November 29, 2017
The Supreme Court’s May 30, 2017, Order on e-filing amended the January 2016 Order mandating civil e-filing in several respects. Among these is the implementation of re:SearchIL, which will provide an efficient way for attorneys, judges and other court users to access important case records and documents at any time and on any device. Re:SearchIL is a web-based portal that provides immediate and secure access to a consolidated database of case information upon registration. The solution provides a simple and consistent way to view and obtain case records and documents from counties across Illinois, and it integrates with multiple case management systems to share that information.
All Illinois courts that are integrated and filing through eFileIL are able to begin using re:SearchIL and make their documents available through the portal. The re:SearchIL application will provide many benefits to the Illinois courts and legal community, such as:
- Increased transparency and accessibility through a single portal to a unified, centralized database
- Simplified access across multiple counties, regardless of case management system
- Reduction of printed documents needed by judges
- Secure access from any device, including PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones.
Courts will be the first to benefit from the improved access to information available through re:SearchIL, with judges, clerks, and parties to a case able to access case information as courts become integrated. The online re:SearchIL application will provide judges with access to case records from all participating Illinois courts. Parties to a case will have access to their respective case records, and clerks will have access to case records in their jurisdiction. The Illinois Supreme Court anticipates expanding access to re:SearchIL to all non-party attorneys and the general public in a phased implementation as remote public access policies are developed.
Local courts will also have the ability to use re:SearchIL as a free local document management system should their local case management system (CMS) not provide archival space for electronic records or if it is too expensive to do so. In addition, value-added features in re:SearchIL will be offered to attorneys and the public on a subscription or transactional fee basis.
In order for re:SearchIL to be utilized as a remote public access system similar to the Federal court’s PACER, the Court will need to approve a remote public access policy (e-Access Policy), including authorization of statewide fees for users to access local court documents, as well as considerations for protecting personal and private information included in court documents. The revenue received from document access fees will be distributed to each local court where the information originated to assist courts in paying for the eFileIL and re:SearchIL interfaces and to encourage local courts to make their documents available to re:SearchIL.
As Illinois courts begin the rollout of re:SearchIL, we look forward to continued improvements in access to court information for the legal community. By having a single point of access for case information, judges, clerks, and attorneys will all find value in re:SearchIL. The consolidation of case information will also help increase efficiency and transparency within our courts.