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Cook County Court Records

Cook County court records include information about pending and closed cases litigated in a local court. These records are helpful for understanding how the court system operates and can serve as public resource aids for persons wanting to follow or learn about a case's outcome, find past judgments relevant to a current case, or analyze legal trends.

The Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court is the primary custodian of court records in Cook County and provides case information as a public service. The records are maintained in hard copy formats at the courthouse or can be accessed using the Clerk's electronic repositories.

In Cook County, Illinois, court records encompass plea documents, judgments, orders, writs of execution, receipts, affidavits, subpoenas, bonds, depositions, declarations, jury lists, warrants, verdicts, transcripts, and others.

Are Court Records Public in Cook County?

Yes. Although the judicial branch is not subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1), court records and proceedings are presumed open to the public under other state laws, like 705 ILCS 86/5 (the Court Record and Document Accessibility Act).

However, the extent to which the public can access court records is regulated by law, court order, or court rule. For instance, the Illinois Supreme Court Remote Access Policy governs remote access to court records. These access policies limit certain records from public disclosure, typically records deemed confidential by statute or sealed, impounded, or expunged by the court.

Confidential Cook County court records may include:

  • Financial account numbers, including credit card numbers and PINs
  • Social Security numbers
  • Proprietary business information, including business tax returns and trade secrets
  • Notes, drafts, and work products composed by a judge or for a judge by court staff or persons working for the judge
  • Names, telephone numbers, and addresses of potential or sworn jurors in a criminal case
  • Juvenile cases

Cook County Court Records Search

Interested members of the public may find Cook County Court records by the following means:

  • At the circuit court clerk's office
  • Using courthouse Public Access Terminals
  • Accessing a third-party public records website

Cook County Court Records Search by Name

Researchers may use a case party's first, last, and sometimes middle names or company names to search for court records by name. The following search options may be used:

  • Courthouse Terminals: Individuals can access information on recent court filings or events using any of the Cook County courthouse's public access terminals.
  • The Circuit Court clerk's online search tool: This allows researchers to search cases by either the defendant's name, litigant's name, or company name.
  • Via Mail: Individuals may print, complete, and mail a Search or Record Request Form to the correct district court where they wish to access records. For records in multiple districts, one must contact each district separately.
  • Online using the Cook County's Online Case Search resource.

Cook County Courts

The Cook County court system is organized into three functional departments: CountyMunicipal and Juvenile Justice, and Child Protection. These departments are shared along six districts as follows:

The courthouse locations in Cook County are as follows:

George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building

2650 South California Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60608
Phone: (773) 674-3275

Richard J. Daley Center Courts

50 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Phone: (312)- 603-2636

Juvenile Courts

2245 West Ogden Avenue
Suite 8004
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Phone: (312) 433-4754

Traffic Court – Richard J. Daley Center

50 West Washington Street (Lower Level)
Chicago, Illinois 60602
(Phone): (312) 603-2630

Domestic Violence Courts

555 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Phone: (312) 325-9350

District 2 –Skokie Courthouse

5600 Old Orchard Road
Skokie, Illinois 60076
Phone: (847) 470-7277

District 3 –Rolling Meadows Courthouse

2121 West Euclid Avenue
Rolling Meadows, Illinois 60008
Phone: (847) 818-2810

District 4 –Maywood Courthouse

1500 Maybrook Drive
Maywood, Illinois 60153
Phone: (708) 865-6025

District 5 – Bridgeview Courthouse

10220 South 76th Avenue
Bridgeview, Illinois 60455
Phone: (708) 974-6810

District 6 -Markham Courthouse

16501 South Kedzie Parkway
Markham, Illinois 60426
Phone: (708) 232-4435

Chicago Police Courts – North

Branches 23 and 29

5555 West Grand Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60639
Phone: (773) 804-6125

Branches 43 and 44

3150 West Flournoy Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612
Phone: (773) 265-8934

Chicago Police Court – South

Branches 35 and 38

727 East 111th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60628
Phone: (773) 982-3014

Cook County Superior Court Case Search

What was once known as the "Superior Court of Cook County" ceased to exist in 1964 after an amendment to the Constitution of Illinois took effect. This amendment created the modern Circuit Court of Cook County, which has the jurisdiction and function of the county's superior court. Hence, the Cook County Circuit Court oversees all criminal, civil, probate, domestic violence, civil appeals, and traffic cases within the county.

Interested persons may conduct Cook County circuit court case searches via online or offline requests.

Online Requests

The county's circuit court clerk provides an online case search tool. Using this tool, individuals may search Civil, Law, Chancery, Domestic Case Searchprobate casesprobate willsCounty division cases (that is, cases related to name changes, election matters, real estate tax matters, and other related actions), court callsunclaimed child supportmortgage, and naturalization. These searches are typically performed using a name or case number. Interested persons may also find court records of traffic tickets by giving the ticket number or driver's license.

