Illinois Compiled Statutes
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CIVIL PROCEDURE735 ILCS 5/Art. II Pt. 2
(735 ILCS 5/) Code of Civil Procedure.
(735 ILCS 5/Art. II Pt. 2 heading)
735 ILCS 5/2-201
(735 ILCS 5/2-201)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-201)
Commencement of actions - Forms of process.
(a) Every action, unless otherwise expressly provided by statute,
shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint. The clerk shall issue
summons upon request of the plaintiff. The form and substance of the
summons, and of all other process, and the issuance of alias process,
and the service of copies of pleadings shall be according to
(b) One or more duplicate original summonses may be issued, marked
"First Duplicate," "Second Duplicate," etc., as the case may be,
whenever it will facilitate the service of summons in any one or more
counties, including the county of venue.
(c) A court's jurisdiction is not affected by a technical error in format of a summons if the summons has been issued by a clerk of the court, the person or entity to be served is identified as a defendant on the summons, and the summons is properly served. This subsection is declarative of existing law.
(Source: P.A. 100-1048, eff. 8-23-18.)
735 ILCS 5/2-202
(735 ILCS 5/2-202)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-202)
Persons authorized to serve process; place of
service; failure to make return.
(a) Process shall be served by a
sheriff, or if the sheriff is disqualified, by a coroner of some county of the
State. In matters where the county or State is an interested party, process may be served by a special investigator appointed by the State's Attorney of the county, as defined in Section 3-9005 of the Counties Code. A sheriff of a county with a population of less than 2,000,000
may employ civilian personnel to serve process. In
counties with a population of less than 2,000,000, process may
be served, without special appointment, by a person who is licensed or
registered as a private detective under the Private Detective, Private
Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004 or by a registered
employee of a private detective
agency certified under that Act as defined in Section (a-5). A private detective or licensed
employee must supply the sheriff of any county in which he serves process
with a copy of his license or certificate; however, the failure of a person
to supply the copy shall not in any way impair the validity of process
served by the person. The court may, in its discretion upon motion, order
service to be made by a private person over 18 years of age and not a party
to the action.
It is not necessary that service be made by a sheriff or
coroner of the county in which service is made. If served or sought to be
served by a sheriff or coroner, he or she shall endorse his or her return
thereon, and if by a private person the return shall be by affidavit.
(a-5) Upon motion and in its discretion, the court may appoint as a
private detective agency certified under the Private Detective, Private Alarm,
Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004. Under the appointment,
any employee of
private detective agency who is registered under that Act may serve the
motion and the order of appointment must contain the number of the certificate
the private detective agency by the Department of Professional Regulation under
Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of
2004. A private detective or private detective agency shall send, one time only, a copy of his, her, or its individual private detective license or private detective agency certificate to the county sheriff in each county in which the detective or detective agency or his, her, or its employees serve process, regardless of size of the population of the county. As long as the license or certificate is valid and meets the requirements of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, a new copy of the current license or certificate need not be sent to the sheriff. A private detective agency shall maintain a list of its registered employees. Registered employees shall consist of:
(1) an employee who works for the agency holding a
valid Permanent Employee Registration Card;
(2) a person who has applied for a Permanent Employee
Registration Card, has had his or her fingerprints processed and cleared by the Department of State Police and the FBI, and as to whom the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation website shows that the person's application for a Permanent Employee Registration Card is pending;
(3) a person employed by a private detective agency
who is exempt from a Permanent Employee Registration Card requirement because the person is a current peace officer; and
(4) a private detective who works for a private
detective agency as an employee.
A detective agency shall maintain this list and forward it to any sheriff's department that requests this list within 5 business days after the receipt of the request.
(b) Summons may be served upon the defendants wherever they may be
found in the State, by any person authorized to serve process. An officer
may serve summons in his or her official capacity outside his or her county,
but fees for mileage outside the county of the officer cannot be taxed
as costs. The person serving the process in a foreign county may make
return by mail.
