Programs

CVLS has extensive resources to help our volunteers get started quickly and develop deeper skills through continued use.

ADOPTION

STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO MANUAL

An outline of the instructional videos is listed below. Click on any section to view a short instructional video. All documents described in the training videos can be found in the templates/pleadings section below.

INTRO TO ADOPTION

FEES

PLEADING

FILING

INITIAL PRESENTATION

SERVING

PARENTAL CONSENT
GUARDIAN AD LITEM
INVESTIGATION
INVESTIGATION - UNRELATED
CONTINUANCES AND MOTIONS
MOTION FOR DEFAULT
MOTION FOR ENTRY OF JUDGEMENT
POST JUDGEMENT

WRITTEN MANUALS

FORMS AND TEMPLATES

DIVORCE

STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO MANUAL

An outline of the instructional videos is listed below. Click on any section to view a short instructional video. All documents described in the training videos can be found in the templates/pleadings section below.

Intro to Simple Divorce

Preparing to File

Filing

Service

After Service

Default and Prove-Up

Notice of Motion to Respondent

Prepare for Default Prove-Up

Prove-Up

Post Prove-Up

Summary

WRITTEN MANUALS

TEMPLATES/PLEADINGS

E-FILING

E-filing is mandatory July 1, 2018 in all IL state courts. Clerks at the Daley Center will no longer be able to accept in-person filings. Learn how to do it asap.

In addition, the clerk’s current e-filing system is discontinued July 1. If you are using that system, you must register with another Electronic Filing Service Provider (“EFSP”). Click here for a list of service providers and access to a comparison chart. http://efile.illinoiscourts.gov/service-providers.htm

CVLS has selected Odyssey eFileIL.

ELECTRONIC FILING SERVICE PROVIDERS

There are many EFSP’s to choose from. CVLS uses Odyssey eFileIL for Appellate Court filings, and will continue to use it for state trial court eFiling. CVLS has chosen Odyssey eFileIL because it is the only fully free service that charges no service fees for its use. It can be found here https://illinois.tylerhost.net/OfsWeb/ along with their training videos, webinars and user manuals here https://tylertech.egain.cloud/kb/ilh5/home.

Although Odyssey eFileIL lacks features of other EFSP’s, we think that it will accommodate our needs. If you need our help, this is the only EFSP that we plan to use at this time.

LAWYER REGISTRATION

You must register with Odyssey eFileIL or another service provider of your choice before you can eFile. This is required of every attorney who files in Cook County.

If you have already registered with a service provider using your own Cook County Law Firm number, you may still use CVLS’ Law Firm Number for CVLS cases. For example, when filing on Odyssey eFileIL, you can insert 91139 the “case cross reference number” field.

FILING FEES & FEE WAIVERS

Until the kinks are worked out, we believe that you should always include a CLSP form with your filings in order to show the Clerk that your fees should be waived.

To file as a CLSP, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Create a new Payment Account and select “Waiver” as your method of payment. You will be prompted to name the account.
  2. Follow the steps for e-filing a document.
  3. Upload your primary document as the “Lead Document.”
  4. Upload a completed CLSP certificate as an “Attachment” to your filing. Please note, the new e-filing system will not automatically generate the CLSP form. You must fill it out and upload it as separate document with each filing or your filing may be rejected.
  5. Select your named “Waiver” account as the payment method.

As stated above, you must set up a “Waiver” payment account and use it when filing for a CLSP eligible client so that you can get filing fees waived. CVLS cannot reimburse for fees that are eligible to be waived using a CLSP.

If the case is not a CLSP case and client is paying filing fees you may set up and use a “Pay at Counter” payment account and CVLS staff can pay filing fees from the client’s trust account after you eFile.

CVLS cannot reimburse for third party vendor fees, and CLSP certificates do not waive third party efiling vendor fees. Therefore we urge you to use a free e-filing vendor such as Odyssey eFileIL.

OTHER ELECTRONIC FILING TIPS

You must enter your Cook County Attorney Code in the “Case Cross Reference Number” field or your filing may be rejected.

If you mark your filing as “confidential,” you will need to include a court order to that effect or your filing may be rejected.

The case management system and the e-filing system are not yet integrated. When filing into an existing case, you may need to input the case information manually until that integration is complete.

PRO SE GOOD CAUSE EXEMPTION FROM E-FILING

All pro se litigants at the Daley Center who need e-filing assistance should be directed to LL-12 (Lower Level). The Clerk’s office has established a large e-filing self-help center with many computers and scanners available at no cost. Please be aware that the computers in LL-12 are not currently hooked up to printers and do not have Adobe or Microsoft Office installed. Without that hardware/software, it may be challenging for pro se litigants to create new documents or fill out online forms. To avoid delays, encourage pro se litigants to fill out forms ahead of time and to bring paper copies with them to LL-12 where they can be scanned at no cost. Printers are available for use in the Law Library on the 29th floor for a fee. If you encounter pro se litigants who may struggle to use and access the technology necessary to e-file, consider sharing information about the E-Filing Exemption Certificate.

