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Meet the Appellate Court Clerks | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Appellate Court Clerks & Contact Information

Appeals enter the clerk’s office, where deputy clerks assign each filing schedules and actively monitor and review cases as they progress through record preparation, motions, briefing, and oral arguments. Problems such as late filings, jurisdictional defects, inadequate records or noncompliant briefs are referred to the court. After the court has heard an appeal, the clerk’s office issues the court’s decision and tracks all post-decision activity. The clerk’s office also manages the court’s computerized and manual recordkeeping systems and oversees the maintenance of physical facilities. The clerk responds to requests and questions concerning the court’s cases and procedures.

Thomas D. Palella - First District Appellate Court

Jeffrey H. Kaplan - Second District Appellate Court

Jeffrey H. Kaplan obtained his bachelor’s degree with distinction at the University of Michigan and his law degree with high honors at George Washington University. After practicing law at Legal Services of Southcentral Michigan, he joined the Second District Appellate Court. He served the court as a research staff attorney, a judicial clerk, and the director of research. In 2020, he was appointed as clerk of the court.

Zachary A. Hooper - Third District Appellate Court

Zachary A. Hooper was appointed Clerk of the Third District Appellate Court in March 2023. Prior to his appointment, he served the Third District as the Director of the Legal Research Department and as a Staff Attorney. He received his Juris Doctor degree with great distinction from Northern Illinois University College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree with great distinction from Illinois Wesleyan University.

Carla Bender - Fourth District Appellate Court

Carla Bender earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Legal Studies and Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Illinois. Prior to being elected Clerk of the Circuit Court in Logan County in 1992, she was a Probation officer and later a Field Coordinator in the Probation Division of the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts. She served four terms as Circuit Court Clerk until she was appointed Clerk of the Fourth District Appellate Court during the first year of her fifth term in 2009.

Cortney Kuntze - Fifth District Appellate Court

Cortney Kuntze obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors at the Arkansas State University. She then earned both her Juris Doctor and LL.M degrees from Southern Illinois University School of Law. Cortney joined the 5th District Appellate Court in 2010 serving both as a research attorney and later as an appellate attorney. She was appointed as Clerk of the 5th District Appellate Court in January 2024.


Appellate Court Directory

1st District Appellate Clerk's Office

160 North LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 793-5484
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4:30

2nd District Appellate Clerk's Office

Appellate Court Building
55 Symphony Way
Elgin, IL 60120
(847) 695- 3750
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4:30

3rd District Appellate Clerk's Office

1004 Columbus Street
Ottawa, IL 61350
(815) 434-5050
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4:30

4th District Appellate Clerk's Office

201 West Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62704
(217) 782-2586
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4:30

5th District Appellate Clerk's Office

14th & Main Street
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
(618) 242-3120
Office Hours: 8:30 - 4:30