(c) If any sheriff, coroner, or other person to whom any process is
delivered, neglects or refuses to make return of the same, the plaintiff
may petition the court to enter a rule requiring the sheriff, coroner,
or other person, to make return of the process on a day to be fixed by
the court, or to show cause on that day why that person should not be attached
for contempt of the court. The plaintiff shall then cause a written
notice of the rule to be served on the sheriff, coroner, or other
person. If good and sufficient cause be not shown to excuse the officer
or other person, the court shall adjudge him or her guilty of a contempt, and
shall impose punishment as in other cases of contempt.
(d) If process is served by a sheriff, coroner, or special investigator appointed by the State's Attorney, the court may tax
the fee of the sheriff, coroner, or State's Attorney's special investigator as costs in the proceeding. If process
is served by a private person or entity, the court may establish a fee
therefor and tax such fee as costs in the proceedings.
(e) In addition to the powers stated in Section 8.1a of the Housing
Authorities Act, in counties with a population of 3,000,000 or more
members of a housing authority police force may serve process for eviction actions commenced by that housing authority and may execute eviction
orders for that housing authority.
(f) In counties with a population of 3,000,000 or more, process may be
served, with special appointment by the court,
by a private process server or
a law enforcement agency other than the county sheriff
in proceedings instituted under Article IX of this Code as a result of a lessor or
lessor's assignee declaring a lease void pursuant to Section 11 of the
Controlled Substance and Cannabis Nuisance Act.
(Source: P.A. 99-169, eff. 7-28-15; 100-173, eff. 1-1-18
735 ILCS 5/2-203
(735 ILCS 5/2-203)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-203)
Service on individuals.
(a) Except as otherwise expressly provided, service of summons upon
an individual defendant shall be made (1) by leaving a copy of the summons with
the defendant personally, (2) by leaving a copy at the defendant's
usual place of
abode, with some person of the family or a person residing there, of the
age of 13 years or
upwards, and informing that person of the contents of the summons, provided the
officer or other person making service shall also send a copy of the
summons in a sealed envelope with postage fully prepaid, addressed to
the defendant at his or her usual place of abode, or (3) as provided in
Section 1-2-9.2 of the Illinois Municipal Code with respect to violation of an ordinance governing parking or
standing of vehicles in cities with a population over 500,000.
The certificate of the
officer or affidavit of the person that he or she has sent the copy in
pursuance of this Section is evidence that he or she has done so. No employee of a facility licensed under the Nursing Home Care Act, the Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Act of 2013, the ID/DD Community Care Act, or the MC/DD Act shall obstruct an officer or other person making service in compliance with this Section. An employee of a gated residential community shall grant entry into the community, including its common areas and common elements, to a process server authorized under Section 2-202 of this Code who is attempting to serve process on a defendant or witness who resides within or is known to be within the community. As used in this Section, "gated residential community" includes a condominium association, housing cooperative, or private community.
(b) The officer, in his or her certificate or in a record filed and
maintained in the Sheriff's office, or other person making service, in
his or her affidavit or in a record filed and maintained in his or her
office, shall (1) identify as to sex, race, and approximate age the
defendant or other person with whom the summons was left and (2) state
the place where (whenever possible in terms of an exact street address)
and the date and time of the day when the summons was left with the
defendant or other person.
(c) Any person who knowingly sets forth in the certificate or
affidavit any false statement, shall be liable in civil contempt. When
the court holds a person in civil contempt under this Section, it shall
award such damages as it determines to be just and, when the
prosecuted by a private attorney, may award reasonable attorney's fees.
(Source: P.A. 98-104, eff. 7-22-13; 98-966, eff. 1-1-15; 99-180, eff. 7-29-15.)
735 ILCS 5/2-203.1
(735 ILCS 5/2-203.1)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-203.1)
Service by special order of court.
If service upon an
individual defendant is impractical under items (1) and (2) of subsection
(a) of Section 2-203, the plaintiff may move, without notice, that the
court enter an order directing a comparable method of service. The motion
shall be accompanied with an affidavit stating the nature and extent of the
investigation made to determine the whereabouts of the defendant and the
reasons why service is impractical under items (1) and (2) of subsection
(a) of Section 2-203, including a specific statement showing that
a diligent inquiry as to the location of the individual defendant was made and
reasonable efforts to make service have been unsuccessful. The court may
order service to be made in any manner
consistent with due process.
(Source: P.A. 87-1165.)
