Circuit Clerks Office: General Order No. 9

9.01 Office Hours - Circuit Clerk
9.02 Association and Tracking of Protective Orders
9.03 Ad Damnum Stated
9.04 Satellite Offices of The Winnebago County Circuit Clerk
9.05 Dismissal of Petitions
9.06 Preparation of Orders
9.07 Sealing of Juror Related Court Documents
9.08 Processing of Applications for Waivers of Fees - Civil Cases
9.09 Bundling of Court Documents
9.10 Mental Health Case Initiation and Appointment of Counsel
9.11 Pretrial Service Reports
9.12 Impounding of Probate and Family Guardian Ad Litem Reports
9.13 Forms of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court
9.14 Submission of Agreed or Proposed Orders - Civil and Family Cases


9.01 Office Hours - Circuit Clerk

The office hours for the offices of the circuit clerks for the 17th Judicial Circuit, except as otherwise provided by the chief judge, shall be on each day of the week, except Saturdays, Sundays, and judicial legal holidays as follows:

  1. Boone County - 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
  2. Winnebago County - 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Last Updated: 10/16/2017

Back to the Top

9.02 Association and Tracking of Protective Orders

For reasons of administrative tracking as well as required confidentiality in certain cases, the following procedures will apply to any petition for a protective order pursuant to 725 ILCS 5/112A:

  1. Where a petition is filed in relation to a pending criminal or juvenile case, the matter will be assigned a corresponding "OP" case number, and all pleadings and other filings related to the protective order shall be filed under that OP number. The matter shall remain assigned to the judge presiding over the criminal or juvenile case.
  2. When a petition for protective order is filed in relation to a juvenile court matter, the pleadings in the OP case shall not refer in any way to the juvenile case or the juvenile case number. However, it is appropriate for pleadings in the juvenile court matter to refer to the related OP case to help ensure that the two cases will be tracked together.

Entered 03/26/2018

Back to the Top

9.03 Ad Damnum Stated

In all civil actions, the ad damnum shall be stated in one of the following ways:

"... not in excess of $250.00"

"... over $250.00 but not more than $500.00"

"... over $500.00 but not more than $1,500,00"

"... over $1,500.00 but not more than $2,500.00 "

"... over $2,500.00 but not more than $5,000.00"

"... over $5,000.00 but not more than $15,000.00"

"... over $15,000.00 but not more than $30,000.00"

"... over $30,000.00 but not more than $50,000.00"

"... over $50,000.00"

Last Updated: 5/00

Page: 9-C

Back to the Top

9.04 Satellite Offices of The Winnebago County Circuit Clerk

  1. The following location shall be designated as a satellite office of the Winnebago County Circuit Clerk for purposes of receiving bond pursuant to the provisions of 725 ILCS 165/1 et seq., and Supreme Court Rules 552 and 553:

    Illinois State Police District 15 Headquarters
    Illinois State Police District 16 Headquarters

  2. The following individuals shall be designated as deputy circuit clerks for the express purpose of receipt and delivery of cash bonds pursuant to the provisions of 725 ILCS/1 et seq., and Supreme Court Rules 552 and 553:

    Trooper Randall Larson
    Sgt. Art Guedel

    Trooper Dave Brown
    Trooper Timothy Roush
    Trooper Rich Strain

  3. All bonds received at this satellite location shall be placed in locked containers of a type approved, in writing, by the circuit clerk. Access to these locked containers shall be limited to those persons designated as deputy circuit clerks as set forth herein.
  4. All bonds received at this satellite location shall be delivered to the main office of the Winnebago County Circuit Clerk no later than the Monday, Wednesday or Friday following their receipt at the satellite location.

Last Updated: 11/12/07

Page: 9-D

Back to the Top

9.05 Dismissal of Petitions

Dismissal of Petitions upon Compliance with Financial Obligations

When a Petition to Vacate Court Supervision, Petition to Vacate Conditional Discharge, Petition to Vacate Probation or a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause has been filed that alleges as the only allegation a failure to pay financial obligations, and upon full payment of all financial obligationsalleged in the petition, at the discretion and concurrence of the State's Attorney's Office, the petition may be dismissed by the Circuit Clerk's Office without further court appearance or order by the Court, and any further court appearance previously scheduled on the petition shall be canceled.

Entered: 5/11/10

9-E

Back to the Top

9.06 Preparation of Orders

The circuit clerk and deputy circuit clerks shall, upon direction of a judge, prepared for the judge's signature orders of court supervision, conditional discharge, probation and such other orders as the judge may direct.

