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Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Civil Appeals


Case Information 

There are five appellate districts in Illinois.  If you do not know the appellate district you are in, you can locate that information on this map.  

For information about a pending court case, please contact your district's Appellate Court Clerk's Office.

Legal Information

For Illinois court forms and instructions for civil appeals, please visit the Illinois Supreme Court Standardized Forms.

For more information about Illinois laws and legal procedure, please see the Illinois Compiled Statutes and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.  Civil appeals are governed by Illinois Supreme Court Rules 301-384.  

Each appellate district has local rules that must be followed.  You can find rules for each appellate district under the "Local Rules" section on the Illinois Courts' website.

For free legal information, please visit Illinois Legal Aid Online.

Guides and General Overviews

The AOIC's Guide for Appeals to the Illinois Appellate Court for Self-Represented Litigants provides detailed information about civil appeals. The guide provides a detailed overview of the civil appeals process, including rules, deadlines, frequently asked questions, and a checklist for filing in the appellate courts. 

The AOIC publishes a one-page overview of a civil appeal from a final order or judgment.

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court publishes a Guide to Bringing an Appeal, which highlights the steps necessary to file an appeal.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Civil Appeals Division's website has an FAQ section and forms available for use (for appeals within the First Appellate District only).

The University of Illinois Law Library publishes a Self-Representation Guide intended to assist self-represented litigants with conducting basic legal research. It provides an overview of available legal resources and materials for conducting legal research in federal and state courts.   

The Chicago Association of Law Libraries publishes Finding Illinois Law: A Librarian’s Guide for Non-Lawyers, which is a guide aimed at assisting non-lawyers with understanding the legal system and conducting legal research, and locating resources. 


Frequently Asked Questions about Civil Appeals

The AOIC provides a guide of frequently asked questions relating to civil appeals in the Illinois Appellate Court (it does not cover criminal appeals).  It is intended to assist self-represented litigants with understanding the steps necessary to file a civil appeal by addressing commonly asked questions about the process.   

You may view individual sections below (sections will be posted as they become available in the near future) -

Section 1:    The Basics of an Appeal
Section 2:    Overview of Steps and Forms
Section 3:    Information for the Appellee
Section 4:    Notice of Appeal
Section 5:    Request for Preparation of Record on Appeal
Section 6:    Request for Report of Proceedings, Bystander's Report, or Agreed Statement of Facts
Section 7:    Docketing Statement
Section 8:    Appellate Briefs
Section 9:    Oral Argument
Section 10:  The Appellate Court's Decision
Section 11:  Other Resources


Attorney Referral Information 

For help finding an attorney who specializes in appeals, please contact the Chicago Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (in Chicago) or the Illinois State Bar Association LawyerFinder (outside Chicago).  

If you are looking for an attorney outside of Illinois, please visit the American Bar Association's Find Legal Help.  

E-filing Information

As of July 1, 2017, all documents filed in the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court must be filed electronically (“e-filed”).  If you need assistance, you may take your documents to the appellate court clerk’s office, where you can use a public terminal to e-file your documents.  You can bring your documents on a flash drive or on paper. The terminal will have a scanner where you can scan, save, and then use the computer to e-file your documents.

In limited circumstances, Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9(c)(4) allows for an exemption from e-filing for good cause.  You may be excused from e-filing if you:

  • 1)  do not have internet or computer access at home and cannot travel;
  • 2)  have a disability that keeps you from e-filing;
  • 3)  have trouble reading or speaking in English; or
  • 4)  are filing an order of protection or civil no contact/stalking order.

To file paper documents instead of e-filing, fill out a Certification for Exemption From E-Filing and file it with your other papers.

Todos los sistemas de presentación electrónica de Illinois están solo en inglés. Si tiene dificultades para leer, escribir o hablar en inglés, podría estar exento de hacer presentaciones electrónicas. Puede ver la Certificación de exención de presentación electrónica en


Contact Details

For general questions about civil appeals, please email:

Alison Spanner, Assistant Director, Access to Justice Division
312-793-3859 (phone)
312-793-0740 (fax)
Kathryn Hensley, Senior Program Manager, Appellate and Illinois JusticeCorps  
312.793.6153 (phone)
312-793-0740 (fax)

Disclaimer:  Information and resources presented on this website do not constitute legal advice and are not a substitute for legal counsel.  If you are in need of legal advice, you must speak with a lawyer.  The resources provided herein are provided for informational purposes only and are neither legal authority nor a substitute for the requirements found in the Illinois Supreme Court Rules.