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Illinois Court System

Illinois Court System

Illinois unified court system was solidified in 1970 with the state Constitution and is comprised of a Supreme Court, the Appellate Court, and Circuit Courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the state of Illinois. Except for death-penalty cases that get appealed directly to the Supreme Court, all other cases get passed to the Appellate Court. The Supreme 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. Illinois has a total of 893 judges including Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, and Appellate Court.

The Appellate Court in Illinois is divided into five judicial districts. Anyone who loses a case in Circuit Court has the right to take it to the Appellate Court for a final decision. If the case does not resolve in their favor after an appeal, they are eligible to ask that the Supreme Court review it, but very few cases are accepted at that level. Illinois sees about 2.5 million new filings per year. Of those, 1.6 million are traffic-related cases, and violations and 35,000 are for DUIs.

Supreme Court
Appellate Court
Circuit Court

Illinois Court Records That are not Open to the Public

Most court records in Illinois 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 court 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, 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.

Filing Information

Filing Information

As of 2016, Illinois requires e-filing for all civil cases in the Supreme Courts, Appellate Court and Circuit 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 court 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 and pay traffic violations, pay other fees and renew licenses. The state court website has dozens of links to help with e-filing and provide support.

Search Illinois Court Records Online

Use Infotracer to perform an Illinois court records search anytime! With access to thousands of court cases in Illinois, including Cook County, DuPage County, and Lake County, Infotracer is the top resource for finding public records. According to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), the public is granted unlimited access to criminal court records, family court cases, civil disputes, bankruptcies, small claims cases and more!

Someone can run a court records search without purpose or permission easily using Infotracer. Most court records will be available for searching except where court-ordered private or sealed.

It’s quick and easy to get free access to Illinois court records by using a simple Illinois state court records name search. Search court records and lookup individuals who had cases held in Illinois circuit courts, appellate courts, and the supreme court in the five judicial districts for the state.

Illinois Court Statistics

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

Total State Caseloads

Year Total Caseload
2012 3,329,671
2013 3,205,649
2014 2,963,069
2015 2,734,094
2016 2,560,982

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Incoming Caseloads
Civil 18%
Criminal 11%
Domestic Relations 6%
Traffic 66%

Family Court Cases

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
2012 149,602 3,329,671
2013 138,016 3,205,649
2014 134,995 2,963,069
2015 145,682 2,734,094
2016 141,703 2,560,982

Illinois Criminal Caseloads

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
2012 395,829 309,942 85,887
2013 385,801 298,322 87,479
2014 345,189 269,309 75,880
2015 326,192 246,716 79,476
2016 286,567 208,718 77,849

Circuit Courts

Illinois 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. Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with the Supreme Court in matters of revenue, mandamus, prohibition, and habeas corpus. Circuit Court judges are voted into office and serve a six-year term. Because Circuit Courts are the only lower courts, cases of all types are heard there. Any decisions made in Circuit Court must be appealed to the Appellate Court unless it deals with the death penalty and then it would go directly to the Supreme Court.

Illinois Court Records Search