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Illinois Courts response to COVID-19

Illinois e-Court Initiatives

Illinois e-Court Initiatives

 

Plead and Pay Traffic / Conservation Tickets (e-Guilty)

Standards for Accepting Electronic Pleas of Guilty in the Illinois Courts Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 529 (Standards) were originally adopted by the Supreme Court on December 20, 2006 (Order M.R. 18368) The Standards were established to maintain the orderly development of practices and procedures associated with the statewide implementation of electronically accepting voluntary guilty pleas from offenders in traffic and conservation offenses which do not require a court appearance.

Updates to the Standards were released effective July 1, 2019 and now encompass pleas of guilty under Supreme Court Rules 529, 530 & 531 which guide courts in the acceptance and retention of electronic pleas of guilty made to the circuit clerk.

The Chief Circuit Judge and Clerk of the Circuit Court in a county may implement an Electronic Plea of Guilty program (e-Guilty Program) upon notification to the Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. The notification shall include an affirmation that the county's e-Guilty Program is consistent with the standards and identify the anticipated date such system shall go into effect. Quarterly statistical information is required pursuant to the provisions contained Manual on Recordkeeping.

Standards for Accepting Electronic Pleas of Guilty - Revised July 1, 2019

 

E-Citation Program

Supreme Court Rule 552 directs Uniform Citation and Complaint forms and conservation complaint forms be approved by the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges (Conference). The Conference has placed seven citation forms and corresponding printing instructions (4 paper forms and 3 electronic forms) on file with the Illinois Supreme Court Clerk as required under the rule.  A file-stamped copy of each form is available below.

All local law enforcement agencies (except Cook County) and state law enforcement agencies are required to satisfy the requirements of the most recent version of the printing instructions and uniform citation forms placed on file with the Supreme Court Clerk before use.

Uniform Citation & Complaint Form - (filed 3/25/19, effective 7/1/19)

Electronic Citation Form & Printing Instructions - (filed 4/26/19, effective 7/1/19)

Overweight Citation & Complaint Form - (filed 3/25/19, effective 7/1/19)

Electronic Overweight Citation & Complaint Form - (filed 4/26/19, effective 7/1/19)

Civil Law Citation Form - (filed 5/25/17, effective immediately)

Electronic Civil Law Citation Form & Printing Instructions - (filed May 8, 2017, effective immediately)

Uniform Conservation Citation & Complaint Form - (filed 3/25/19, effective 7/1/19)

 

Electronic Record (E-Record)

The Electronic Record Standards and Principals (Standards) were approved by the Supreme Court on October 24, 2012 and implemented effective January 1, 2013.  In November 2012, the Supreme Court approved Electronic Record Guidelines (Guidelines) for application to implement an electronic record program, to be used to guide the Circuit Courts through the application process.  At this time, E-Record is limited to civil case types only.  The Guidelines provide the Chief Circuit Judge and Circuit Clerk make application to the Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. The application must include an affirmation that the Circuit Clerk coordinates and manages a program that meets the minimum requirements set by the Supreme Court through the Standards and shall formulate and follow a method to test the e-filing and document management systems.  A proposed date of implementation must be included, and a draft copy of local rules/general administrative order to be issued prior to implementation of the program. 

The table below identifies the application(s) received.  Once a county has been approved, implementation of the program is under the oversight of the Chief Circuit Judge and Circuit Clerk.  To date, four applications have been approved.

Electronic Record Application(s)
DuPage
06/27/14
Madison
11/17/15
McHenry
05/12/15
Montgomery
11/05/14
 

Electronic Document Pilot Program

On October 1, 1999, the Supreme Court entered an order authorizing St. Clair County to function as a pilot site for electronic imaging of documents filed in Traffic (TR) cases.  The Order set out program procedures, as follows:

  • Imaging of all documents upon filing;
  • Storage of the paper documents in "Document Storage Receptacles (DSR)" instead of case files;
  • Preparing the common law record in appeals by generating copies of the electronic images.

St. Clair was also authorized to utilize electronic images in all phases of traffic case processing.  The pilot program was expanded on: April 26, 2004 to include Driving Under the Influence (DT), Criminal Misdemeanor (CM), and Ordinance Violation (OV) cases, and March 7, 2005 to include Conservation Violations (CV).  On April 8, 2005, a General Administrative Order was entered in St. Clair County to automatically seal the DSR's along with restricting access to ensure that impounded, sealed and expunged information was appropriately secured. 

Since the documents are not stored in dedicated case files, destruction of the documents stored in the DSR's has not been authorized since the pilot's inception.  Specific retention and destruction procedures are required through the  Supreme Court's General Administrative Order on Recordkeeping in the Circuit Courts.  Currently, the Electronic Record Standards and Principals cover only civil case types; the St. Clair County pilot project is the only application statewide that is focused on criminal and quasi-criminal case types.

 

Electronic Access for Circuit Court Records

On September 19, 2002, the Supreme Court entered an Order implementing the  Electronic Access Policy for Circuit Court Records of the Illinois Courts (EAP), effective January 1, 2003.  The Administrative Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts was authorized to amend the EAP where deemed necessary and appropriate through the Supreme Court's Order entered March 29, 2004.  Subsequently, the EAP was revised effective April 1, 2004 adding the restriction to prohibit documents from being displayed over the Internet.

The EAP makes the distinction between the electronic and paper record by restricting access to electronic records and documents from indiscriminate disclosure while protecting the public's statutory right for inspection.  The policy was developed to provide electronic access to court records in a way that mutually benefits the public and the judiciary by making access to certain court records convenient for the public while protecting the privacy of identifiable interests.

 

Electronic Transfer of Appellate Record

On January 22, 2016 the Illinois Supreme Court filed Order M.R. 18368 which announced mandatory electronic filing (e-filing) in civil cases for the Illinois Supreme, Appellate and Circuit Courts. In addition, effective July 1, 2017, all trial courts are to transmit the record on appeal through the central electronic filing manager (EFM) to their respective reviewing court.

The Supreme Court has approved pilot projects that authorize the electronic transfer of the record on appeal originating in 20 counties to the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth District Appellate Courts.

Under the pilot projects, one official record pursuant to Supreme Court rules will remain but a mirror record will be produced electronically with identical pagination. The accessible electronic record will include transcripts of the trial and associated hearings, motions, other pleadings and documents. It will exclude exhibits such as photos and physical evidence such as weapons, clothing and the like. The pilots will allow attorneys, parties and appellate justices to electronically view, access and work from the official record of cases on appeal. The pilots make the physical transfer of the record unnecessary, removing the cost of repeatedly transporting the record back and forth from the Appellate Clerks' offices.

The following Appellate Courts and Counties have been approved to operate pilot projects for the electronic transfer of the record on appeal to the Appellate Courts.

District Authorization Orders
Second District

Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, DuPage, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kendall, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties

     
Third District

LaSalle, Rock Island, and Will Counties

   
Fourth District

Adams, Logan, and Moultrie Counties

   
Fifth District

Clinton County