff can pay filing fees from the client’s trust account after you eFile.

CVLS cannot reimburse for third party vendor fees, and CLSP certificates do not waive third party efiling vendor fees. Therefore we urge you to use a free e-filing vendor such as Odyssey eFileIL.

Other Electronic Filing Tips

You must enter your Cook County Attorney Code in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field or your filing may be rejected.

If you mark your filing as “confidential,” you will need to include a court order to that effect or your filing may be rejected.

The case management system and the e-filing system are not yet integrated. When filing into an existing case, you may need to input the case information manually until that integration is complete.

Pro Se Good Cause Exemption from eFiling

All pro se litigants at the Daley Center who need e-filing assistance should be directed to LL-12 (Lower Level). The Clerk’s office has established a large e-filing self-help center with many computers and scanners available at no cost. Please be aware that the computers in LL-12 are not currently hooked up to printers and do not have Adobe or Microsoft Office installed. Without that hardware/software, it may be challenging for pro se litigants to create new documents or fill out online forms. To avoid delays, encourage pro se litigants to fill out forms ahead of time and to bring paper copies with them to LL-12 where they can be scanned at no cost. Printers are available for use in the Law Library on the 29th floor for a fee. If you encounter pro se litigants who may struggle to use and access the technology necessary to e-file, consider sharing information about the E-Filing Exemption Certificate.

The Illinois Supreme Court has approved new language clarifying the scope of Rule 9(c)(4) which permits a good cause exemption from e-filing. A self-represented litigant may be exempted from e-filing if he or she falls into one of the following categories:

  • No computer or Internet access in the home and travel presents a hardship (financial or otherwise)
  • Disability (as defined by the ADA) that prevents e-filing
  • Low literacy
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Sensitive filing (e.g. Order of Protection)

A self-represented litigant can claim the exemption by attaching a certificate (signed under penalty of perjury) with the filing. The Access to Justice Commission’s Forms Committee has drafted a Circuit Court Certificate and an Appellate Court Certificate for use by self-represented litigants.

Judges will retain discretion to grant an e-filing waiver sua sponte should they determine good cause exists, even without the filing of a certificate. Judges will also retain discretion to order a litigant begin e-filing at any point should they determine that good cause was not adequately shown.

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts has prepared self-help guides and videos specifically for Odyssey (available here towards the bottom of the page). http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CivilJustice/Resources/Self-Represented_Litigants/self-represented.asp

Illinois Legal Aid Online is also developing self-help materials for e-filers which should be posted to their website shortly.

Other Jurisdictions

eFiling in the Appellate Court is also mandatory. CVLS uses Odessy eFileIL, a free eFiling service. Contact CVLS if you need more information about eFiling for your CVLS case in the Appellate Court.