The moratorium on evictions that was put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic has ended. However, Cook County Landlords should be aware of new, permanent changes to the eviction process.
Landlords with legal questions can consult with an attorney for free through Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD). CCLAHD can be reached by calling 855-956-5763 or applying online at https://www.cookcountylegalaid.org/
What paperwork do I need to file an eviction in Cook?
This list is not exhaustive and may not apply to every situation. A guide like this can never substitute for the advice of a lawyer. Eviction law is in a constant state of change and issues are never as clear cut as they seem. Use this guide as a starting point.
Samples of some of the documents needed to file an eviction case can be found below. Please note that these documents should be used solely as examples and that, if you choose to file an eviction case, each document you complete must be filled out with the specific information that applies to your matter.
ISSUES RELATED TO NONPAYMENT
DEALING WITH OTHER LEASE VIOLATIONS
NONRENEWALS AND MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCIES
- For additional guidance on how to proceed through the eviction process, see the Illinois Courts’ guide on How to File & Present an Eviction Complaint
- Eviction court in Cook County is primarily happening over Zoom. You can find information regarding the Zoom login information for each courtroom on the Circuit Court of Cook County’s website.
- Rental assistance programs are available to qualifying Landlords and Tenants. To learn more, call 312-698-0202 (Chicago) or 833-221-9821 (Suburban Cook County.) You can also contact the CCLAHD hotline at 855-956-5763 for more information regarding this option.
- Landlords who are having trouble navigating the court system during the pandemic can call the JusticeCorps Information Helpline to get free help with Electronic Filing (E-Filing) and Remote / Zoom Court Procedures by calling (872) 529-1093. The Illinois Supreme Court has its own resources for Electronic Filing (E-Filing) and Remote / Zoom Court Procedures, which are available at ILCourtHelp.gov or by calling/texting (833) 411-1121.
- Once a case has been filed, it is important to know your next court date. If possible, write down that information when the judge gives it to you in court. If you do not know when your next court date is, it may be on the paperwork you received from the court. If you are still unable to find that information, you can contact the court clerk at your courthouse or text or email the appropriate number found on this Document.
- There are a number of reasons a defendant in an eviction case could ask the judge to dismiss the case. You can find examples of potential eviction defenses on Illinois Legal Aid Online’s article on “Common eviction defenses.”
- Cook County Landlords who successfully obtain eviction orders (sometimes called an “order of possession”) may need to complete a "Verification of Non-Rental Assistance” form and submit it to the Cook County Sheriff’s office before the Sheriff will schedule an eviction. Additional information on this Verification form is available here or through the Sheriff’s website.
- Eviction cases can still proceed during the winter months, though there are some dates when the Cook County Sheriff’s Office will not enforce an eviction order, like in extreme weather conditions. Check the Cook County Sheriff's website for the most up-to-date information.
- The American Bar Foundation (ABF) is conducting interviews with small Landlords about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their ability to provide naturally affordable housing in Cook County. Interviews will cover how Landlords are responding to the unique challenges that the last year or so has presented, including lost rental income and the various legal restrictions on filing eviction cases. The ABF researcher conducting these interviews does not work for CVLS, is not an attorney, and will not be able to give you legal advice. However, this interview may be an opportunity for Landlords to discuss the issues and frustrations that the legal system isn’t able to address. Interviews are conducted by phone/Zoom, and participants will be compensated for their time. You can find additional information about this study (including how to sign up) on the American Bar Foundation’s website.