E-filing User Guide

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Available at subscribersupport.judici.com/300




If you want info about online case file access (Courtlook Docs), see Getting started with Courtlook and Courtlook User Guide

Index to the most frequently asked questions and issues

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Support resources

How to do different kinds of filings

Where noted, these processes may be different for users signed up for our Courtlook service.

Filing a new case

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Filing an entry of appearance or answer in a case

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Adding a counterclaimant or third party litigant to a case

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Doing simple filing such as motions

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Courtlook users can just go to the My Cases page and using the New Filing button on the case.

Any user can:

Filing on a closed case

Search for the case, then select a litigant.  At that point, the filing process is the same as indicated elsewhere in this guide.  Courtlook subscribers cannot file from the My Cases page, because closed cases aren't shown there (because the list would get too long),

Filing proposed orders

Remember that local rules require that your PDF is made in a way which lets someone copy and paste from it. 


Troubleshooting



What happens after you e-file something?

Court review of filings

What happens to served filings if the court later rejects the filing?

  • The filer will get an e-mail (see E-mail notifications).
  • The Filings and Filing pages on Judici will indicate the rejection.
  • No one will ever see a file stamped copy (remember that while the file stamp indicates the time the filing was submitted, the file stamp doesn't actually show until the filing is approved.

Determining the status of filings and getting a file stamped copy

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E-mail notifications

Judici will send the filer e-mails at key points in the e-filing process, such as:

  • When the filing is complete
  • When the filing is approved/rejected by the court

Such e-mails are sent to the e-mail address associated with your Judici account.  They are sent from noreply@judici.com, so you should make sure that your e-mail tool won't treat them as junk mail.  

To send e-mail notifications to an additional e-mail address

If you want to ensure that such e-mails are cc'd to one or more other individuals in your organization, such as an administrative assistant or legal secretary, you can use your e-mail tool to forward e-mail arriving from noreply@judici.com to one or more addresses.  The steps for doing this vary- check with your I.T. staff or do a web search on how to forward mail in your e-mail tool, based on incoming address.

Checking filing status

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The Filing Status shown on the My: Filings page will indicate whether a filing has been accepted, rejected or is still pending. 

Note: A Filing Status of "Accepted" on a proposed order filing means only that the court is in receipt of the filing.  It does not mean that the judge signed and filed the order.

If you click on a filing, you'll be taken to the E-Filing page, where you can:


Background

Who can e-file?

Only an attorney of record on the case can e-file

If an e-filer's attorney registration number is listed on a case in the court's case management system, they can e-file on that case. To see what attorneys are on the case, click on any case number in Judici and you'll be taken to the Information page which indicates all counsel.

Filing on a case being handled by another attorney in your firm

In accordance with the Illinois Supreme Court’s e-filing standards, an attorney shall not file a document on behalf of another attorney, even co-counsel.  If the original entry of appearance indicated additional attorneys who might appear or file, and the court assigned all of them to the case in its case management system the additional attorneys will be able to e-file on the case.  If the Information page (see above) doesn't indicate all of the attorneys on the original entry of appearance, check local rules regarding e-filing as to whether the court requires a formal entry of appearance, or whether attorneys can be added to a case by e-mail or phone.

What file format does e-filing require?

State standards require that all documents to be e-filed must be in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) format.  This probably has to do with better resistance to computer viruses.

If you have any image files, such as for photographic evidence, the best thing to do is put them into a word processing file and then turn that into a pdf.  This will allow you to add comments such as "Requested Exhibit 1- Defective Valve".  It will also let you print everything out for people who require paper service.

How to make PDF files


Most word processors can produce pdf files directly
Other options for making PDF files
  • The Print to PDF option in software from Adobe will allow any of your programs to output a PDF file.  Adobe’s software isn’t free, but a  Google search on free “print to pdf” tools will reveal numerous free tools for doing the same thing.
  • Don’t want to have to convert one document at a time?  There are various tools for converting multiple files in a batch.  Again, Adobe’s tool (in recent versions of its software) in not free.
  • Don’t want to install software on your computer?  Try a free online PDF converter
  • Google Docs, which comes free with any Gmail account, is a fairly robust online word processor which produces a PDF whenever you print anything.
  • If none of those options appeal to you, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PDF_software for a comprehesive and more current list of tools for creating pdf files.


Note: Judici provides this information as a convenience to our users.  But due to the wide variety of available tools for making PDF files, and issues which can arise due to the configuration of the user’s computer, Judici cannot provide support to users of these tools and does not warrant their effectiveness or security.

How to sign an electronic filing

Because e-filing requires the filer's password, most local rules allow filer signatures to be typographical- /s/ followed by your name (e.g., “/s/ Perry R. Mason”). Documents requiring other signatures (such as for litigants) must be signed in the traditional way, then get scanned for e-filing.

File stamp timing and filing deadlines

  • Only the lead document gets file stamped.
  • For civil e-filings from Judici, the file stamp will indicate the date and time when the filing was uploaded by the filer.  So filings received by midnight on a court business day are considered filed that day and do not depend on the date in which the court processes the filing.

