Mandatory E-Filing

eFiling is mandatory in Cook County state trial courts (e.g. Daley Center) on January 1, 2018. Court clerks will no longer be able to accept in-person filings. Learn how to do it asap.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County has pre-recorded training videos and an End User Guide in .pdf format. Hands-on training is available at the Daley Center in room LL-12. Access is by elevator through the security on the west end of the Daley Center Concourse Level.

In addition, four In Person Training Sessions are available each weekday. Please take advantage of these resources in order to familiarize yourself with eFiling procedures. Information and links to trainings are included at the end of this article.

If, after taking the training, you still have questions, contact CVLS staff for help. While we can also help you scan and prepare documents, many standard court forms are available in fillable .pdf format on the Clerk’s website.

Good Cause Exemption from eFiling

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.

Lawyer Registration

You must register and get your own user name before you can eFile. This is required of every attorney who files in Cook County. Register at https://efile.cookcountyuscourts.com

If you have already registered using your own Cook County Law Firm number, you may add CVLS’ Law Firm Number to your registration to use for CVLS cases. When logged in to the Clerk’s eFiling site, you can add additional firm numbers in the “update account” link in the “My Account” drop down list.

Filing Fees & Fee Waivers

Use a CLSP whenever you eFile in a CVLS case in order to waive normal filing fees AND the cost of eFiling. The eFiling system charges a $3.95 “convenience fee” on ALL eFiled documents, including no-fee filings. Every single motion and pleading, including additional appearances and GAL reports will be assessed a $3.95 convenience fee UNLESS you use a CLSP form to file.

However, this means that you must use CVLS’ Cook County Law Firm number (91139) for all of CVLS cases. The CLSP option is not available if you use your own Cook County Law Firm number so you will be charged fees that are otherwise waived. However, cases filed using CVLS’ law firm number get CLSP forms automatically generated as an eFiling payment option.

CVLS cannot reimburse for fees that are eligible to be waived using a CLSP.

If you have a pending CVLS case filed under your own law firm number, email Peter at pashmore@cvls.org asap.

Electronic Filing Service Providers (EFSP'S)

CVLS currently uses Odyssey eFileIL for Appellate Court filings, and we will continue to use this EFSP when they are cleared for state trial court eFiling. This free service can be found here along with their training videos, webinars and user manuals.

Odyssey eFileIL lacks many of the features of other EFSP’s, but 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.

Until Odyssey eFileIL is up and running for state court filings, you must use the Cook County Clerk’s own eFile system. The Clerk has developed recorded training videos here

You can also download the Clerk’s End User Guide in .pdf format here

Eventually, Odyssey eFileIL will replace the Clerk’s current system.

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.

eFiling Training

Odyssey eFileIL

  • FAQ’s, webinars, training videos and user manual Click Here

Cook County Clerk eFiling System