In-Person Requests

Interested individuals may visit the courthouse where the case was handled. Otherwise, they may visit the county's circuit court clerk at:

50 West Washington
Suite 1001
Chicago, Illinois 60602-1305

Phone Calls

Researchers may order documents via phone by calling (312) 603-5030.

Cook County District Court Records

The Cook County Circuit Court is the district court for Cook County, with jurisdiction covering the areas of Chicago and its surrounding areas. The Circuit Court comprises several divisions, including the Chancery DivisionChild Protection DivisionCivil Appeals DivisionCounty DivisionCriminal DepartmentCriminal Divisionand Domestic Relations.

DivisionJuvenile Justice DivisionLaw DivisionProbate Division, and Traffic Division. Each division handles specific types of cases.

To access district court records in Cook County, Illinois, interested individuals can opt for any of the following options:

  • Online Access: The researcher may visit the official website of the Clerk of Cook County's Circuit Court and locate the section related to their case search records. They may look up records based on case numbers, party names, or other relevant details using the search tools provided.
  • Courthouse Visit: Researchers who prefer to access the records in person should visit the Cook County Circuit where the case was heard and contact the Clerk of that division, requesting access to the records they seek. Alternatively, they may use any of the terminals provided at the courthouse.
  • Contact the Clerk's Office: Inquirers may also contact the Clerk's Office of the Cook County Circuit Court by phone or email to inquire about relevant court records, the fees involved, and the information needed to search.

Researchers must note that searching for court records often requires the party's first and last names or a case number.

Cook County Criminal Records

According to the Illinois Uniform Conviction Information Act (20 ILCS 2635/), criminal records managed by law enforcement agencies are public. So, all criminal history record conviction information gathered and kept by the Illinois State Police Bureau of Identification should be accessible to the public. Under this law, only conviction information from judgments or nolo contendere will be disseminated to the public.

Hence, individuals may visit their city's police department or Sheriff's Office to obtain a local RAP sheet containing criminal history records of arrests and convictions made within that jurisdiction. For instance, the Chicago Police Department, in conjunction with the mayor's office, has now made adult arrest search information available online for arrests made by the Chicago Police Department. By using this website, persons may view public records on individuals who have been arrested, except for juveniles. However, this does not include Arrests by the County Sheriff, State Police, or Surrounding Municipalities. Requestors need to, at a minimum, provide the party's names to obtain results that include the full name, age, charges, and arrest date.

Cook County Criminal Court Case Lookup

Cook County Circuit Court's Criminal Division hears cases of serious criminal offenses like assault, armed robbery, burglary, murder, and criminal sexual assault.

Most Cook County court records are accessible online through the Circuit Court's record search website. However, to obtain formal copies of criminal court records, a person must visit the courthouse in person.

Get Cook County Civil Court Records

The Cook County Circuit Court's Civil Division hears civil cases seeking less than $30,000 in damages, including property damage, contracts, eviction, personal injury, replevin, housing, attachments, and garnishments. The Law Division and the Chancery Division are other divisions that hear civil cases. Any person who wants a copy of civil court records may go to the Circuit Clerk's Office, although arrests that did not lead to a court case are not preserved. Case files for chancery, criminal, and common law proceedings show the names of the plaintiff, defendant, judge, and Clerk of court, the court dates, and usually the charge or cause.

The procedure for obtaining civil records from Cook County courts is similar to that for district court records. The requestor should note the division of the court hearing the case and visit the Clerk of that division. Otherwise, they may use the County Clerk Officer's online search tools.

Cook County Family Court Records

The Cook County Circuit Court has a Domestic Relations Division established under General Order 1.2, 2.1 (c). This division handles cases of dissolution of marriage (formerly divorce), dissolution of civil union, legal separation, invalidity of marriage or civil union, court orders for protection filed during family-related legal cases, child support, child custody and visitation, parentage, execution and alteration of previously entered judgments in these matters. Furthermore, the Domestic Violence Department hears issues relating to domestic violence, the County Division hears matters related to abuse, and the Probate Division hears guardianship cases. Inquirers may use the Clerk of the County's online case search tool to access these records. For cases not available online, the researcher should locate the divisional Clerk's office and make their request.

Cook County Dissolution of Marriage Records

Like family court records, the Domestic Relations Division hears cases relating to dissolution of marriage or divorce. Hence, to acquire copies of dissolution of marriage records, inquirers may:

  • Visit the County Circuit Court Clerk's office or go to the courthouse that heard the case. If the case was filed before 1987, the researcher should contact the Archives Department in Room 1113 of the Daley Center or call (312) 603-6601.
  • Input a case number on the Clerk's website, one can review the entire electronic docket for their case.