Last Updated: 1/01

Page: 9-F

Back to the Top

9.07 Sealing of Juror Related Court Documents

  1. At the completion of all jury trials, the judge shall provide to the clerk the judge's juror profile cards, juror list(s), juror seating chart(s), and the verdict forms. In one envelope, the clerk shall insert the juror profile cards, the juror list(s), and the juror seating chart(s). In a separate envelope, the clerk shall insert the verdict forms. All juror court documents shall then be sealed in the court file.
  2. Anyone seeking to access these sealed documents in the court file must follow the procedures outlined in 17th Circuit Local Rule 16.07.
  3. The foregoing shall not apply to the jury verdict form in civil cases.

Amended 05/17/2017

Back to the Top

9.08 Processing of Applications for Waivers of Fees - Civil Cases

The following describes the procedure to be followed in Winnebago County and Boone County for the processing of Applications for Waiver of Fees for all civil case types pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/5-105 and Supreme Court Rule 298:

  1. An Application for Waiver of Fees shall be made on the forms specified and approved by the Illinois Supreme Court for such purpose. Supporting income documentation shall be provided by the applicant in accordance with a Supplemental Form Cover Page, which is to be provided by the Circuit Clerk to each applicant (see attached Appendix PP).
  2. The Supplemental Form Cover Page shall contain a Notice to the Applicant which sets forth the process and timeframe by which the Circuit Clerk will notify the applicant of the ruling on the application and provide case specific instructions.
  3. All supporting income documentation provided by an applicant shall be placed in an envelope by the Circuit Clerk and the envelope shall accompany an Application for Waiver of Fees for purposes of judicial review.
  4. Upon receipt of an Application for Waiver of Fees, the Circuit Clerk shall forward the application to the presiding judge, or an alternate judge based on the unavailability of the presiding judge, for review and issuance of a written decision on the form specified and approved by the Illinois Supreme Court for such purpose.
  5. A judge shall rule upon an Application for Waiver of Fees within 3 business days of the filing date and return the application to the Circuit Clerk.
  6. A judge’s denial of an Application for Waiver of Fees on the basis of incomplete supporting documentation is to be considered a denial without prejudice; the applicant may reapply with a completed application.
  7. The Circuit Clerk shall contact the applicant by phone within 1 business day of the judge’s decision on an Application for Waiver of Fees and will notify the applicant of the ruling on the application and provide case specific instructions. A voice message will constitute proper notification.
  8. Whenever an Application for Waiver of Fees is denied, the Circuit Clerk shall establish a future date for payment of the applicable fee, as well as a court date thereafter to ensure compliance.
  9. Supplemental income verification documentation shall not be filed as attachments to an Application for Waiver of Fees. All supplemental income documentation will be shredded if not picked up by the applicant within five (5) business days of the Circuit Clerk’s phone notification as specified in Section 7 above.
  10. Applicants who receive a Waiver of Fees from the Court are required to promptly notify the Court of any change in their financial circumstances which might affect their eligibility for a waiver of fees.
  11. In cases where an Application for Waiver of Fees has been approved, the judge presiding in the case shall, before authorizing public payment of a major case expense (including payment of fees for a guardian ad litem, mediation, parenting class, or preparation of the record on appeal) re-examine the applicant as to present financial status to determine if the applicant is still eligible for a fee waiver, in a manner not inconsistent with 735 ILCS 5/5-105 subparts f-5 and f-10.

Revised 7/17/2019

Back to the Top

9.09 Bundling of Court Documents

In general, separate documents should not be bundled together when filed (i.e., stapled together when physically filed, or scanned together when e-filed). Doing so inhibits the court’s ability to find separate documents via the Court’s electronic record.

  1. This rule does not prevent a party from bundling a motion with supporting exhibits, unless the exhibit is of a type specified in part (b), below.
  2. The following documents are deemed to be of independent legal significance, and so they should be filed separately rather than being bundled with other documents:
    1. Returns of service of summons;
    2. Notices of Motion;
    3. Military Affidavits;
    4. Appearances;
    5. Any certificate of publication; and
    6. In foreclosure cases, the following types of documents: prove-up affidavits; attorney fee affidavits; loss mitigation affidavits; sale documents, including the report of sale, certificate of sale, receipt of sale; motion for approval of sale; notice of motion for approval.

Back to the Top

9.10 Mental Health Case Initiation and Appointment of Counsel

Upon the filing and initiation of all cases where a respondent is alleged to be subject to involuntary admission or authorized involuntary treatment in a mental health proceeding, Legal Advocacy Services, a division of the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, is hereby appointed pursuant to 405 ILSC 5/3-805 to represent the named respondent.

Upon being appointed pursuant to this order, Legal Advocacy Services shall have access to the named respondent and court file, and copies of court records may be furnished without further order of the court.

