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Illinois Courts Response to COVID-19

Procurement Opportunities | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice Online Dispute Resolution Grants

Program Overview

The goal of this program is to support the incubation and implementation of ODR programs throughout the state to evaluate their effectiveness, benefits, and drawbacks. We encourage diverse and innovative proposals across all areas of law, technology platforms, and segments of Illinois’ population, but especially to better serve self-represented litigants.
The ATJ Commission recognizes that launching a successful ODR program requires significant planning, strategizing, and collaborating with local stakeholders. Thus, the grant program will consider two types of proposals:

  1. Planning Phase: Proposals in their infancy, seeking assistance and guidance in creating and designing an ODR program; and
  2. Execution Phase: Proposals seeking assistance and guidance in launching a specific ODR program during the grant period that has already been identified and planned

The ATJ Commission will provide support and guidance as needed, and grantees will be asked to share their experiences and insights quarterly throughout the grant period, culminating in a final report at the end of the grant cycle.
Please be advised that there is an additional application process through the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC) that all grantees must complete prior to launching an ODR program to the public as well as data that must be reported to the AOIC once the ODR program is live. All grant recipients must commit to completing this separate application process and more information will be provided with the grant award decisions. For more information on the additional AOIC application process and data collection, please contact Sarah Song, Senior Program Manager, Access to Justice Division, AOIC at ssong@illinoiscourts.gov.

Further, grantees are invited to join the Court Navigator Network (Network) of clerks and court staff based in courthouses through the state. The Network offers monthly trainings and shares resources and best practices across county lines and judicial circuits to more effectively address the self-help service gaps seen throughout the state. Network members identify, develop, and implement new tools and resources in their local courthouses beyond ODR programs and work with other stakeholders to facilitate better communication and collaboration in addressing these issues. Network members become aware of what their counterparts throughout the state are doing, have learned from each other's successes, shared resources, and updates, in order to provide the best possible service for SRLs. If you are interested in joining the Network, please check the corresponding box in Section I of the Application Form; a separate application to join the Network is unnecessary. For more information, please see the Court Navigator Network Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator Grant Request for Proposal available at: https://atjil.org/about/.

Decision Process

All award decisions will be made by a selection committee of the ATJ Commission. The selection committee will review all grant applications and make awards based on several criteria including ability to reduce barriers to accessing the courts—particularly for underserved populations, willingness to innovate and think creatively, and capacity to operate independently in the long run. The selection committee anticipates announcing grant recipients the week of July 11, 2022.

Grant Proposal Requirements

Each proposal for grant funds must include the following three components:

  • Section I Application Form (see below)
  • Section II Program Narrative (1,5000 word maximum)
  • Section III Budget Narrative and Expected Expenditures Chart (500 word maximum) More information on each section is provided below.

Due Date

Completed grant applications must be submitted before 5:00 pm on June 21, 2022 by email to Sarah Song, Supervising Senior Program Manager, Access to Justice Division, AOIC at ssong@illinoiscourts.gov.