Post Authored by Tisha Delgado, brought to you by CourtFiling.net
Issuing subpoenas in Illinois may seem routine to the seasoned, local attorney, but creating and sending subpoenas correctly and efficiently takes practice. To assist, this article will explain how attorneys outside of Illinois can get their subpoena issued in Illinois. Often, a subpoena helps a party investigate their case by requiring a person or company to (a) testify at a trial, hearing, or deposition, (b) to allow an inspection of a place, and/or (c) to produce or copy documents or electronically stored information.
For this article, we assume that we only want to obtain documents and/or electronically stored information and that the company we need to subpoena is located in Cook County. We specifically look at the procedures in Cook County for forms and show you how to eFile so that the process will be as quick and painless as possible.
Interstate Subpoena Law
The law that governs interstate subpoena procedure is the Uniform Interstate Depositions and Discovery Act (“UIDDA”) (735 ILC 35/1 et. seq.) that went into effect in Illinois on July 20, 2015. This law simplifies the procedures for courts in one state to issue subpoenas for out-of-state depositions. Currently, most states have enacted this law with the exception of Wyoming, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Be sure to check the Uniform Law Commission’s website for updated information.
Simply put, this law allows an out-of-state attorney (for example, one in California because California has also adopted the UIDDA) to prepare their subpoena and send it to the Cook County Clerk of Court. The Clerk then issues an Illinois version of the same California subpoena. The California attorney then serves the Illinois subpoena in accordance with Illinois rules.
Required Subpoena Documents
The following documents need to be filed in Cook County’s Law Division. Attorneys or the filing party will need to have the out-of-state subpoena (issued pursuant to that state’s requirements and procedures), and prepare the following documents:
- Civil Action Cover Sheet (form CCL 0520).
- Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet (form CCL 0015).
- Illinois Subpoena in A Civil Matter (form CCG N106).
Because forms can change, always check the court’s website and ensure you are using the most up-to-date forms.
Civil Action Cover Sheet
In Cook County, the Civil Action Cover Sheet always needs to be eFiled in new matters. While it is only for administrative purposes, be sure to check the box for Petition to Issue Subpoena under the Other Actions section.
Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet
Under section 3(c)(B) of the UIDDA, you must list the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all counsel of record and any party not represented by counsel. You will submit this information using the form Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet.
Prepare the Illinois subpoena
Finally, prepare an Illinois subpoena for each document custodian.
The out-of-state subpoena and the Illinois subpoena must have identical case names, captions, addresses, and phone numbers of parties and attorneys. Both subpoenas must also identify the same document custodian and contain the same provisions and content of the requested information. Once eFiled, the Illinois subpoena receives an Illinois case number.
Once you have your documents prepared, they must be eFiled using an eFiling Service Provider, such as CourtFiling.net. Combine your Civil Action Cover Sheet, Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet, and your out-of-state subpoena so that they are one, single PDF file.
Insider Tip: Be sure you have “flattened” your fillable forms so the text can no longer be edited. If needed, print out the forms and rescan them before eFiling. If you don’t, the form contents could be wiped away and the court clerk will only see blank forms and will reject your filing. Also, be sure your forms have been OCR’d, or simply put, made searchable, to avoid being rejected!
eFile the documents as if you were initiating a new case. In the “Select Court & Case Type” section in CourtFiling.net, select Cook County-Law-District 1-Chicago-Cook County as the Court and Petitions to Issue Subpoena-Other Actions as the Case Type. Enter your Cook County Attorney Code. Please note that you may select a different court and case type if you are not filing in Cook County.
Insider Tip: Out-of-state attorneys with no Cook County Attorney Code should enter 99500.
Example of Select Court & Case Type section in CourtFiling.net:
You will need to fill in Ad Damnum amount, because it is a required field. Ad Damnum is the damages or claim amount that you are suing for in your out-of-state action. Cook County’s Law Division hears cases where the damages or claim amount is $30,000 or greater.
When uploading your documents in the “Add Documents” section in CourtFiling.net, upload the combined PDF file that contains the Civil Action Cover Sheet, Subpoena for a Foreign Action Cover Sheet, and your out-of-state subpoena. Select the document type as Complaint – Petitions To Issue Subpoena – Fee. There is a filing fee of $388.00 in Cook County.
Then upload the Illinois subpoena using Exhibits Filed as the Document Type. After these steps are complete, continue by completing the remaining sections before finally submitting.
Once the clerk accepts your filing and you receive the file-stamped copies, look to make sure that the Illinois subpoena is issued. It should have the clerk’s seal on the subpoena.
Serve your Illinois subpoena
The final task will be serving your Illinois subpoena. In Illinois, you can serve the subpoena by certified mail or by using a process server. See Ill.Sup.Ct.Rule 204(a)(2) for more information on serving subpoenas.
Need to locate a process server? Go to ServeNow.com. Just enter the city/state or zip code and you can quickly find a list of local, pre-screened process servers.
As always with eFiling in Illinois, processes and procedures can change at any time and without notice, so please give yourself plenty of time to eFile. Contact Law Division management at (312) 603-5426 with any questions.
About the Author:
Tisha Delgado is a senior litigation paralegal and e-discovery specialist at Golan Christie Taglia, where she maintains complex databases and assists clients in collecting and exporting electronically stored information and social media. An educator, trainer, and thought leader, Tisha is frequently called on to speak at paralegal schools and legal education conferences. She currently advises legal professionals on e-filing rules and procedures, and how to create successful workflows to accommodate an evolving e-filing system in the Illinois state courts. Tisha is a member of the National Federation of Paralegal Associations.