To do a probate case search to see the various orders and motions in your case:
You will want to do this on a reliable, high-speed internet computer. The files are lengthy and take several minutes to download.
Go to the website below:
Select ALL, then select Probate Cases. Or, use this link to take you there directly:
Type in the case number at the top of the page, or the ward's name under the box marked "estate". You will see lawyers' names, judges' names, guardians' names, and a chronological report of all orders, motions, petitions, etc. that have been submitted on your case. You can also see the next scheduled court date if you scroll to the entries at the bottom of the file.
This timeline will also come in handy if you want to order specific transcripts or view specific records (you need to go to the Daley Center to see your records); this timeline will also come in handy as you report identified unethical or illegal behaviors to the appropriate agencies.
To Order Court Transcripts:
Official transcripts are recorded for every status hearing, trial, etc. They contain valuable information about your case. These transcripts are PUBLIC records, available to anyone who requests them. However, there is a fee involved, and it can become quite costly. The current rate for they typing of a transcript is $3.15/page. The transcripts may be mailed to you upon request; there is an additional postage fee involved, usually amounting to several dollars.
You can order a transcript by phone. The number is: (312) 603-8405. You will need to give them the name of the judge, the name of the ward, and the case number.
They usually ask you how you are related; however, these are public records, and you can just tell them you are requesting a public record.
After you supply them with the above information, they will look in their records to see who was the transcriptionist for the judge that day. They will give you their name, and the transcriptionist will call you back with an estimate on the cost. You will need to send a deposit, usually as a certified check or money (though some will take personal checks). When they are done typing the transcript (this can take several weeks), the transcriptionist will call you back with the final amount due. The transcript will be mailed to you upon receipt of your final payment.
The payments are mailed to the attention of the transcriptionist at the following address:
Official Court Reports
69 W. Washington
Chicago, IL 60602
Though the transcripts are supposed to be reliable, we have heard of many instances were the transcripts were either lost or inaccurate.
That said, please take your own notes if you are present in court that day. It is also advisable to have someone else document the proceedings as well. If you are so lucky as to have a reporter accompany you to court, that would be ideal.
Additionally, it is advisable that you keep ALL communications with your attorney (if you have one) in email form. After EACH court appearance, ask them to report to you exactly what occurred in court that day. Having all communications in writing may be very valuable down the road if you need to report the case to any authorities.
In the event that a transcriptionist tells you he/she has lost the transcript that you are requesting, you should report this immediately to :
Judge Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge
Ms. Marilyn A. Filishio, Administrator
State of Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County
Official Court Reporters
69 West Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602
Fax (321) 603-9820
To View and Obtain Court Records:
Probate court files are public records. You are able to view and copy them at the Daley Center, Room 1202. You will need a photo ID to check out the case file. Files must be kept in the room, but may be photocopied in the room for 25 cents per page. Here is the name, address, and phone number of the court office:
Richard J. Daley Center
50 West Washington Street
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-6441 or (312) 603-6457
Hours: 8:30 - 4:30 Mon-Fri
If you want to view case files, these websites will be helpful to you:
If you are appearing as a pro-se litigant (without an attorney), this website is where you can find various court forms that may be helpful to you for submission into court:
Court records may also be ordered from the Clerk's office; however, this method is more expensive, as you are paying for them to search the records for you. More information on this may be obtained at the following website:http://www.cookcountyclerkofcourt.org/?section=RecArchivePage&RecArchivePage=6020
SELF_HELP CENTER IN THE DALEY CENTER:
Self-Help Web Center
Location: 6th Floor, Room 602, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West WashingtonHours: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
- Preparation of Joint Simplified Dissolution of Marriage court forms through an interactive graphical interface;
- Legal information in 21 areas of law, including instructions for solving common problems and multimedia training; and
- A Search tool for free and low-cost legal representation.