Other jurisdictions have been e-filing for years, and it has finally come to the Cook County Civil Division! E-Filing allows attorneys and pro se litigants to file documents with the Circuit Court online instead of having to go in-person to the clerk’s office. Among the many advantages of e-filing, users can file documents any time of the day, even during weekends and holidays. Users can also schedule motions through the e-filing service and pay court fees by credit card.
E-filing’s major disadvantage is that users are charged a vendor fee for each transaction, including filings for which the clerk does not collect a fee. These charges are prohibitive for most legal aid agencies, including LCBH, to fully utilize this service.
E-filing, if it ever becomes financially viable for legal aid agencies or provides fee waivers for low-income litigants, has the potential to substantially increase capacity for organizations with limited support staff. Instead of sending attorneys and paralegals to wait in line for 30-45 minutes every day, filing can be done with the click of a mouse, saving time and increasing efficiency.