Cook County Marriage and Divorce Records

Cook County Marriage Records

The Cook County Clerk's office is the official record custodian for marriages, civil unions, and domestic partnerships, and they provide copies of these documents to eligible individuals upon request. Marriage records requests may be made:

  • In person at the Clerk's office,
  • Online: The searcher must provide the municipality where the marriage was held, the partners' names (maiden name if applicable), and the date of marriage or civil union. In addition to the standard record fees, the online search platform charges $13.45 for processing and standard postage via credit cards and checks.
  • By phone by calling (866) 252-8974
  • By mailing a request along with a completed Marriage Certificate Request Form, a photo identification photocopy, a $15 money order or check payable to the Cook County Clerk, a self-addressed stamped envelope, and a phone number to the Cook County Clerk's Office at

Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 641070
Chicago, IL 60664-1070

  • At a local Currency Exchange by calling (847) 759-8905 for Currency Exchange hours and locations, or visiting their website. A $5 surcharge applies to records obtained at Currency Exchanges.

In addition to standard marriage records, other types of marriage records are wallet certificates, which may be ordered at the court locations or by mail, and commemorative marriage records, which may be ordered in person at the court clerk's location or online.

Divorce Records

Cook County's Circuit Court has a Domestic Relations Division that holds the marriage dissolution records, legal separation documents, and records for invalidity for both marriages and civil unions. Licensed attorneys and justice partners (law enforcement, public defenders, social services, and state attorney's offices) may register and view divorce records online via the CCC Portal. Other members of the public should visit the Circuit Court Clerk Offices and submit a formal request and the full names of the parties involved in the divorce. Only the parties named on the divorce document may obtain copies of the record from the court clerk.

Cook Birth and Death Records

Cook County birth records may be required to obtain a driver's license, passport, school enrollment, and certain social benefits. Death records are sometimes needed for insurance benefits and in certain legal cases. Cook County birth and death records are both obtainable from the county probate courts.

Cook County Birth Records

The Cook County Clerk's office maintains official records of births and deaths within the county. According to Illinois state law, an individual can request a copy of their birth record if they are of legal age or if it is their child's birth certificate (provided that they are named on the child's birth certificate).

Like other vital records previously mentioned, birth certificate requests in Cook County may be made online, by phone, by mail order, at the local currency exchange, or by in-person visitation requests. Mail requests should be forwarded to:

Cook County Clerk's Office
Bureau of Vital Records
P.O. Box 641070
Chicago, IL 60664-1070

Each mail request should include a completed Birth Certificate Request Form, an acceptable photo ID, a money order payment or check payable to "Cook County Clerk," a self-addressed stamped envelope for the document to be mailed back, and a valid phone number. However, persons who are verifiably homeless, domestic violence victims, or formerly incarcerated can receive birth records free of charge.

Cook County Death Records

The Cook County Clerk's office maintains official death records for Chicago and suburban Cook County. Certified death certificates can be obtained by contacting the funeral home or the Cook County Clerk's Office, Vital Records. To get a death certificate, a requester must show that they are a family member or demonstrate a financial connection to the deceased person. Members of the media should submit a FOIA request.

The Medical Records Department provides copies of postmortem reports, which can be requested by mail, fax, or electronically. The requestor must provide a written statement including the decedent's name and the date of death.

Death records fees are charged according to 55 ILCS/4-7001 and Public Act 096-1161. Autopsy reports are $50 each, and additional reports specific to that case are $25 each. A requestor may call (312) 997-4425 for particular fees in each case.

To send a mail request, the researcher should forward their request, a valid phone number, their relationship to the deceased, and a return address to the Office of the Medical Examiner at:

2121 West Harrison
Chicago, IL 60612

Cook County Probate Court Records

The Probate Division of Cook County's Circuit Court handles cases related to wills and estate matters, including disputes over wills and other legal documents, claims against estates, administration of estates for deceased individuals, disabled persons, minors, and wards, as well as petitions under the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS chapter 5 et. seq, and the Illinois Insurance Code. It has exclusive authority over wills, estates, and guardianships.

Most probate records are available for public research during office hours, and court documents dating back to 1875 are kept in the court vault. However, wills filed for safekeeping are not part of the public record.

Cook County probate records are available from the County's Circuit Court clerk using any previously mentioned means.

Cook County Property Records

Property records feature vital information about county property ownership history, location, and registration data. Under Illinois compiled statutes (35 ILCS 200/9-5) and 35 ILCS 200/9-30, the County Assessor maintains property records in Cook County. Cook County property records searches may be conducted thus:

Cook County Court Records Online

Interested persons may access Cook County court resources through official government and third-party sources like Government-run websites are run by or supported by official government agencies or sources. Third-party websites are owned by independent companies that collect public records from various sources, such as courthouses, and subsequently make these records available for purchase by the public.

The most common benefits of third-party websites are convenience, ease of access, and widespread coverage. The most common limitation of third-party website searches is that results may not be up-to-date because recent changes have not been reflected in the documents yet. Also, many third-party companies allow users to access basic search results for free. However, depending on the website, researchers may be required to pay a one-time or subscription fee to access the full record information.

  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!