The Illinois Supreme Court has approved new language clarifying the scope of Rule 9(c)(4) which permits a good cause exemption from e-filing. A self-represented litigant may be exempted from e-filing if he or she falls into one of the following categories:

  • No computer or Internet access in the home and travel presents a hardship (financial or otherwise)
  • Disability (as defined by the ADA) that prevents e-filing
  • Low literacy
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Sensitive filing (e.g. Order of Protection)

A self-represented litigant can claim the exemption by attaching a certificate (signed under penalty of perjury) with the filing. The Access to Justice Commission’s Forms Committee has drafted a Circuit Court Certificate and an Appellate Court Certificate for use by self-represented litigants.

Judges will retain discretion to grant an e-filing waiver sua sponte should they determine good cause exists, even without the filing of a certificate. Judges will also retain discretion to order a litigant begin e-filing at any point should they determine that good cause was not adequately shown.

The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts has prepared self-help guides and videos specifically for Odyssey (available here towards the bottom of the page). http://www.illinoiscourts.gov/CivilJustice/Resources/Self-Represented_Litigants/self-represented.asp

Illinois Legal Aid Online is also developing self-help materials for e-filers which should be posted to their website shortly.

OTHER JURISDICTIONS

eFiling in the Appellate Court is also mandatory. CVLS uses Odessy eFileIL, a free eFiling service. Contact CVLS if you need more information about eFiling for your CVLS case in the Appellate Court.

GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR ADULTS

STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO MANUAL

An outline of the instructional videos is listed below. Click on any section to view a short instructional video. All documents described in the training videos can be found in the templates/pleadings section below.

Intro to Adult GAL

Types of Guardianship

Terminology

Law and Location

Types of GAL Appointments

Taking a CVLS GAL Case

GAL Duties and Initial Petition

GAL Investigation

GAL Report

Court Forms

  • PLEASE NOTE: The Order Appointing Plenary Guardian for Adult Disabled Person, discussed in the video below, has been updated. Download the new version here.

Court Hearing

WRITTEN MANUALS

FORMS AND TEMPLATES

GUARDIAN AD LITEM FOR MINORS

STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO MANUAL

An outline of the instructional videos is listed below. Click on any section to view a short instructional video. All documents described in the training videos can be found in the forms/templates section below.

Intro to Guardian ad Litem for Minors

Getting Started

Other Tools of the GAL

Working with Children

Abuse and Neglect

Confidentiality

Duration of a Case

GAL Reports

1806: Hearing and Proceedure

Court Orders - Samples and Suggestions

If Your Case Goes to Trial

CVLS Support and Supervision

Case Closure

Future Involvement

WRITTEN MANUALS

FORMS AND TEMPLATES

OTHER RESOURCES

COLLEGE GUIDE SERIES FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS

MINOR GUARDIANSHIP

STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO MANUAL

An outline of the instructional videos is listed below. Click on any section to view a short instructional video. All documents described in the training videos can be found in the forms/templates section below.

Description of the Case

Step 1 - Preparing to File

Step 2 - Filing the Petition

Step 3 - Getting a Court Date

Step 4 - Giving Notice

Step 5 - Appearing in Court

WRITTEN MANUALS

FORMS AND TEMPLATES

ADULT GUARDIANSHIP

STEP-BY-STEP VIDEO MANUAL

An outline of the instructional videos is listed below. Click on any section to view a short instructional video. All documents described in the training videos can be found in the templates/pleadings section below.

Intro to Adult Guardianship

What is Guardianship and When is it Appropriate?

Guardianship Definitions

Types of Guardianship

Who Can Act as Guardian

Duties of a Guardian

Review of guardianship court case

Guardianship Forms

Report of Physician, CCP 0211

Filing the Petition

Service and Notice to Parties

Post Filing Procedures and Required Court Forms

Court Hearing

Post-Adjudication Matters

WRITTEN MANUALS

FORMS AND TEMPLATES

Forms to be completed for filing case:

Forms to be completed for the court hearing: 

Miscellaneous Forms:

LEGAL SERVER

Welcome to the new age of pro bono. With Legal Server you can:

  • Browse for new pro bono opportunities from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • View and edit your case notes, track your pro bono hours, and obtain training materials all online with a click of a button.
  • Never again be constrained by where your are or what time it is.

If you are not a volunteer and are interested in CVLS and our Legal Server system please register for one of our volunteer orientations. If you are currently a CVLS volunteer and do not have a Legal Server account, please contact Jessica Engle to have one created.

  • Click Here to login to Legal Server and start managing your cases today.
  • Click Here to access our CVLS Legal Server Tutorial.

Register As a CVLS Volunteer!

Start Making a Difference

Sit down with us and find out what you can do to help your community.

Scroll to Top