Small Claims Court Limits in Illinois

Once your lawsuit is initiated, the court will likely set a date for the facts to be reviewed in your case. Many small claims courts are settled at this point, so be prepared to plead your case. All cases are heard by a district court judge and decided by the judge if both parties fail to reach an agreement. After completing the forms, they must be submitted to the court. You will be charged a registration fee, which varies from county to county. Registration fees must be paid in advance. Copies of the forms must then be “served” or delivered to the defendant. Many counties allow delivery by regular or registered mail if the defendant resides in that county. The court will send you the forms, but will charge a fee for this service. A judgment is given to the court indicating what the other party owes you.

In many cases, the other party pays for the judgment immediately. In other cases, you may find it necessary to take further informal steps or consult a lawyer who can take more formal legal action to collect the claim. The court will not force the defendant to pay what you are owed. In this article, we discuss the process of suing a person in Small Claims Court and answer the following questions: Who can sue in Illinois Small Claims Court?, What types of cases qualify for Illinois Small Claims Court?, Is there a deadline to file a claim in Illinois Small Claims Court?, Which court should I choose?, How do I start the Illinois Small Claims Court process?, How do I prepare for an Illinois Small Claims Court trial?, Can I appeal if I lose? and How can I collect? Any person or entity doing business in Illinois may sue or be sued in small claims court. The court may require the appointment of a guardian for persons under 18 years of age. Does anyone owe you money? Didn`t your landlord refund your deposit even if you didn`t damage the rental property? Have you paid for goods, but the store has never delivered them and does not refund you? You may want to consider taking legal action in Small Claims Court. You may not need a lawyer and the rules are simpler than in most court cases. The maximum judgment admissible in Small Claims Court is $10,000.00 plus costs; Therefore, your claim must not exceed $10,000.00. If you win the case, ask the court to include the court fees and the money you spent on the settlement.

The court may request reimbursement of fees such as: money paid for filing the application, the costs of sending the summons and the complaint or personal service of the application, as well as attorney`s fees. The nature of the case determines how much time you have to file a claim. For example, the limitation period for bodily injury is 2 years, 10 years for written contracts, 5 years for oral contracts and 5 years for property damage. If you`re not sure if the deadline for your type of case has passed, you can search online, contact a lawyer, or call the courthouse where you want to file the lawsuit. Keep in mind that other factors affect the deadline for filing a claim, such as whether a party is a minor or becomes detained. The person bringing the action is the plaintiff. The accused person is the defendant. Any natural or legal person (for example, a corporation, partnership, etc.) can take legal action in Small Claims Court. Individuals can represent themselves (without hiring a lawyer). Businesses can only take legal action in Small Claims Court if they are represented by a lawyer.

They don`t need to hire a lawyer if they`re defending themselves against a lawsuit. A representative of the company (i.e. An officer, director or manager) may appear in court in his or her defence. The Cook County Small Claims Court is a division of the First Municipal District. Judges are assigned to Small Claims Court on a rotating basis. People who choose to represent themselves in court without the help of a lawyer are called litigants. Because prose means in Latin “for oneself” or for one`s own account. The Pro Se section of the Small Claims Court of the First Municipal District was created to allow people without a lawyer to assert their claims for monetary damages more quickly and at a lower cost than traditional litigation. The Pro Se branch works as follows: Not all types of cases can be heard in Illinois Small Claims Court. Here are some of the most common types of cases that appear in Small Claims Court: Small Claims Court is a civil court where you can sue someone for $10,000 or less (excluding interest on costs).

Simplified. Small Claims Court has jurisdiction under the Court Clerks Act (705 ILCS 105) and Supreme Court Rule 282. Fees are based on the population of the county and are set by the county councils. Keep in mind that there is always the possibility that Small Claims Court will not rule in your favour. Carefully weigh all your options before taking legal action. If you decide to sue in Small Claims Court, prepare carefully to increase your chances of success. If you cannot satisfy the judgment by contacting the other party, contact the court office that heard your case. The clerk will provide you with the required forms for the attachment procedure – if the other party receives a salary or has bank accounts.

The clerk assigns a number to each small claim. Write down the number and mention it in all your dealings with the clerk and sheriff. Small Claims Court can only be used for certain types of cases. Example: A plaintiff can sue a defendant in Small Claims Court for a number of things, including: Regardless of the case, the maximum judgment allowed in Small Claims Court is $10,000. Small Claims Court does not need a lawyer to handle the case, but either party can choose legal representation. If the other party has a lawyer and you don`t, it may be in your best interest to talk to a lawyer. According to the Illinois courts, “the statute of limitations states: “No action for violation of this Act may be brought more than one year after the earlier date of possession, the date of occupancy, or the date of incorporation of a deed of transfer of residential property.” 765 ILCS 77/60 (West 1996). If you don`t have an attorney and need help finding one, contact the Illinois State Bar Association`s Illinois Lawyer Finder by calling (217) 525-5297 or visiting the website at This service can give you the name of a lawyer in your area who has experience in your type of legal situation and offers an initial consultation for an hourly rate. You are not obliged to hire the lawyer after the initial consultation.