735 ILCS 5/2-203.2
(735 ILCS 5/2-203.2)
Service on an inmate.
For the security of a correctional institution
or facility or jail, a process server may be refused entry into that correctional institution
or facility or jail. Each correctional institution or facility or jail shall designate a
representative to accept service from a licensed or registered private detective or agency for
purposes of effectuating service upon an inmate in the custody of the institution, facility,
or jail. With respect to an inmate incarcerated in an Illinois Department of Corrections
facility, the process server shall contact the chief administrative officer in
advance to arrange and designate the time and date, during regularly scheduled business
hours, that the facility representative will meet with and accept service from the process
server. Service upon a warden's or sheriff's representative shall constitute substitute
service and a mailing to the inmate of the process shall be completed by the server in
accordance with Section 2-202. A warden's or sheriff's representative accepting
substitute service shall forward the process to the inmate, but if for any reason the process
is not forwarded to the inmate, the sheriff, sheriff's representative, warden, or warden's
representative shall not be responsible for any civil fine or penalty, or have other liability.
If for any reason an inmate is not in the correctional institution or facility or jail at the
time of the service of process, a warden's or sheriff's representative may refuse to accept
service for the inmate. If it is determined after the process has been left with the
designated representative, that the inmate is not present at that institution or facility or
jail, the designated representative shall promptly return it to the licensed or registered
private detective or agency, indicating that the substitute service could not be effectuated.
The process server shall promptly notify the court of the unsuccessful service.
(Source: P.A. 96-1451, eff. 8-20-10.)
735 ILCS 5/2-204
(735 ILCS 5/2-204)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-204)
Service on private corporations.
A private corporation may be served (1) by leaving a copy of the
process with its registered agent or any officer or agent of the
corporation found anywhere in the State; or (2) in any other manner now
or hereafter permitted by law. A private corporation may also be
notified by publication and mail in like manner and with like effect as
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)
735 ILCS 5/2-205
(735 ILCS 5/2-205)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-205)
Service on partnership and partners.
(a) A partnership sued
in its firm name may be served by
leaving a copy of the process with any partner personally or with any agent
of the partnership found
anywhere in the State. A partnership sued in its firm name may also be
notified by publication and mail in like manner and with like effect as
(b) When a personal judgment is sought against a known partner for a
partnership liability the partner may be served (1) in any manner
provided for service on individuals or (2) by leaving a copy of the
summons for him or her with any other partner and mailing a copy of the summons
in a sealed envelope with postage prepaid, addressed to the partner
against whom the judgment is sought at his or her usual place of abode as shown
by an affidavit filed in the cause. The certificate of the officer or
the affidavit of the other person making service that he or she has mailed the
copy in pursuance of this section is evidence that he or she has done so.
Service on a nonresident partner against whom a personal judgment is
sought may be made by leaving a copy with any other partner, and
mailing, as provided herein, only if the cause of action sued on is a
partnership liability arising out of the transaction of business within
(c) When a personal judgment is sought against an unknown owner in an
action authorized under Section 6 of "An Act in relation to the use of an
assumed name in the conduct or transaction of business in this State",
approved July 17, 1941, as amended, service may
be made by leaving a copy of the summons with any agent of the business
and publishing notice in the manner provided by Section 2-206 of this Act.
(Source: P.A. 83-707.)
735 ILCS 5/2-205.1
(735 ILCS 5/2-205.1)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-205.1)
Service on voluntary unincorporated associations.
unincorporated association sued in its own name may be served by leaving
a copy of the process with any officer of the association personally or
by leaving a copy of the process at the office of the association with an
agent of the association. A voluntary unincorporated association sued in
its own name may also be notified by publication and mail in like manner
and with like effect as individuals.
(Source: P.A. 83-901.)