Electronic service

How and when does e-service happen?

During the filing of the document, the filer is informed of which case counsel will get electronic service, and which should be served in the traditional manner. Upon completion of the filing, registered counsel are sent an e-mail containing a link to the filing, The link will allow access to the document immediately (even outside court operating hours), though it will not be file stamped until the court approves it.Who gets e-service?

Once an attorney fills out an E-Business Registration form (see Getting started with Judici E-filing), they will receive e-service of all documents filed electronically on their cases.  Traditional service of filings, and proof thereof, is still required for all individuals who don't get e-service.

Does e-service cost anything?

You do need a Judici account, but it doesn't cost anything unless you opt to add a subscription service or to e-file in a court which doesn't offer e-filing for free.

Does e-service mean that filers don't have to provide proof of service?

In order to ensure that there is complete "information trail" in the case file, proof of service is still required for all filed documents, whether served by electronic or traditional means.


Common steps in e-filing

Selecting a filing type

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For a given case type and subtype, the filing type essentially determines the filing fee.  So when there aren't any filing fees, the filing type can be "Other".

Each court decides what filing types to offer.  So if something is missing, please contact the court.  Together with case type and subtype, filing types determine what filing fees (if any) apply to the filing.  So if you assign the wrong filing type, the filing will likely get rejected.

Adding litigants

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To ensure that the filing is complete, Judici checks to make sure that filings have a minimum number of litigants of different litigant types (often one plaintiff and one defendant).

Any punctuation in the litigant info will be removed before submission to the court.

Providing info on the relevant hearing

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Hearing info is optional.  Most courts won't accept it unless it is is for a date and time which have been coordinated with all case parties and the judge.  Check local court rules to see what your court expects.  

Requesting that filling fees be waived or changed

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If a filer believes that the amount shown is incorrect or should be waived, they should check the box indicating this.  They should also add  a message with a supporting comment, such as:

  • Required filing fee on the site is wrong for a counterclaim on an LM case
  • Filing includes a certification of indigence
  • Entry of Appearance filed prior to this answer 

No filing fees will then be collected at that time, and the E-Filing page for the filing will reflect a payment status indicating that the payment amount is being verified. 

When court staff review the filing, they can waive the fee by simply approving the filing.  They can can also adjust the amount (or restore the original fee amount) and reject the filing to return it to the filer.  At that point, the E-Filing page will offer the option to make payment.  Once payment is has been submitted, the payment status will be updated and the filing can again be reviewed by the court.

Uploading documents

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At a minimum, each filing must have a lead document.  The filer can always provide the document title of their choice, even if a court provides a default title.  A more specific title is usually better- it won't be easy to find the right filing on your Filings page, or the right document in Courtlook Docs, if you title every motion as "Motion".

The lead document can contain the entire filing, or you can upload supporting documents separately.  The only time you have to put something in a supporting document is when it will eventually get filed and file stamped itself (as with a summons or a proposed order), or if it needs to be routed to a judge for review, as with a petition to file as an indigent person.  

Sealing documents

The Illinois Supreme Court, judicial circuits and local courts all have policies governing the segregation of sensitive private information such as Social Security Numbers into a separate document in the filing.  These rules apply to both  paper and electronic filings.  See local court rules for more on this.

Paying filing fees

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If the court has a filing fee associated with the filing, it will be indicated on the Create Filing page as soon as the filing type is specified.  These amounts are specific to each court. 

Payment can be made using a pre-paid "pay-down" account created with the court.  It can also be done via credit card- service fees apply, see http://www.judici.com/epay/feeschedule.jsp for more. 

Using a pay-down account

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A pay-down account is a pre-paid account which can be drawn down as filing fees are incurred.  Many filers will prefer this option, because it avoids the  service fees which are charged when payment is made by credit card. 

Each court decides whether or not to support pay-down accounts.  Check with the court, or their local rules, for more on allowable forms of payment.

After payment, a receipt will be e-mailed to you.

Setting up a pay-down account

This can be done at the court, and involves establishment of a non-standard payment which is then associated with one or more attorneys (so the attorneys in a firm can share one account if desired).

Knowing the balance on your pay-down account

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Judici's payment page won't let you use your pay-down account if it has insufficient funds to cover the filing fees.  But you can check your balance any time on your account status page, available by clicking My: Account, then the Attorney Status tab.  But please note that the filing fees aren't deducted from your balance until a filing is accepted by the court., so your balance will not reflect pending filings.  This shouldn't be a common issue, since most Clerk staff will be reviewing filings multiple times in each business day.

Using a credit card

If you don't have a pay-down account, or it has insufficient funds to cover the filing fees, you can pay with a credit card.  Debit cards with a credit card brand logo on them can be used, but as with most e-commerce sites, Judici runs such transactions as credit card charges rather than asking users for their PIN number and performing a direct debit of a bank account. 

A service fee, clearly indicated to you in advance, will be charged for all such payments. 

Search for a case

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  • Anyone set up for e-filing can use the regular free public access search (available at www.judici.com)  to do a name or case number search.