The following frequently asked questions attempt to provide some clarification regarding policy, procedures, and rules for e-filing in the Cook County Circuit Court. Please check back often for updates.
Electronic filing of court documents occurs through an electronic filing service provider (EFSP). The user creates an account and the efiling system manages the flow of the documents and fees to and from the court. The filer will submit the documents, the court will accept or reject the documents, and the documents are returned to the filer through the electronic filing portal.
Self-represented litigants are not mandated to electronically file documents; however, they may choose to do so if desired.
Yes, you can submit filings through an electronic filing service provider (EFSP). You will be using the internet to select the EFSP and submit your documents for filing. You will upload the document as an attachment. For instructions, refer to your EFSP’s website.
Please check with the electronic filing service provider (EFSP) of your choosing for specific information regarding payment types. Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.
Turnaround time will depend on type of document filed; however, typically an electronically filed document will be processed by the court within 24 hours. Proposed orders, writs, abstracts, and other documents requiring further action by the court will not take 24 hours to process.
A transaction is the filing of a document, or group of documents, in one single submission through the electronic filing system.
An envelope contains a document or group of documents for a single file code for a single case number, or a group of documents for multiple filing codes, that will be processed in one transaction for one single case number.
Your electronically filed document will be rejected and returned to you through the Efiling system for correction and resubmission with the proper filing location indicated.
Typical reasons that your filing would be rejected by the court are as follows:
- Multiple filing documents are submitted as a single filing code (for example, the cover sheet should be a separate pdf)
- Incorrect filing code is selected
- Incorrect court location selected
- Incorrect case type selected
- Incorrect payment account option selected (i.e., fee waiver)
- Party’s name does not match the party’s name listed on the document for initial documents
- Party’s address does match the party’s address listed on the document for initial documents
- Missing required documents
The e-filing system does not generate a notice of motion with a date and time. In Cook County, functionality is being added and launched on April 1 to allow the filer to request and schedule hearing dates. Upon submitting a filing, this request may be made, or later after submitting a filing that is still Pending with the court the filer could make this request.
That said, a new feature has been added and will be launched April 1 that is expected to be utilized in Cook County. This feature allows the court to generate an electronic notification to the e-filing service provider when a hearing date is scheduled. That service provider may then notify any interested parties by email or otherwise.
Service of discovery documents can be done the way you’ve always done it, by traditional means, or you can use the “Serve-Only” feature of the e-filing system to electronically serve documents, and track whether they’ve been opened or not.
Yes, Serve-Only is a feature of Green Filing.
For service of discovery, I am uncertain of the requirements for signatures. I will look into this and let you know what I find.
For e-filing, electronic signatures are ok may be simply typed on the signature link as /s/ followed by the attorneys name (i.e. /s/ Ben Matlock).
When e-filing, you are required to select a “security” for each document filed. Options typically include Confidential or Non-Confidential.
Depending on the county, different rules may be in place for e-filing on cases that are completely sealed. Typically, e-filing is not allowed on sealed cases.
An e-check is short for “electronic check”, also referred to as an ACH transaction. Anyone may create an e-check payment method. E-Checks are created by inputting your bank account information, including account type, account number, and routing number for use as a payment option when filing. The Court will then automatically withdraw any filing fees from that account upon acceptance of your filing. There is a $0.25 cent processing fee added to your total filing fee when e-check is used as your payment method.
You may also pay filing fees with the user of a credit card. If a credit card is used, the court assesses a processing fee of approximately 3% of your total filing fee. Depending on the filing fees due, it can be much cheaper to pay filing fees with an e-check.
The e-filing system does not automatically generate any notices, other than “Electronic Service Notifications” when service contacts are added to a filing, and e-service is requested. Otherwise, any business practice related to generating notices, proofs of service, etc… remain as it always has.
We are not 100% certain on whether “spindling” will still be required on motions when e-filing occurs through the eFileIL system. Some policies and procedures that will be adopted by the Cook County court have not yet been shared with the e-filing service providers.
I can share, that a feature is being added and will be launched on April 1 to allow filers to identify a “Return Date” for new pleadings filed.
Yes, you may submit a summons with a new case filing. Upon the clerks review and acceptance they can sign and issue the summons. You will receive it back via email. Summonses may also be submitted in a separate filing submission once a case is already established.
During the process of any filing, there is a field called “Optional Services” that allows the filer to select any of the additional services a particular county may offer. It is expected that Cook will continue to offer service by Sheriff and that may be selected as an optional service during the filing process. The availability of optional services can vary by county and court.
If the option to have the Sheriff serve your summons is not available, then upon receiving your accepted filings and signed summons, you can print your documents and provide to a private process server.
