How do I get a domestic relations case before a Judge
The following information, presented as a public service by the Committees of the DuPage County Bar Association, pertains to some of the more frequently asked questions posed to attorneys on various issues..
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The following information does not constitute legal advice of any kind, but reflects the steps to take in the 18th Judicial Court, DuPage County, Illinois.
The procedures to be followed in other districts may vary.
Q. How do I get a domestic relations case before a Judge?
- You must first decide why you want this matter to go before a Judge. (what are you asking the judge to do with your case)
- Decide on a Court Date. You should have at least 3 possible court dates on which you will be available to appear in court
- Call the Case Scheduler at (630) 682-7176 to set a court date. You must give enough time to meet the requirements of Supreme Court Rule 11 and the 18th Judicial Court Circuit Rule 6.04 for service of the Notice of Motion and Petition. (By mail you must allow at least five (5) court days and for service in person three (3) court days.
- Obtain a Notice of Motion Form #2169 Rev 2/97 from the Circuit Court Clerk's office.
- Complete your Notice of Motion form. This is the form that is used to notify all parties of a court date that has been set for a hearing on your motion. (A party of record is defined as any person and/or attorney who has filed an appearance with the clerk.)
a. Fill in the case caption area. The names of the Plaintiff (Petitioner) and Defendant (Respondent) always remain the same as the case was originally filed even if you or the other party are now known by a different last name.
b. Fill in the court date, time and location that you received from the Case Scheduler.
c. Briefly, state the reason that you are asking the Judge to consider your petition.
d. Fill in your name, address and phone number in the lower left hand corner of the form. Where it states "Attorney Number' show the words Pro-se (by Yourself)
e. Sign the Petition and Notice of Motion.
f. The person who either mails or serves the Notice of Motion must complete the Affidavit of Service. As a non-attorney you are required to swear or affirm before a proper official (Notary Public or Deputy Circuit Court Clerk) that you have served the notice upon all parties entitled to such notice. This sworn statement tells the Court that you have given notice in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 11.
g. Do not sign this proof of service until you appear before the Notary Public or the Deputy Circuit Court Clerk. As petitioner, you should not complete the affidavit unless you were the person who either mailed or served the Notice of Motion and Petition to all parties.
- Use the pro-se petition form to state your reason for the relief being sought. (if you need additional space to explain your reason to the court, attach an 8 1/2x 11 sheet of paper to the petition.) Expand on what you stated in your Notice of Motion. In many cases you will have to insert dates of previous court rulings or decisions. You may have to do research in the Law Library to determine what information is needed for your particular type of petition. The Deputy Circuit Court Clerks are prohibited by law from giving you legal advice or to assist you in the preparation of your petition.
a. Fill in the case caption, the same way you did on your Notice of Motion form.
b. Fill in your name, address, city & phone number.
c. Sign the document.
- Make at least one(l) copy for each party being served and one for your personal files.
The original is always filed with the clerk
- File the original Notice of Motion and Petition with the Circuit Court Clerk. If you give the clerk copies at the time of filing, you will get the copies Time Stamped to show that you have filed this matter with the court.
- Serve a file stamped copy of the Notice of motion form and a file stamped copy of the petition on all parties of record and keep a copy for your own personal records. Acceptable notice is three (3) court days for personal service and five (5) court days, if you are serving them by mail.
- You must send a file stamped copy of your Notice of Motion and Petition to the judge well in advance of your court date. You may not call the Judge to discuss your case. You may only speak to the Judge when the case is in court on a date when all parties of record have been notified of a hearing on Notice of Motion.
- Report to Court on your assigned court date. Have copies of all documents with you, especially those that are required to prove the petition that you have filed. The Judge may want to see filed copies and the proof of service on your Notice of Motion.
JOEL A- KAGANN - Clerk of the Circuit Court
DuPage County, Wheaton, Illinois 60189-0707
If you need to consult with an attorney, The DuPage County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service can locate an attorney in your area (DuPage County, Illinois).