Small Claims

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Message From Chief Judge

The Constitutions of the United States and the State of Illinois not only guarantee the right to be represented by legal counsel, but also afford to each and every citizen the right of self-representation.

In general, any person involved in a legal dispute is encouraged to seek the advice of a lawyer of his or her choice.

Because of the nature of small claim cases, many litigants choose to represent themselves. If you have made that choice and are involved in a small claim matter in Lake County, you should read this booklet.

Whether you are filing a lawsuit or responding to a claim made against you, this booklet will familiarize you with the procedures necessary to conduct a small claim action and allow you to be better prepared when you reach a courtroom.

Although this guide presents the legal procedures as completely as possible, it is not designed to take the place of sound legal advice. If you do not fully understand the information in this booklet, find the procedures to be complicated, or need advice, you may decide to talk to a lawyer about your case. The choice is yours.

Chief Judge
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit

Helpful Telephone Numbers

Phone Number
Law Library and Center for Self-Representation
Clerk of the Circuit Court - Small Claims Clerk
Lake County Bar Association
Prairie State Legal Services