Self-Represented Litigant Resources

COVID H.E.L.P (Housing & Economic Loss Prevention)

COVID H.E.L.P. is a new resource created by CARPLS Legal Aid, the Lawyers Trust Fund of Illinois, and a consortium of other legal aid programs across the state.  

It is an automated, interactive source of free legal information that can assist people with issues related to housing, debt collection, unemployment, probate, and bankruptcy.

COVID H.E.L.P. Fact Sheet with additional information is available here. 


Hotspots, Wifi, and Internet Services - Free or Low Cost -click link 


Legal Information vs Legal Advice

Legal Information & Legal Advice:  What’s the Difference?
Circuit clerks and court personnel cannot tell you what to do or give any legal advice. They can give you the information you need to make your own decision and share information about other resources in the courthouse and local community. For more information on the difference between legal information and advice, see the Illinois Supreme Court Policy on Assistance to Court Patrons.

Legal Information Is:  General factual information about the law or legal process intended to help a court patron navigate the court system.

  *   Legal information is neutral. It does not give one person an advantage over the other.
  *   Legal information is universal. It is always the same, no matter who is asking.
  *   Legal information is objective. It is always the same, no matter the facts of the case.
  *   Legal information is unrestricted. Non-lawyers, including circuit clerks and court staff, can give legal information.

Legal Advice Is:  Guidance regarding a court patron's legal rights and obligations in light of their unique facts and circumstances.

  *   Legal advice is biased. It is intended to give one person a legal advantage over another.
  *   Legal advice is customized. It will change depending on who is asking and what they want.
  *   Legal advice is subjective. It will change depending on the facts of the case.
  *   Legal advice is restricted. Only lawyers are authorized to give legal advice.

E-Filing Resources

What Is E-Filing? - English

What is E-Filing? - Spanish

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 9 - Electronic Filing of Documents

E-Filing Exemption Certificate - English - For use in the event you are unable to e-file civil documents 

E-Filing Exemption Certificate - Spanish

Odyssey eFileIL - E-Filing for Illinois Courts 


How to E-File in Odyssey File & Serve

1. Prepare Documents

2. Register

3. Sign In

4. Create New Password

5. Add Payment Account

6. Case Information

7. Party Information

8. Upload Filings

9. Pay Fees

10. Review Summary / Submit

Need Help E-Filing in Odyssey File & Serve? 


Approved Parenting Classes

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 924 - Parenting Education Requirement, provides that each circuit or county shall create or approve a parenting education program consisting of at least four hours covering the subjects of visitation and custody and their impact on children.

The Chief Judge of the First Judicial Circuit has approved the following parent education program providers for Alexander, Jackson, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union, and Williamson Counties:


Southern Illinois University (SIU) - Putting Children First - online live interactive class

Class is taught by Dr. Stacy Thompson, Professor in Child Development, and Dr. Holly Cormier, Director of SIU Clinical Center, Licensed Clinical Psychologist.

Click here for more information or to register for the SIU Putting Children First Class


Children In Between - online class

Click here for more information about the Children In Between online class


The Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice

The ATJ Commission focuses on improvements, resources, and programs within the judicial system that help self-represented litigants and limited English proficient litigants access our courts, assist legal aid and pro bono attorneys in representing their clients, and support the judiciary and other court staff in ensuring justice for all.


Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) Resources

Legal Self-Help Centers

How to find court forms on 

ILAO Form Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Questions and Answers - chat with us

Legal Information 


Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc.


Veterans/Military Services

Free Legal Aid for Illinois Service Members and Veterans
Low and moderate-income service members and their families are eligible for free legal services.
Free Statewide Legal Aid Hotline 855-IL-AFLAN (452-3526)
Visit for more information.

Directory of Legal Programs for Military Families in Illinois


Approved Statewide Forms

The following forms have been approved for use by the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and are required to be accepted in all Illinois courts.


If You Need A Legal Question Answered (and cannot afford an attorney)

Free Legal Answers - Ask our volunteer attorneys a specific question about your civil legal issue. 


Resources for Self-Represented Litigants in Civil Appeals 


If You Need An Interpreter in Court

You may have the right to a court-appointed interpreter in a court case. - all languages

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - ENG

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - SP

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - ARB

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - KO

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - POL

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - RUS

Requesting an Interpreter for Court - TCH


Additional Resources on this Website

To find information on Language Access, Court Disability Access, or Parenting Classes, please click on Community Directory on the Home page.


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Please take a quick 6-question survey to give feedback about this page.  Thank you!  


Questions? Need more information? 

Brenda Sprague
618-997-1301 x1267

Illinois First Judicial Circuit Court

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