Illinois Court Home Page > Access to Justice > Resources for Self-Represented Litigants


Resources for Self-Represented Litigants

Remote Appearances

  • Attending Court by Phone or Video? Questions and Tips for Court Users: English, Español
  • Going to Court Using Zoom on Your Phone or Computer: English, Español

E-Filing Exemption Information

You must electronically file (e-file) all court documents in civil cases in Illinois unless (1) you are an inmate in a prison or jail and you do not have a lawyer; (2) you are filing a will; (3) you are  filing into a juvenile court case; (4) you have a disability that prevents you from e-filing; or (5) for good cause. The first 4 exemptions are automatic and you do not need to submit additional paperwork.

The fifth exemption (good cause) requires you to fill out and file a Certification for Exemption from E-Filing (found here:, and to check off one of the following reasons to be exempt from e-filing:

(a) I am representing myself and do not have the Internet or a computer in my home. My only access is through a public terminal at a courthouse, library, or other location. This poses a financial or other hardship.
(b) I am representing myself and have trouble reading, writing, or speaking in English.
(c) I am filing a document in a sensitive case, such as a petition for an order of protection or a civil no contact/stalking order.
(d) I tried to e-file my documents, but I was unable to complete the process because the equipment or assistance I need is not available.

Todos los sistemas de presentación electrónica de Illinois están solo en inglés. Si tiene dificultades para leer, escribir o hablar en inglés, podría estar exento de hacer presentaciones electrónicas. Puede ver la Certificación de exención de presentación electrónica en


E-Filing Overview and Guides

For a general overview of e-filing, please review this flyer. El cartel de información para presentación electrónica de Illinois está disponible en Español.

For information about how to successfully e-file in Odyssey eFileIL, please review these resources.  Para obtener información sobre cómo presentar correctamente “e-filing” en Odyssey eFileIL, revise estos recursos.


For Legal Information

For free legal information and legal aid referrals, please visit Illinois Legal Aid Online.

To see the overall process of getting a divorce in Illinois when you have children, please click here.

For information about civil appeals, please see the Guide for Appeals to the Illinois Appellate Court for Self-Represented Litigants.

For more information about Illinois laws and legal procedure, please see the Illinois Compiled Statutes and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.

For Illinois court forms and instructions, please visit the Illinois Supreme Court Standardized Forms.


For Case Information

For information about a pending court case, please contact your local Circuit Court Clerk.


For Attorney Referral Information

For help finding an attorney, please contact the Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (in Chicago) or the Illinois State Bar Association LawyerFinder (outside Chicago). 

If you are looking for an attorney outside of Illinois, please visit the American Bar Association Lawyer Referral Directory.  


For Free or Low Cost Legal Advice

In Chicago and Cook County, please call CARPLS at (312) 738-9200 for free or low-cost legal advice and referral information. Please note that you may have to wait for up to 20 minutes to speak with an attorney.  For $25 you can schedule an appointment. Please visit the website for more information. 

In Chicago and Cook County, the Justice Entrepreneurs Project and the Greater Chicago Legal Clinic may also offer reduced cost legal representation in certain areas of law. 

In Northern Illinois (outside of Cook County), please contact your local Prairie State Legal Services office.

In Southern Illinois, please contact Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation's Legal Advice and Referral Center at (618) 394-7300 or toll free at (877) 342-7891.


Contact Details

For general questions about civil appeals, please email:

Alison Spanner, Assistant Director
Access to Justice Division
312-793-3859 (phone)
312-793-0740 (fax)
Jill E. Roberts, Senior Program Manager
Self Represented Litigants  
312.793.2305 (phone)
312-793-0740 (fax)
Disclaimer:  Information and resources presented on this website do not constitute legal advice and are not a substitute for legal counsel.  If you are in need of legal advice, you must speak with a lawyer.  The resources provided herein are provided for informational purposes only and are neither legal authority nor a substitute for the requirements found in the Illinois Supreme Court Rules