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Cook County Will Start Allowing e-Filing for Certain Kinds of Cases

The Cook County Circuit Court, which serves the city of Chicago, is about to begin an experiment allowing a small number of attorneys to e-file documents for commercial litigation cases, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune.

The clerk's office has scheduled this pilot project to go on for two years, with the ultimate goal of expanding it to other types of cases.  No word on how long that expansion will take, though.
There's also no timeline for allowing public access to the documents filed in cases, as is currently available in federal district courts through the PACER system.  The clerk's office said that the Cook County Circuit Court will need to get approval from the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts and safeguard personal attorney information before that can happen.

I applaud Cook County's move, and encourage it to allow public access to the documents as soon as possible.  PACER has immeasurably increased the public's knowledge of and access to court proceedings and public documents.  It should be a model for all other jurisdictions to follow (although it would be nice if it were free!)