Fees Payable in Advance
Fees for new filings are payable in advance of filing. Copy fees are also payable in advance. Copy requests received through the mail MUST include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of the copies. The Circuit Clerk does not accept mail with postage due. It is returned to the sender marked refused.
The implementation of the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act (Public Acts 100-987, 100-994 and 100-1161) on July 1, 2019, makes significant changes to how fees are assessed in Civil and Criminal cases.
Waiver of Court Fees in Civil Cases
Who can ask the court to participate in a court case for free?
Anyone who must pay a fee as part of a court case. You can ask for yourself, your minor child, or an incompetent adult, but not for anyone else.
How will I know if there is a fee?
The Circuit Clerk can tell you if there is a fee for filing a document with the court. Other fees might come up during the case. For example, the judge might tell you about a fee or the Sheriff’s Department might tell you about a fee for service of court papers.
What forms do I need to fill out to ask the court to let me participate in a case for free?
What types of cases can these forms be used for? All civil cases. For example, divorce cases, family cases, eviction cases, small claims cases, and lawsuits for injury or property damage.
What types of cases can these forms NOT be used for? These forms CANNOT be used for criminal, traffic and juvenile cases.
Is there a deadline for filing an Application for Waiver of Court Fees?
Do I have to pay to file an Application for Waiver of Court Fees?
No, there is no cost for filing an Application for Waiver of Court Fees.
Do I have to file an Application for Waiver of Court Fees each time I want to file something?
No. Once the court grants an Order for Waiver of Court Fees in a particular case, you should not have to fill out another application during that court case, unless the court requests more information from you.
What do I do after I fill out the Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Order for Waiver of Court Fees?
Step 1 – File the forms with the Circuit Clerk.
Step 2 – Wait for a decision.
For more information and resources, check with the McHenry County Self-Help Center on the 3rd floor of the Courthouse or at www.illinoislegalaid.org.