E-filing tips for internal/agency filers


December, 2019 - Updated e-filing tips for Illinois State's Attorneys, Probation Offices, Court Services, State Agencies, Payroll Providers Submitting Wage Deductions, and Circuit Court clerks


  • Have you had any of your eFileIL envelopes Rejected since summer 2019? You’ll probably find a recommended solution below.

  • If you need to e-file into Illinois court cases, but you aren't an attorney, please read on. (State's Attorneys will also find some helpful e-filing updates below.)

  • Some of these tips are pertinent specifically to the 75+ Circuit Courts in Illinois that use the PC/JIMS case management system with Judici.com web access.

  • Problems addressed in this Support page:

    • My filing was rejected because of added parties.
    • My filing was rejected because of a “Bad attorney bar number”.
    • My filing was rejected because of a document formatting issue.

Background


Until July 1, 2019, the only e-filings being submitted and processed for criminal-related cases was actually the Civil Miscellaneous Remedy (MR) category, covering Probation transfers and several special case types such as search warrants and eavesdropping. After July 1, some courts accepted Criminal and Juvenile filings into existing cases (categories CC, CF, CM, DT, J, JA and JD).


Also until this summer, several Court Services offices and other companies and agencies had been e-filing into Civil cases using Odyssey profiles of type "Attorney", defined with a place-holder Filing Attorney record that had a random value for ARDC/ARN (Illinois attorney bar number) - such as 1234, 123456789, 1111111, and so on. Beginning this summer, the Circuit Courts running the PC/JIMS case management system began rejecting these filings because of the invalid ARDC number. This is because Filing Attorneys are automatically added to the Circuit Clerk’s database, and invalid ARDC records cause other problems.


E-filing for Criminal and Juvenile cases is steadily being phased in since July 1, 2019. Each Illinois Circuit Court has specified its own timeline with Tyler/Odyssey for accepting these filings.


Because eFileIL has been evolving for years, the filing strategies that succeeded in the past may need to be updated. Here are some key points, especially if you are a filer who isn't filing in the capacity as an attorney of record for a party in a case.


Adding Parties -- Solutions to My filing was rejected because of added parties.


  • You do not have to add yourself as a party to the case in order to e-file documents into it. In fact, it's frequently incorrect to add parties, except in Tax cases and some Family or Juvenile cases.

  • State's Attorneys do not have to add the People as a party in a case when they e-file into it, nor when they e-file a new MR case. If you are e-filing a new case, and too many party types are required by the envelope screens, contact your Circuit Clerk. They can request their court's eFileIL interface to be configured to only require the minimum, appropriate parties, based on the case type.

  • Only starting in 2020 will the PC/JIMS courts be accepting valid added parties on Criminal and Juvenile cases.

  • You can always upload and e-file your document into an existing case without defining any new parties.


e-Filing When You Are Not An Attorney -- Solutions to My filing was rejected because of a “Bad attorney bar number”.


  • The former strategy, of registering an Attorney-type profile for doing Odyssey filing, no longer works. If you are a state agency, health organization, payroll provider, Court Services / Probation office, or any other non-attorney entity needing to e-file reports, petitions, citations, orders, or any other documents into cases, switch to one of these techniques:

    • First see if you can submit a valid filing by leaving the "Filing Attorney" field at the bottom of your envelope blank (unselected). You must avoid sending in a "Filing Attorney" value with an invalid ARDC.

    • If this doesn't result in filings that can be accepted, you will have to change your Odyssey profile to type Self-Represented. You might need assistance from Tyler Technologies to re-use your filer email address in a different Odyssey profile type. 

    • NOTE: Tyler Technologies might offer a different solution to accomplish your e-filing tasks.

  • Identifying the Filing Party: When a document is filed on behalf of a specific party, or pertaining to a specific party, you will identify that party at the bottom of your envelope. In Odyssey File & Serve, this field is labeled "Party Responsible for Fees". You select the applicable party from that field, even if no payment is due for the filing.


Document Format Requirements -- Solutions to My filing was rejected because of a document formatting issue.


  • Many attorneys’ offices are still submitting documents with uncommon content formatting, which can appear corrupted once processed by the court. You must generate your documents according to common standards, to be sure they are as simple and portable as possible. Running them through “Print to PDF”, and uploading the simplified PDF file into your e-filing envelope, is the ideal solution.

  • We previously published these tips for making sure your documents survive transmission across multiple systems, without losing complex characteristics.


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