There is no difference. Green Filing is a web-based application. All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection and the site is fully functional on either a Apple / Mac or PC.
Yes, Green Filing is fully responsive. This means it automatically adjusts it’s layout based on the type of device you are using (desktop, mobile or tablet) for an optimized screen display, and is fully functional on all devices.
Depending on the court, it can take as little as a minute, to a few hours, to a full business day. If it is taking longer than that, the court may be having a backlog they are working through. If you are concerned about the status, the best thing to do is contact the court directly and provide them the envelope number on your filing.
The intent of the court is to record the party’s actual address, or the address associated with the party as identified in your pleading. As the filing attorney, it is up to you what address you’d like to provide the court. If you don’t know the address, then you should select the “Address Unknown” checkbox for that party.
This will depend on the e-filing service provider you choose. For the user of our site, the features it provides, the the 24/7 support that is available, Green Filing charges $1 per filing submission even on filings where not court filing fees are due.
This will depend on the court or county. Some court’s have gone completely paperless, while others still print e-filed documents and keep paper case files. The expectation over time is that all courts will be completely paperless and only view documents on their computers.
The payment gateway that stores your credit card or e-check information is provided by the Court’s vendor, Tyler Technologies and is known as the Tyler Online Payment Gateway (TOGA). This platform is meets industry standards for PCI compliance and is considered to be very secure.
Yes. Per the Supreme Court Order all cases currently e-filed under the current Cook County e-filing platform must be moved to the eFileIL system, and the existing platform will no longer be used.
No. All you need is a computer, a web browsers (i.e. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari), and an internet connection.
We do recommend investing in Adobe Acrobat Pro to allow you to easily manipulate PDF documents, and purchasing a high quality scanner for situations where you need to scan documents in order to file them (i.e. exhibits).
Any emails from the e-filing service provider, or the eFileIL system (e.g. the Court), containing a summary of your filing and an envelope number would be valid proof that you had submitted a filing. As long as you can produce an envelope number, the system can also be used to find that filing and review a history of the filing, providing for further proof.
By using the “serve only” feature, you allow the e-filing system to generate the Notification of Service emails which are tracked. We can tell whether or not an email has been sent and received, and whether or not a document has been opened. Use the serve only feature allows you to login to the system and check on the status of your service at any time.
Typically, no. E-Filing implementations automatically distribute documents on the court’s end to the assigned division, courtroom or Judge. In some situation, the Judge may require you to submit a courtesy copy at his or her direction.
Cook County will be sending electronic notifications regarding hearing dates to the filing party that requested the hearing date. At this time, we are uncertain if they will also send to all the counsel on the case. At Green Filing, we intend to notify all the service contacts on a case of a schedule hearing date anytime we receive a notification as such on a case.
The Filing ID is Green Filing’s own internal ID for a filing. The Envelope number is the Court unique identifier of a filing. If your filing has an Envelope number assigned, you know the court has your filing. If you need to contact the court regarding the status of a filing, it is best to provide them the envelope number. If you contact Green Filing regarding a filing, you can provide either the Filing ID or the Envelope number and we are able to locate your filing quickly.
If your filing requires service of process, or personal service, then use traditional means of service should be used and paper copies provider to opposing counsel. If however, standard secondary service is all that is needed, then electronic service or “e-service” suffices.
Yes, the initiating document and fee waiver application will be processed together.
Yes, the system will allow the option to send a confirmation email to another email address other than what is indicated in your registered account. The confirmation email is not considered electronic service of the document.
No, at this time the court will not electronically serve other parties on behalf of another party. Contact your EFSP for options.
Yes, electronic filing service providers (EFSP’s) offer this service for a fee. Refer to the specific electronic filing service provider’s website to determine which service best fits your business need.
Yes, the Trial Court Records Manual recommends 300 DPI resolution. DPI refers to the output resolution of the scanner when a document is scanned. The DPI only factors in if you are scanning and attaching a document. If you start your document in a word processing application and convert it to pdf, text searchable format will be preserved.
Retention of original signed documents shall be done by the filing attorney. For documents efiled with court, the filing party may use /s/ followed by the name of the individual on the signature line of a document.
No, documents should not be password protected and will be rejected if the content cannot be viewed.
Yes, forms completed using third party software can be efiled as an uploaded pdf. When it is reasonable to submit a document that is text searchable, you should.
The filer may not establish a document’s security level. The document security level is established by the court.
Submit your proposed order in PDF version. Only orders after hearing may be submitted, except for a ex parte proposed orders.
Yes, attachments to a proposed order may be scanned for concurrent review with a proposed order. Each document to be “Filed” as part of the court record shall be efiled as a separate document.