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Illinois Court Records

The Illinois Supreme Court Library provides access to thousands of volumes of Illinois court records in person and online. This library is physically located in Springfield, and serves the Supreme Court justices and local judiciary and law students, as well as the general public.

Many of these Illinois court records are required for case histories and writing opinions, and past cases from trial and appellate courts can be researched there. The general public is also often interested in court forms, rules and other publications that can be utilized when representing themselves in the court of law.

The state’s law library was established by its constitution and now shares a home with the Illinois Supreme Court.

Illinois Court Records

History of Illinois Courts

In 1842, the Illinois Supreme Court Library was founded. In 1908, it was moved to Springfield, sharing space in the Supreme Court Building. Its main mission is providing legal and research support to the judiciary, though government officials and the general public can also access its volumes of information. The library also maintains a private branch in Chicago for the strict use of the First District Appellate Court and Supreme Court in Chicago.

Illinois Court Statistics

Illinois Courts recieve 2,958,693 filings per year. In 2012, the court received 3,329,671 filings and gave 3,485,445 dispositions. In 2016, the state court caseload counted 2,560,982 filings and had 2,607,073 dispositions.

Total State Caseloads

Year Caseloads
2012 3,329,671
2013 3,205,649
2014 2,963,069
2015 2,734,094
2016 2,560,982

Illinois Court Records Availability

There are more than 100,000 Illinois court records available for review in the Illinois Supreme Court Library. More than 350 legal periodicals are also maintained there, and it provides access to federal and state documents and statutes, court case digests, treaties and court forms and rules. These records are frequently used by legal professionals and justices to research past cases and establish constitutionality in a decision. Most of the volumes are searchable online, though it does not lend them to the general public.

Share of Court Type Incoming Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,678,901 (65.6 %)
Domestic Relations: 141,703 (5.5 %)
Criminal: 286,567 (11.2 %)
Civil: 453,811 (17.7 %)

Share of Court Type Outgoing Caseloads

Court Type Caseloads
Traffic: 1,624,848 (62.3 %)
Domestic Relations: 133,708 (5.1 %)
Criminal: 272,060 (10.4 %)
Civil: 576,457 (22.1 %)

Illinois Main Court Information

The Illinois Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the state, hearing appeals from lower courts and reviewing their decisions. Justices are elected to their seats for a 10-year term, and there are currently seven justices serving the court. The court meets in Springfield on the second Monday of September, November, January, March and May. When court isn’t in session, justices are conducting research at the Illinois Supreme Court Library to write opinions and gather legal background on the cases at hand.

The Illinois Supreme Court establishes rules of the state’s judicial system, and exercises discretionary jurisdiction over appeals from the Illinois Appellate Court. Other cases it decides include those regarding revenue, mandamus, prohibition and habeas corpus.

Family Court Cases

Domestic relations caseload of Illinois at year end 2016 has decreased by 5.6% compared to the last 5 years, in 2012 the number of incoming cases was 149,602 with a rate of 1,162 cases per 100,000 population, higher than it's in 2016.

Year Domestic Relations Caseload Total Statewide Caseload
2012 149,602 3,329,671
2013 138,016 3,205,649
2014 134,995 2,963,069
2015 145,682 2,734,094
2016 141,703 2,560,982

Domestic Relations Clearance Rates

Year Incoming Caseload Outgoing Caseload Caseload per 100,000 Population
2012 149,602 144,705 1,162
2013 138,016 132,010 1,071
2014 134,995 133,585 1,048
2015 145,682 140,137 1,133
2016 141,703 133,708 1,107

States with More & Less Domestic Relation Caseloads than Illinois

More Domestic Relations Cases than Illinois:

State: Caseload:
New York 570,709
Texas 397,468
California 388,903
Pennsylvania 342,163
Virginia 342,040

Less Domestic Relations Cases than Illinois:

State: Caseload:
North Carolina 121,737
Missouri 117,946
Michigan 114,563
Maryland 111,299
Indiana 97,578

Illinois Caseload Statistics

Caseloads for the Illinois Supreme Court tend to average in the few thousands each year. In 2007, there were 2,836 filings and 2,962 dispositions. In 2013, there were 2,671 filings and 2,627 dispositions. In 2010, there were 3,014 filings and 2,922 dispositions, which is the highest number of filings reported in recent years.

Illinois Criminal Caseloads

The number of criminal cases in Illinois counts 286,567 with 77,849 felony cases and 208,718 misdemeanors accordingly.

Year Criminal Caseload Misdemeanor Caseload Felony Caseload
2012 395,829 85,887 309,942
2013 385,801 87,479 298,322
2014 345,189 75,880 269,309
2015 326,192 79,476 246,716
2016 286,567 77,849 208,718

State Civil Caseload & Clearance Rates

In the last 5 years the number of civil cases has decreased by 125,229 cases, it went from 579,040 to 453,811 with clearance rates of 128% and 127%.

Year Civil Caseload Clearance Rate
2012 579,040 128
2013 537,930 103
2014 480,374 105
2015 458,235 99
2016 453,811 127