Motions and Notices

In order to have an issue heard by your judge, you must file a motion or petition explaining the issue and explaining what you want the judge to do.  You must also give legally sufficient notice of the motion or petition to the other party or the other party’s attorney if the other party is represented by an attorney.  All motions/petitions and notices of motion must be filed with the Clerk of Court either in Room 802 of the Daley Center or at any of the offices located at the suburban municipal district courthouses. If your motion/petition is not filed before you come to court, the judge may not hear your motion. 

Your motion/petition must include a Notice of Motion, which must be filed with the Clerk of Court.  The notice of motion will state the name of the case, case number, name of your motion and the date, time and place for hearing (including the name of the judge), and a brief description of your motion or petition.  In the notice of motion, you must also verify that the other party has been served, how the other party was served and when the other party was served. 

You must attach a copy of your motion or petition to the notice of motion. If your notice of motion is not completed properly, the Court may deny your motion/petition.

If the other party is not represented by an attorney, you must serve the other party with your notice of motion and copy of your motion.  If the other party is represented by an attorney, you must serve the attorney not the other party.  Serving the wrong person can result in a denial of your motion/petition.

Notice of motions can be served in any of the following ways:

  • Personal delivery to other party or other party’s attorney
  • Regular U.S. Mail
  • Facsimile (if party/attorney consents to service by facsimile)*
  • Fed Ex, UPS, or any other similar third party commercial mail carrier

*If a party/attorney serves the other party/attorney by facsimile, that is considered consent to also receive service by facsimile.  In other words, you cannot serve the other party/attorney by facsimile and refuse to accept service by facsimile.  Likewise, if the other party/attorney refuses to be served by facsimile, then he/she cannot serve you by facsimile.  Either both parties are allowed to use facsimile for service, or neither party is.  Any party may rescind consent of service by facsimile by filing with the court and serving a notice on the other party/attorney that facsimile service will not be accepted. A party or attorney who has rescinded consent to service by facsimile in a case may not serve another party or attorney by facsimile transmission in that case. See Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11

If notice is given by personal service (including facsimile), the notice shall be delivered before 4:00 p.m. of the second (2nd) court day preceding the hearing of the motion.  (For example, if your scheduled hearing date is on a Wednesday, then you must personally serve the other party/attorney before 4:00 p.m. on Monday.)  If notice is given by mail, the notice shall be deposited in a United States Post Office or Post Office Box on or before the fifth (5th) court day preceding the hearing of the motion. (For example, if your scheduled hearing date is on a Wednesday, then you must mail your notice of motion and motion to the other party/attorney before 4:00 p.m. on the Wednesday the week before.)  

Weekends and court holidays do not count as “court days” for purposes of service.  (For example, if your hearing is on Tuesday, July 5th and court is closed Monday July 4th, you would have to personally serve the other party/attorney before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday June 30th or mail the other party/attorney before 4:00 p.m. on Monday June 27th.)

See Cook County Rule 2.1(c)(i) for more information.

Motions/petitions filed with the court must be signed by either the party who is filing the motion or the party’s attorney.  Failure to properly sign your motion/petition may result in a denial of your motion and sanctions, including paying the other party’s attorney fees.

Motions/petitions must have a basis in law and in fact.  This means there must be facts that support your allegations and a law or rule that gives the court the authority to grant your request(s).  Failure to file a motion that that has a basis in law and fact may result in a denial of your motion and sanctions, including paying the other party’s attorney fees.

Motions/petitions cannot be filed as a means to harass the other party, increase the cost of litigation and/or delay proceedings.  Filing motions for these purposes may result in a denial of your motion and sanctions, including paying the other party’s attorney fees.

See Supreme Court Rule 137

By law, a judge cannot give special treatment to a party because the party does not have an attorney.  As a pro se litigant, you are required to follow the same procedures and rules as attorneys.  Your motions, response, notices and methods of service must comply with the law.  Failure to comply with the law can result in denial of your motion and sanctions which can include paying the other party’s attorney fees.  It is highly recommended that you seek advice from an attorney before filing any motions/petitions.
Copyright 2014 by Circuit Court of Cook County