Self-Representation

person on laptop

Our Legal Self-Help Centers make available correct and current information on Illinois law and court proceedings. A navigator is present during normal working hours to assist individuals with using the available computer and print resources. Be advised, Navigators and employees of the Circuit Clerk’s Office cannot give out legal advice or tell you which forms to fill out.

Court Forms & How to File 

Learn how to find and fill out legal forms. 

Legal Forms 

Forms are used to help people provide information to the court as a part of their case. These forms are created by the Illinois Supreme Court, the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, self help centers, legal aid organizations, or others to help guide court-goers.  Note, forms may not cover all information necessary for the court to reach a decision. 

You can find forms in many different places (listed below). However, you may need to create your own form if an existing form does not suit your needs. This can be done by creating a form using an outline or sample. If you want to begin this process, visit the Law Library to learn more. 

  • Winnebago & Boone County Self Help Centers. The Self Help Center forms have been approved by the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for use in Winnebago and Boone County. The forms are available free of charge. 
  • Court websites. The Illinois Supreme court has created standardized forms that all courts within the State have approved and are available here. The 17th Judicial Circuit Court has available forms here
  • Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). ILAO is an online website where you can find forms. You can also find interview-style questionnaires relating to civil cases you’d like to start, which auto-populate forms for you based on your responses. 

 

Filing Documents With The Court

If you want the judge to see a document as a part of your case, you need to “file” this document. Typically, there are filing fees to open a case. If you cannot afford the filing fee, it can be covered by a Fee Waiver. Usually any documents filed once the case is open or to an exisitng case don't require a fee.  

Here are the ways that court documents can be filed: 

  1. In Person: Bring your documents to the Clerk’s Office.
  2. Online: You can file online through the court's e-filing system. You will need to register for an account. Learn more about efiling here.

Visit one of our self-help centers in person, use our Online Self Help Center to the right or visit ILAO for more resources and information. 

Winnebago County Self-Help Center

Winnebago County Courthouse
400 West State Street, Room 304 (inside the law library)
Rockford, Illinois 61101
Navigator's Hours: 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday
815-319-4526 or AskTheCourtNav@gmail.com

Boone County Self-Help Center

Boone County Courthouse
601 North Main Street  (inside the law library)
Belvidere, Illinois 61008
Navigator's Hours: 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday
815-547-8083

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400 W State St
Rockford, IL 61101