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Copy of Video Two- Forms and E-filing-720p-71348564-ce50-4b14-86c0-bd2b54b27cb2

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Welcome to a video series by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. These short videos are aimed at helping self-represented litigants, otherwise called people without lawyers, with civil appeals. You should know that this video content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You must speak with a lawyer if you need legal advice. This is video #2 in our civil appeals series for the Illinois Appellate Court. In this video, we will provide an overview of statewide forms and E-filing requirements for civil appeals. Keep watching for more information! This video will focus on providing overview of forms and e-filing requirements for self-represented litigants filing a civil appeal. We’ll first define some terms that you may hear when filing paperwork for your appeal. Then, we’ll discuss where to locate the forms and instructions necessary to complete and file documents for your appeal. We will also go over e-filing requirements in Illinois and how you might qualify for an exemption. And finally, we’ll give you some contact information on where to go for more information. We want to take a moment to define some terms that we will be using in this video that may be unfamiliar to you. The Circuit Court, also called a trial court, is where the judge assigned to your case made an order or judgment that is the basis of your appeal. The Appellate Court is a court of review. A person has the right to request a review of a circuit court judge’s decision by the Appellate Court. Appellant: if you are filing the appeal, you are considered the appellant, and that is true no matter what side of the case you were on in the circuit court; for example, if you were the petitioner or the respondent. Service: all of the documents you will file in court must be sent to the other side of the case, this is called “serving the other party” and it is a required step. We’ll discuss how you can send these documents to the other party, or their lawyer if they have one, later in this video. There are 24 circuits in Illinois and each Circuit Court has its own clerk’s office. There are also five appellate districts in Illinois and each appellate court has its own clerk’s office. This is a simplified overview of the multiple steps involved in a civil appeal. There are additional videos in this series that cover all of these topics. Additionally, you can find more information about the steps necessary to complete an appeal on the Court’s website. The appellant will need to file documents for the appeal in the clerk’s office in both the circuit court and the appellate court. In general, in order to begin an appeal, the appellant will need to file a Notice of Appeal in the circuit court clerk’s office where the order or judgment was issued. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as appeals from administrative agencies. if this applies to you, contact your clerk’s office or consult the Illinois Supreme Court Rules for further information. Filing documents in both courts can be confusing for appellants and can lead to delays in your appeal if items are incorrectly filed. This chart summarizes the documents that are filed in each of the respective clerk’s offices. It is important to note that if you received a fee waiver or an e-filing exemption in the circuit court, you must reapply in the appellate court. they do not automatically transfer for your appeal. The majority of your filings and communication relating to your appeal will be with the appellate clerk’s office. Contact information from each appellate district is on the court’s website and if you are unable to visit the clerk’s office in person, you can call their office for further help. Please keep in mind that if you have questions or are unsure about steps or deadlines, you should proactively reach out to your local appellate clerk’s office. Remember - you must follow all court rules and deadlines relating to your appeal or it may be dismissed. If you miss a deadline, you will likely need to file a motion with the appellate court. Contact the clerk’s office for further instructions. Staff within the clerk’s office, as well as staff in law libraries or self-help centers, can provide you with general legal information only. Here are some of the things staff can assist you with: questions about deadlines; information about where to find forms for your appeal; where to find Illinois Supreme Court and local appellate rules; e-filing assistance; and general lawyer referral contact information to bar associations. However, you should know that staff are unable to provide legal advice to you. Only a lawyer can give you legal guidance about your case. Court staff cannot: interpret the law for you; give you advice on what to write; offers opinions on the likelihood of success for your appeal; represent you in court; give you procedural advice; and staff cannot refer you to a specific lawyer. In order to complete your appeal, you will need to file many documents. Fortunately, the Court has many statewide forms available for your use. All of the appellate forms are fillable PDFs meaning you can type directly into the document and save it or, if you prefer, you can also print and handwrite the forms, which you will then need to scan so that you can e-file. You should know that these forms are fully compliant with Illinois Supreme Court Rules for civil appeals. Each of the forms comes with a “getting started” page, which outlines important information you should know. The forms also come with detailed “how to” instructions that explain each step. The instructions are written in simple language to help you understand what information is being requested and why. Be certain to consult these instructions when completing your form. The form itself is available for you to complete and submit to the court. The form also has very brief instructions in the left hand margin to help guide you through completion. Finally, each form has a proof of service page within it. This is important because when you file any document with the court, you must serve or send a copy of that filing to the other side. Serving the other party is a required step and you must complete the proof of service page to show how you sent the document to the other party or their lawyer if they have one. Now that you know where to locate the forms you’ll need for your appeal, let’s discuss how to file them with the court. E-filing is mandatory in all Illinois courts. There are only a few exceptions to this rule. The idea behind e-filing is that you can file your court documents from anywhere at any time. E-filing helps to eliminate hardship for some people because you don’t need to come into the court or clerk’s office to file your documents. As long as you have a computer or smart device and an internet connection, you can e-file your court documents. To e-file, visit the Court’s website to pick an electronic filing service provider. You can choose any of the approved providers listed, but you should know that some providers are entirely free, while others charge a fee for use. Information regarding cost is clearly noted on the Court’s website to help you choose a provider. You’ll then register with a provider or if you already have an account, you will log-in to your existing account. If you have questions about e-filing, please reach out to your appellate clerk’s office. There are also extensive E-Filing guides available on the court’s website that provide step-by-step instructions to walk you through the e-filing process. The Court understands that while e-filing may be preferable for some people, it might pose a hardship for others. The court permits automatic exemptions from e-filing for: (1) inmates in prison or jail who do not have a lawyer; (2) if you are filing a will; (3) if you are filing into a juvenile court case; or (4) if you have a disability that prevents you from e-filing. If one of these factors applies to you, let the clerk’s office know that you are exempt from e-filing and you do not need to submit any additional paperwork to receive the e-filing exemption. The Court also realizes that some people may be unable to e-file for what is called “good cause.” There are three ways to qualify for a good cause exemption: (1) You are representing yourself and do not have the Internet or a computer in your home. Your only access to the internet is through a public terminal at a courthouse, library, or other location, which poses a financial or other hardship. (2) You are representing yourself and have trouble reading, writing, or speaking in English. or (3) You are filing a document into a sensitive case, such as a petition for an order of protection or a civil no contact/stalking order. To receive an e-filing exemption for good cause, you must submit a certification for exemption from e-filing form to the appellate court. Please note, this is true even if you have already filed and received an e-filing exemption from the circuit court. Remember, this form must be resubmitted to the appellate court and you must get the court’s approval. These resources may help you with your appeal. The Civil Appeals Self-Help website has many resources for you to review, including: comprehensive appellate guides and overviews that help explain procedures and rules; a detailed frequently asked questions guide that discusses all stages of an appeal; and step-by-step E-filing guides to help you file your appeal. You can also find the appellate clerk’s contact information and all of the forms that you’ll need to complete your appeal on the court’s website. Here is the contact information for the Appellate Resource Program at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Please feel free to contact our office for more information. Thank you for watching and stay tuned for additional videos on civil appeals for people without lawyers.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 54 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 1
Posted by: sheridanorgan on Apr 6, 2020

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