Back to the Top

9.11 Pretrial Service Reports

Pretrial services reports received by the Circuit Clerk should be sealed in the applicable file to protect their confidentiality as provided by 725 ILCS 185/31, with the court, probation, the parties, and their counsel retaining the right of access to the sealed reports. The judge presiding in the case may by order grant additional access as appropriate.

Back to the Top

9.12 Impounding of Probate and Family Guardian Ad Litem Reports

Pursuant to 750 ILCS 5/506(a)(2), guardian ad litem reports in family cases “shall be available to all parties,” but the statute does not specifically require that they be made a part of the court file.

Requirements dealing with the filing and availability of guardian ad litem reports in connection with minor guardianship cases are not specified in the Probate Act.

The Court believes that making family and probate guardian ad litem reports a part of the court file is highly desirable from an administrative perspective, as it ensures availability to the parties and the Court as needed and provides a clear record of the report’s date of issuance.

Despite the administrative convenience, the Court would not wish for the public record to contain guardian ad litem reports pertaining to the minor children at issue. “Illinois courts are under a duty to carefully guard the rights of a minor and take note of legitimate and substantial errors in proceedings involving minors.” In re E.V., 298 Ill. App. 3d 951, 954, 700 N.E.2d 175, 177 (1st Dist. 1998). The matters on which GAL’s are called upon to review include the minor’s mental and physical health. 750 ILCS 5/602.5(c)(3). A minor has a “right to keep medical information confidential.” Hope Clinic for Women, Ltd. v. Flores, 2013 IL 112673, ¶ 63.

For the foregoing reasons, it is therefore ORDERED:

  1. Guardian ad litem reports submitted to the court in connection with a minor in family, divorce, or minor guardianship cases shall be accepted by the Office of the Circuit Clerk and be filed as impounded documents. As impounded documents, Guardian ad litem reports shall not be available for public access but shall be available to the court, the appellate court, parties and their attorneys, the GAL, and others as directed by the court.
  2. Relief from this impound order may be obtained, for good cause shown, pursuant to Local Rule 16.07.

Back to the Top

9.13 Forms of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court

This General Order governs creation of new forms by the 17th Judicial Circuit Court and the maintenance of these forms by the respective Offices of the Winnebago County Circuit Clerk and the Boone County Circuit Clerk.

  1. Any Form of the 17th Judicial Circuit shall be approved by the Chief Judge. A recommendation to adopt a new form may be advanced by the Presiding Judge of any Court Division. The Chief Judge may approve a form on his or her own initiative.
  2. The respective Offices of the Winnebago County Circuit Clerk and the Boone County Circuit Clerk shall be responsible for maintaining all approved Forms of the 17th Judicial Circuit.

This General Order is expressly does not seek to alter any statutory provisions that require a certain form to be used in a particular context, nor should this General Order be construed to alter any litigant’s ability to make use of an Illinois Statewide Standardized per Illinois Supreme Court Rule 10-101.

Enacted 1/28/2020

Back to the Top

9.14 Submission of Agreed or Proposed Orders - Civil and Family Cases

  1. Effective immediately, submission of agreed or proposed orders on all civil and family cases is to be accomplished electronically via the process established by the respective Circuit Clerk.
    1. Agreed Orders. Where all parties have agreed to the entry of an order, the title of the order submitted shall be, or shall include the words, “Agreed Order.” The Court will accept the titling of an order as “Agreed” as a representation from counsel, consistent with Rule of Professional Conduct 3.3, that all parties/counsel have agreed to the form, substance, and entry of the order.
    2. Proposed Orders. A proposed order should be titled “Order” if it fits into one of the following two categories:
      1. The order memorializes a ruling made by a judge, and it has been circulated to the other parties for approval as to form pursuant to Local Rule 8.
      2. The order relates to a matter on which the party intends to seek a ruling from the Courtif the judge has indicated a willingness to receive such pre-ruling orders in advance. Note that, in the Family Division, proposed orders on prove ups should be submitted in advance of the hearing date pursuant to General Order 4.08.
  2. An order rescheduling a court date, or rendering a future court date unnecessary, should specifically strike the unnecessary date.
  3. An order may be submittedonly once(e.g., donotsubmit an order electronically and also tender one in open court)
  4. Orders shouldno longerbe submitted, whether in paper form or by email, to the Judge, Trial Court Administration, or the Clerk.

Enacted July 22, 2020

Back to the Top

ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF
THE 17TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT

Coming to Court

Make Payment

Self Rep

Search Court

Local Rules

Accessibility

400 W State St
Rockford, IL 61101