What follows is a brief but informative summary of rules, procedures, and filings requirements for small claims court in Illinois. Keep in mind that rules and laws change. It’s always a good idea to confirm the rules with the court or with further research.
Maximum Jurisdictional Dollar Amount: The maximum dollar amount is $10,000.
Where Suit May Be Brought: Cases should be brought where the defendant resides or injury occurred. Contract case can be brought where performance expected.
Proper Manner of Service of Process upon Defendant: Service may be made by certified or registered mail with return receipt (if defendant resides within county of suit), sheriff or court-approved adult.
How the Hearing Date Is Selected: Between 14 and 40 days after summons issued.
Attorney Representation Rule: Attorneys are allowed, except in Cook County “Pro Se” branch. Attorneys are required for corporations and LLCs.
Special Provisions Regarding Transfer or Jurisdiction of Cases: Case may be transferred if claim or counterclaim exceeds $10,000.
Availability of Appeals: Either litigant may appeal for a review of law but not of the facts to Appellate Court within 30 days.
Special Rules and Notes: Jury trial available at request of either party. The court may order installment payments. The court may order arbitration.
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Michael Spadaccini is the author of 8 books on self-help legal matters such as, Ultimate LLC Compliance Guide: Covers All 50 States (Ultimate Series), Ultimate Book of Forming Corps, LLCs, Partnerships & Sole Proprietorships, and Ultimate Guide to Forming an LLC in Any State, Second Edition (Ultimate Series).
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