The state's unified court system was solidified in 1970 with the state Constitution and is comprised of an Illinois Supreme Court, the Appellate Court, and Circuit Courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the state of the Land of Lincoln. Except for death-penalty cases that get appealed directly to the Supreme Court, all other cases get passed to the Appellate Court. This court has exclusive and original jurisdiction over legislative matters, cases involving the Governor, and anything related to writs of mandamus, prohibition, or habeas corpus. The Supreme Court has seven justices. This state has a total of 893 judges including Supreme, Circuit, and Appellate Courts.
Most court records in the state are open to the public. However, juvenile records and adoption records along with any court sealed or expunged records will not show up. Each county has their own public records and provides access either in person or online. Additionally, the federal government has strict laws about certain information that cannot be included in open court documents such as social security numbers, mental health records, expungement records, children’s names, banking information, tax IDs and trade secrets. Things like this must be removed or redacted from the files before they are made public.
As of 2016, Illinois requires e-filing for all civil cases in the Supreme, Appellate, and Circuit type courts. They use an online system called eFileIL. In some instances, they also allow electronic filing for criminal cases. They have expanded their system to include a records access area called SearchIL. Users must review the strict standards for electronic filing and stick to the guidelines when submitting. E-filing vendor fees are now waived. Additionally, their online system allows patrons to plead guilty, check filing fees and court date, pay traffic tickets, pay other fees and renew licenses. The state court website has dozens of links including an electronic access policy to help with e-filing and providing public access and support. Users can check with the clerk's office for more information on court services.
Use Infotracer to perform an IL records search anytime! With access to thousands of court cases in the Prairie State, including Cook County, DuPage County, and Lake County, Infotracer is the top resource for finding public records. According to the IL Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), the public is granted unlimited access to criminal records, name changes, circuit court documents, family court cases, child support, dockets, civil disputes, bankruptcies, real estate tax issues, small claims cases and more!
Someone can run a case search without purpose or permission easily using Infotracer. Most public records will be available for searching except where court-ordered private or sealed. You can find the case number along with detailed case information within minutes.
It’s quick and easy to get free access to official court records by using a simple name search. Search public records and lookup individuals who had cases held in circuit, appellate, and supreme type courts in the five judicial districts for the state.
In 2012, the Illinois courts received 3,329,671 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 23.1% and counted 2,560,982 filings and had 2,607,073 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of Illinois at year end of 2016 has decreased by 5.3% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases have been 149,602 but are higher than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in Illinois courts counts to 286,567, with 77,849 felony cases and 208,718 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
The state's Judicial Circuit Courts are the original jurisdiction courts for the state. The state is divided up into twenty-four circuits. Only six are single-county circuits; the rest include at least two counties up to twelve. These courts share jurisdiction with the Supreme Court in matters of revenue, mandamus, prohibition, and habeas corpus. Circuit judges are voted into office and serve a six-year term. Because these courts are the only lower courts, cases of all types are heard there. Any decisions made in Circuit judges must be appealed to the Appellate Court unless it deals with the death penalty and then it would go directly to the Supreme Court. Patrons can contact the clerk of the circuit court with any questions.