Filing Fees For Lake Co & McHenry Co (IL)
September 2015 Updated Lake and McHenry County Filing Fees
There are two (2) distinct types of cases that can be heard by a court. Criminal and Civil.
Criminal cases are brought by the State, or local municipality. Usually a criminal case is investigated or at least initiated by a police officer or other law enforcement officer and the defendant is being accused of a crime. In Illinois, a defendant accused of a crime that has the potential for that defendant to be sentenced to jail or prison may request the services of the Public Defender and depending on their income, may in fact have an attorney represent them for free. If you have ever seen any of the millions of police dramas on TV, this is the whole Miranda warning “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one can be appointed for you…”
Please note that I made the distinction that a Public Defender MAY be available and further note that the PD will only defend criminal cases in which the defendant may be sentenced to jail or prison. This is why you will almost never see a PD in traffic court or the branch courts. Also, the PD will not be appointed for folks facing a municipal ticket which is punishable by only a fine.
The court fees in a criminal case are usually to the Defendant if they are proven guilty or negotiate a plea to resolve their case.
All other matters, where the state or locality is not bringing a criminal case is in fact a civil case.
Civil matters almost always require a filing fee. Filing fees are paid to the Clerk of the Court in the County in which the matter is to be heard. I focus my practice on Lake and McHenry Counties in Illinois. In September of 2015, both respective clerks posted new and updated filing fees.
When you higher myself, any of my team, or any other attorney for a civil matter, understand that your attorney makes none of the filing fees personally, nor does he or she have any control over them. For example, if you need me to evict a wayward tenant at your rental unit, I will charge my traditional $500.00 and you will also have to pay the filing fee for the County you are in. If a process server is necessary (in almost all civil cases, the documents must be properly served), this is an additional fee that again does not go to the attorney. All too often, clients somehow believe that their attorney is going to pay all of the necessary filing fees.
Here is the updated filing fee for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Lake County, Illinois most recently updated in September of 2015. Lake Co Filing Fees September 2015
Here is the updated filing fee for the 22nd Judicial Circuit of McHenry County, Illinois most recently updated in September of 2015. McHenry Co Filing Fees Sept2015
A quick primer on how to understand the filing fees might be helpful. All cases filed have a number, a letter, and another number. In Lake and McHenry (and most jurisdictions) the first number stands for the year the case was filed. The letter in Lake and McHenry counties tells us what type of case has been filed and the last number is simply the sequential number of that type of case filed. So 2015 D 1 tells us that this case was filed in 2015. The D stands for divorce and the 1 says it was the first Divorce case filed in Lake County that year (probably the first Court day of the new year. Happy New Year honey, sheesh!)
So you want to file a case and need to know the court costs? I would recommend asking an attorney before you file a case to best help you, but the clerks in the courthouse, while the cannot offer legal advice can help you identify the type of case you are wanting to file. The types of case filing can be confusing, and it is important that you know where you are filing and what you are seeking.
A commonly filed civil case is small claims. In Illinois, a small claims case is any matter where one party is asking the Court to award a judgment to them in the amount of $10,000.00 or less. To find the filing cost, you scroll through the filing fees and you will note that the fee increases by the amount of money being asked for in the judgement.
In some civil cases, the winning party may in fact recover filing fees, service of process, and even attorney fees. It is important that you ask for such relief in your initial filing. Just one of the many reasons why you might wish to consult and hire an attorney.
The Sheriff’s of each county can serve the official papers of the Court and can act as your process server. Alternatively, you can use a private process server. Recently, some small claims cases can be sent by the Clerk of the Court and properly served through the use of certified mail. There are various merits to having the Sheriff serve papers as well as to using a private process server. Again, a great topic of discussion for you and your attorney.
Hopefully this blog post helped convey the filing fees for filing in Lake or McHenry Counties in Illinois as of September 2015.
If I can help in your legal case, I and my team would be honored to listen to your situation.