Navigating Illinois eFiling is tricky, as there are many state, county specific rules (such as Cook County special rules) to follow in addition to the guidelines for specific case types. Before diving into specific Illinois rules, we’ve outlined some of the most important aspects of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules regarding eFiling.
“Document” now applies to more than just paperwork. “Document” can mean recordings, photographs, or records, regardless of format. However, documents must be filed in a PDF format that is text searchable.
“Original document” is an electronic document received by the court’s clerk through eFiling.
Hyperlinks to internal sections or external information can be included in the filed paperwork. If you are linking to an external site, it may be best to spell out the link completely (i.e. https://courtfiling.net).
Documents must be 8.5” by 11” in size, with at least 1” margins. The top left margin should have a blank 2” by 2” empty space for the clerk’s use. All documents must be legible and properly uploaded or scanned so that they are in the correct orientation. Body text should be 12 point font or larger, with footnotes being 10 point font or larger.
In trial courts, the maximum single document size must be 25MB or below, while an entire envelope must be 50 MB or below. In appellate courts, the maximum file size is 150MB.
Attorneys must include an email address on filed documents.
“Written” or “in-writing” applies to digital formats. “Signed” or “signature” encompasses electronic signatures. The Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP) username and password constitute as the registered user’s signature. A “/s” should follow any electronic signatures to verify that its purpose as a signature. Since usernames are allowed as signatures, keep this information confidential and private.
To help guarantee legitimacy, electronic signatures are not allowed for documents including the opposing parties’ signatures, is notarized, sworn to, or made under oath. Thus, you must eFile the document as a scanned image with the original signature shown.
Confidential documents must be eFiled, labeled as such, and include the appropriate order certifying their confidential status.
Personal identifying or sensitive information must be redacted before submitting documents.
In line with electronic filing, documents must be served electronically via the eFiling manager or provider, or the email provided by attorneys, unless other approved by the courts.
Documents successfully submitted through eFiling before midnight are considered filed that day. This only applies to the days that the clerk’s office is open, otherwise the filing submittal date will be the next business day.
If your paperwork is rejected and thus a deadline missed, you can ask a court deadline extension if appropriate reasons are met.
Filers must be the filing and court fees at the time of filing (completed through your provider, like CourtFiling.net). However, you may request a court fee waiver under Supreme Court Rule 298.