The Guide to Illinois Court Records

Overview of Illinois Courts

The Illinois trial court system consists of Circuit Courts, Municipal Courts, and Court of Claims.
 
Illinois has a unified trial court system with Circuit Courts exercising general jurisdiction over most cases. Certain cases involving the State of Illinois are heard by the Court of Claims. Some cities and towns operate municipal courts that hear ordinance violation cases.

Please select a Illinois county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court.
Find Illinois court pages by Town or Zip Code.
Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level.
Go to the court records pages for another state.
Illinois Circuit Courts
Circuit Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, with the exception of cases heard exclusively by the Court of Claims or the Illinois Supreme Court.

Circuit Courts may be organized into divisions based on case type, such as Law Division (for general civil cases), Criminal Division, Probate Division, Traffic Division, and Domestic Relations Division. Circuit Courts may also have divisions for Juvenile Court and Juvenile Drug Court.

Circuit Courts offer a simplified Small Claims procedure for most civil cases that involve less than $5000 in dispute.

Circuit Courts share jurisdiction with the Illinois Supreme Court over cases related to revenue, mandamus prohibition and habeas corpus, but if the Supreme Court accepts jurisdiction over a particular case, a Circuit Court cannot. In addition, Circuit Courts may not hear cases related to General Assembly redistricting or cases related to the ability of the Governor to serve in or resume office.
Illinois Municipal Courts
Some towns in Illinois may have a muncipal court that hears cases of ordinance violations. Examples of ordinance violations that may be heard by municipal courts in Illinois include barking dogs, parking tickets, and littering.

Any violation of a state law, such as a speeding ticket, will still be adjudicated through the county's Circuit Court.

These cases may be handled administratively rather than by a judge in open court.
Illinois Court of Claims
The Court of Claims has statewide jurisdiction and offices in Springfield and Chicago. The Court of Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over many types of civil cases involving the State of Illinois.

Cases heard by the Court of Claims include contract disputes, certain torts, some claims for time unjustly served in prison, all claims for recoupment made by the State against any claimant, certain types of cases involving the FutureGen Project and most claims against the State based on Illinois law or regulation.

The Court of Claims handles most claims based on the Line of Duty Act, the Crime Victims Compensation Act and the Illinois National Guardsman's Compensation Act.

Where to find court cases in Illinois
The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in Illinois.
 
Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
Civil Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
General Civil - Limited
Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Small Claims
Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Civil Equity
Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Complex Commercial
Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Foreclosures and Liens
Most or all Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Real Estate Title and Boundary
Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Landlord / Tenant
Most or all Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Ordinance Violations
Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Administrative Agency Appeals
Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Criminal Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Felony
Most or all Felony cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Felony Preliminary Hearings
Most or all Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Misdemeanors
Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Ordinance Violations
Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Juvenile
Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Traffic and Infractions
Most or all Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Domestic Relations Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Divorce
Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Custody and Visitation
Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Support
Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Paternity
Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Domestic Violence Protection Order
Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Juvenile Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Adoptions
Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Juvenile Delinquency
Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Child Abuse and Neglect
Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Termination of Parental Rights
Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Children in Need of Supervision
Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Mental Health Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Involuntary Commitments
Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Other Mental Health Cases
Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Probate Circuit Courts Municipal Courts
Wills & Estates
Most or all Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Name Changes
Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Trusts
Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 
Guardianships and Conservatorships
Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the Circuit Courts
 

Note: Some courts in Illinois are not included in the chart above. Please use the following links for descriptions and types of cases heard:
 
  Court of Claims

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