Illinois Small Claims Court: An Overview

From maximum dollar limits to statutes of limitations, learn the basics about small claims court in Illinois.

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What's the dollar limit for small claims court cases in Illinois?

The most you can ask for in a small claims case is $10,000.

Which court hears small claims cases in Illinois?

Small claims cases in Illinois are heard in the Small Claims Court.

What is the statute of limitations period for filing a claim in small claims court in Illinois?

For information on Illinois's statute of limitation periods for claims related to written contracts, oral contracts, injuries, and property damage, see Nolo's 50-state Statutes of Limitations chart.

How long does the defendant have to answer the small claims court complaint?

In Illinois, the defendant is not required to file a formal response, but the defendant must appear by the date on the court summons.

Are attorneys allowed in small claims court in Illinois?

You are allowed to have an attorney represent you in small claims court in Illinois. Corporations are required to have an attorney.

Can a landlord bring an eviction lawsuit in small claims court in Illinois?

Eviction cases are allowed in small claims court in Illinois.

Do I have a right to a jury trial in small claims court in Illinois?

In Illinois, either party may demand a jury trial.

Where can I get more information about small claims court in Illinois?

For more information about Illinois small claims court, see www.ag.state.il.us/consumers/smlclaims.html.

Nolo's Small Claims Court area has many helpful related articles. For more detailed help with filing a case, using the best strategy in court, and collecting your money if you win, see Everybody's Guide to Small Claims Court, by Attorney Ralph Warner (Nolo).

Updated: October 1, 2015

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