In accordance to the laws prevalent in the state of Illinois, an appeal can be filed against the decision of a lower court in case the judgment is not to the liking of the participants in the lawsuit. Such Illinois Court Appeals are handled by the state appellate authority, i.e. the Court Of Appeals of Illinois. Whether it be appeals for civil suits or Illinois Court Criminal Appeals, all types of appeals are handled by the state appellate court. The court for future reference as well as for public usage if necessary also keeps records of all appeals.
There are five Illinois Court of Appeals, one each for each of the judicial districts. At this intermediate level of the state judicial system, a research director, office staff and a clerk help the chief judge and the other judges of each of the district appellate courts in their duties. The Illinois appellate court judges appoint the research director along with his staff. Illinois court appeals from any of the counties can be made in the respective district appellate court. Though the general laws pertaining to criminal and Illinois court civil appeals are uniform, the local rules vary from one judicial district to another.
All the Illinois criminal appeals are to be made at five of the different appellate courts within the Illinois County. These appeals pertaining to the Illinois court cases can be made for both criminal and civil cases. The appellate court is the first court of appeal for any kind of cases filed under the Illinois Circuit Courts. Three different Illinois Appellate Court judges hear the case and the agreement of any two is extremely necessary in order to provide a decision. The decision is considered once the Illinois Appellate Court provides the decision in writing or through a published opinion.
Once the appeals are entered into the appellate court's system, the deputy clerk becomes responsible for assigning the filing schedules to each individual appeal. Monitoring and review of the cases are also delegated to the deputy clerk of the Illinois court of appeals. Each case is then receives proper attention and goes through the process of extensive preparation and motions. Briefings and oral arguments are heard carefully too. The appellate court of Illinois usually deals with late filings, defects in jurisdiction procedures, non-availability of records as well as non-compliant briefs. The office of the court clerk issues the decision on an appeal after the appeal has been heard. The same office also monitors all post decision activities closely. The court uses both manual and computerized systems for keeping records of the appellate court proceedings. Requests for legal documents and questions pertaining to specific appellate cases are handled by the clerk. A large staff of attorneys and secretaries help the research director to prepare for the extensive legal research required by the judge.
Court of Appeals of Illinois is divided into five districts. Cook County is under First Circuit Appeals Court and rest of the state is divided into remaining four Circuits. In year 2007, the total number of cases filed, inclusive of five districts were 7,631 and number of cases disposed off was 7,853. Of the cases filed, 4000 were of civil category and rest 3,631 of criminal. About 4119 civil appeals were disposed and 3774 criminal appeals.
Search the Illinois Court of Appeals Cases and Records
There is a comprehensive database of all information which stores electronic records from the government facility of PACER or Public Access to Courtroom Electronic Records. Browsing through literally thousands of Illinois court appeals may prove to be a daunting task. You can try searching by using unique numbers like the case number or the docket number. This will help to access specific appellate opinions. Searches can also be conducted by name, date or by the name of the attorney handling the case. Appeals coming up for hearing may also be viewed by logging in to PACER. You need to register for availing of this service. Lost passwords can be recovered easily. You are free to take a print out of the details retrieved by your search. However, downloading of documents entails a fee.
Searching for Illinois Court Appeals records can be done using a number of sources. You just need to know where to look for. Manual search for a court record can take a lot of time, given the number of State Appeals registered regularly. So, manual search is not a good idea. Online sources are perhaps the best way to locate a particular Court of Appeal record. The court maintains all records as part of the official document archive. If an appeal was registered, you are sure to find the same in these databases. Government websites give you authentic information in this regard.
This policy clearly distinguishes between electronic access and paper access of the files containing appellate hearings. This is done in order to protect individuals. Unrestrained access to all appeals including criminal appeals may pose a risk as people are known to make improper use of the records retrieved by electronic means. The identity of an individual is also protected since the search results that are returned, display only the last four digits of his social security number. The P.I.N. number of individuals or business entities cannot be viewed online. Financial transactions as well as sensitive information likely to be misused like trade secrets, customer lists etc are barred from the public view too. If you are unsure about the date of court proceedings you can check out the oral arguments calendar from the judicial resource too. Calendars for each of the five districts of Illinois can be viewed by logging in to the website. However, most of the records can be viewed via the electronic system and it is the policy of the administrative authorities to provide electronic access to Illinois appellate court decisions. This has helped to reinforce the public confidence in the State judiciary system. This also helps in maintaining an excellent customer service without unduly pressurizing the staff of the court. However, viewing the records over the Internet does not jeopardize your right to inspect them from the court office. You can still access them during regular office hours.
Private Websites offering the same services may induce you to log in to them. However, you will often find that the resource has not been updated for a considerable period of time. Although most of the site is functional, access to certain documents or procedures may be restricted. Payment for services may entail you for a more detailed search. It is a good idea to check out the entire list of resources offering similar services first. Logging in indiscriminately will only frustrate you as you waste precious time. Clicking on the hyperlinks placed within a calendar will help you to successfully retrieve the court opinions or appellate decisions for the State of Illinois. Separate calendars, one for every district, are displayed prominently within most commercial sites. If you are interested in a specific date or case you need to enter the relevant data within the text box. Articles as well as case summaries can be checked out from these resources too. It is essential that you verify the information retrieved by searching through private resources, especially if you are contemplating further action on basis of the information obtained. Most commercial sites provide links to the governmental sites as well. Clicking on them will enable you to conduct a much more authentic search.