By Codilis & Associates, P.C.
Mandatory electronic filing will be required by the Illinois Supreme Court and Appellate Courts effective July 1, 2017, and in all circuit courts effective January 1, 2018. Barring extensions to the mandate, once these deadlines pass, no paper documents will be allowed to be filed by attorneys or self-represented litigants, except for those exemptions specifically provided for by the rules. Currently those exemptions consist of sealed files, which include most Forcible Entry and Detainer actions, and emergency motions.
Under section 5-127 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure, certain costs related to electronic filing are recoverable:
Charges relating to electronic filing. All charges relating to the electronic filing of cases and pleadings, imposed by the court, clerk of the court, county, or a person with whom the court, clerk, or county may contract, are taxable as court costs. 735 ILCS 5/5-127 (West 2016).
Currently, there are 15 counties out of Illinois’ 102 counties that offer e-filing. According to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC), these counties may continue to use their electronic filing servicer until all circuit courts provide electronic filing and a centralized system has been evaluated. However, new Illinois Supreme Court Rules may address some of the inconsistencies of these circuit courts and are anticipated before the mandate becomes effective.