Where do I file the complaint?

Before filing the complaint, you should make sure that the defendant has money, income, or property so that if the Judge decides in your favor, your judgment will be collectible. If you win your case, the judge may award you the costs of bringing the suit as well as the money you are seeking.

You should also make sure that you are suing the proper party. If you have any questions, it is generally inexpensive to consult an attorney before filing your complaint.

Generally speaking, complaints must be filed in the county where one of the defendants live or in the county in which the incident, transaction, or part of either took place. You must file the complaint with the Clerk of the Circuit Court within that county. You must then serve the defendant with the complaint and a summons.

If the defendant resides or is located within Rock Island County, certified mail may be used for service. If the defendant lives outside of Rock Island County, you may be allowed to sue him or her in Rock Island County, but they must be served by the sheriff of the county where they live.

Our Illinois Constitution prohibits a judge from putting a person in jail for a non-willful failure to pay a debt. Therefore, if a person does not have money, income, or property, there is no legal way for the court to help you get the money owed to you. It is wise to make sure a judgment can be collected before paying the costs of filing a lawsuit.

Show All Answers

1. Can corporations sue, or be sued, and how do they defend themselves?
2. How do you file a Small Claims Complaint?
3. How do you respond to a small claims complaint?
4. What court date should I set?
5. What do I do before the trial?
6. What happens after the judgment is collected?
7. What happens after the trial?
8. What happens at the trial?
9. What happens if the case is settled before the court date?
10. What happens if the defendant does not pay the judgment?
11. What if the defendant (the person you are suing) is a corporation?
12. What is Small Claims Court?
13. Where do I file the complaint?
14. Where do I get the forms I need to file a Small Claims Complaint?
15. Where is it located?
16. Who can use Small Claims Court?