The article below is for filers without lawyers. The article contains available resources for assistance with legal help and forms. If you are unable to find the correct forms or help, it is recommended to find your court's local website or contact the court for assistance.
If you don't have a lawyer and need to represent yourself in court, you are called a self-represented litigant or a pro se party. Click below to go straight to these sections of this article:
Do you need help finding documents to electronically file (also called e-file)?
- Option 1: Find court forms on the forms website of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts.
- Option 2: Visit Illinois Legal Aid Online (in English, Spanish, and Polish) to use free, online guided interviews called "Easy Forms." They also have blank forms in the Form Library. Below are links to some of the most popular help areas. After you fill out your documents, save them and follow the instructions in the next section to e-file.
- Option 3: Visit the Illinois Guide & File site to use a free, online guided interview for one of the case types below. You can sometimes e-file at the end of the interview. If you can't e-file at the end, save your documents and follow the instructions in the next section to e-file.
- Option 4: Contact your local court to see if they have forms.
Do you have your documents filled out but need help e-filing?
- The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts has step-by-step guides on how to e-file (in English and Spanish) with videos.
- Visit the eFileIL site to e-file. If you made an account on the Illinois Guide & File site, you can use the same login on eFileIL.
- To learn how to file a new case, watch a video or read how.
- To learn how to file into a case that has already been started, watch a video or read how.
- For Cook County: Watch a video about filing into Cook County cases. Call the Court Information Helpline at (872) 529-1093, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Read e-filing basics from Illinois Legal Aid Online.
- Make sure your documents are PDF files. If you used a fill-in PDF form that lets you type in answers, you may need to do a "Print to PDF" before you can e-file your forms. Click here to learn how to make PDFs or do a "Print to PDF."
Do you need more legal help?
- Legal information:
- For information on courts and hearings (in English, Spanish, and Polish) from Illinois Legal Aid Online, click here.
- To find a self-help center in your county, click here and scroll down to the “Find a self-help center” section.
- For Illinois laws and court rules, see the Illinois Compiled Statutes and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.
- To learn about civil appeals, read Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Civil Appeals.
- To learn about evictions, click here.
- Case information:
- Free or low-cost legal advice (you must qualify for help):
- Chicago and Cook County: CARPLS at (312) 738-9200, Legal Aid Chicago, Greater Chicago Legal Clinic, Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA) at (312) 738-2452, Justice Entrepreneurs Project
- Northern Illinois (outside Cook County): Prairie State Legal Services
- Southern Illinois: Land of Lincoln Legal Aid at (618) 394-7300 or toll free at (877) 342-7891
- Free legal answers
- Find a lawyer to hire: