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Email Service: It’s the Law


It may come as a surprise to more than a few lawyers, but as of July 1, 2017, faxing documents is no longer a proper method for serving them. What's more, attorneys must include an email address at which they can be served with documents on their appearances and pleadings.

Why? Because the Illinois Supreme Court revised Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 to mandate email service of documents filed with the court. It also eliminates facsimile service entirely. The changes were announced June 22.

The effective date of the rule amendments coincides with the day the supreme and appellate court were required to switch to the new e-filing system (circuit courts make the switch on January 1). The supreme court has made its intention clear - modernizing Illinois' court system is a priority.

According to new Rule 11(c), documents must be served via email unless certain exceptions apply. Documents may be attached to the email, or the serving party can include a link in the body of the email that will allow the recipient to download documents from a reliable service provider. If an email is rejected or otherwise returned as undelivered, the emailing party is responsible for ensuring that the document is actually delivered.

Pro se parties are not required to accept service by email. Instead, they can be served personally or by delivery to their primary residence if it is left with a member of the family 13 years or older. Regular U.S. mail and third-party courier services can also be used. Find out more in the October Illinois Bar Journal.

Posted on Sep 27, 2017 by Mark Mathewson | Comments (3)
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Glad to see the October IBJ article. E-mail service has been required since July 1. I didn't learn about the new rule until mid-August, and a lot of Illinois lawyers are still clueless about this. A better job should have been done to announce the change.
I have not seen a complete set of instructions and explanations of the e-filing requirement being imposed on Attorneys.
As to the e-filing requirements: 1. As to documents presented in open Court, such as Orders and other documents during a hearing.......is simply presenting the documents and Orders to the Court, for filing and entry by the Judge sufficient? Surely it would be absurd to require or permit the documents or Orders to be removed from the possession of the Circuit Court/Circuit Clerk for any length of time......and require a strange departure from strict custody of orders and documents remaining with the Clerk, just to see an Attorney take the documents away from the Courthouse and then route them to the Court via Tyler Technologies in Texas. 2. I am new to e-filing, and would appreciate information about the above. Thank you Samuel Naylor, VI

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