735 ILCS 5/2-206
(735 ILCS 5/2-206)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-206)
Service by publication; affidavit; mailing;
(a) Whenever, in any action affecting property or status within the
jurisdiction of the court, including an action to obtain the specific
performance, reformation, or rescission of a contract for the conveyance
of land, plaintiff or his or her
attorney shall file, at the office of the clerk of the court in which
the action is pending, an affidavit showing that the defendant resides
or has gone out of this State, or on due inquiry cannot be found, or is
concealed within this State, so that process cannot be served upon him or her,
and stating the place of residence of the defendant, if known, or that
upon diligent inquiry his or her place of residence cannot be ascertained, the
clerk shall cause publication to be made in some newspaper published in
the county in which the action is pending. If there is no newspaper
published in that county, then the publication shall be in a newspaper
published in an adjoining county in this State, having a circulation in
the county in which action is pending. The publication shall contain
notice of the pendency of the action, the title of the court, the title
of the case, showing the names of the first named plaintiff and the
first named defendant, the number of the case, the names of the parties
to be served by publication, and the date on or after which default may
be entered against such party. The clerk shall also, within 10 days of the
first publication of the notice, send a copy thereof by mail, addressed
to each defendant whose place of residence is stated in such affidavit.
The certificate of the clerk that he or she has sent the copy in pursuance of
this Section is evidence that he or she has done so.
(b) In any action brought by a unit of local government to cause the
demolition, repair, or enclosure of a dangerous and unsafe or uncompleted
or abandoned building, notice by publication under this Section may be
commenced during the time during which attempts are made to locate the
defendant for personal service. In that case, the unit of local government
shall file with the clerk an affidavit stating that the action meets the
requirements of this subsection and that all required attempts are being
made to locate the defendant. Upon the filing of the affidavit, the clerk
shall cause publication to be made under this Section. Upon completing the
attempts to locate the defendant required by this Section, the municipality
shall file with the clerk an affidavit meeting the requirements of
subsection (a). Service under this subsection shall not be deemed to have
been made until the affidavit is filed and service by publication in the
manner prescribed in subsection (a) is completed.
(Source: P.A. 87-1276.)
735 ILCS 5/2-207
(735 ILCS 5/2-207)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-207)
Period of Publication - Default.
The notice required in the preceding section may be given at any time
after the commencement of the action, and shall be published at least
once in each week for 3 successive weeks. No default or proceeding shall
be taken against any defendant not served with summons, or a copy of the
complaint, and not appearing, unless the first publication be at least
30 days prior to the time when the default or other proceeding is sought
to be taken.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)
735 ILCS 5/2-208
(735 ILCS 5/2-208)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-208)
Personal service outside State.
(a) Personal service of
summons may be made upon any party outside the State. If upon a citizen
or resident of this State or upon a person who has submitted to the
jurisdiction of the courts of this State, it shall have the force and
effect of personal service of summons within this State; otherwise it
shall have the force and effect of service by publication.
(b) The service of summons shall be made in like manner as service
within this State, by any person over 18 years of age not a party to the
action. No order of court is required. An affidavit of the server shall
be filed stating the time, manner and place of service. The court may
consider the affidavit, or any other competent proofs, in determining
whether service has been properly made.
(c) No default shall be entered until the expiration of at least 30
days after service. A default judgment entered on such service may be
set aside only on a showing which would be timely and sufficient to set
aside a default judgment entered on personal service within this State.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)
735 ILCS 5/2-209
(735 ILCS 5/2-209)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-209)
Act submitting to jurisdiction - Process.
(a) Any person,
whether or not a citizen or resident of this State, who in person or
through an agent does any of the acts hereinafter enumerated, thereby
submits such person, and, if an individual, his or her personal
representative, to the jurisdiction of the courts of this State as to any
cause of action arising from the doing of any of such acts:
(1) The transaction of any business within this State;
(2) The commission of a tortious act within this
(3) The ownership, use, or possession of any real
estate situated in this State;
(4) Contracting to insure any person, property or
risk located within this State at the time of contracting;
(5) With respect to actions of dissolution of
marriage, declaration of invalidity of marriage and legal separation, the maintenance in this State of a matrimonial domicile at the time this cause of action arose or the commission in this State of any act giving rise to the cause of action;
(6) With respect to actions brought under the
Illinois Parentage Act of 1984, as now or hereafter amended, or under the Illinois Parentage Act of 2015 on and after the effective date of that Act, the performance of an act of sexual intercourse within this State during the possible period of conception;
(7) The making or performance of any contract or
promise substantially connected with this State;
(8) The performance of sexual intercourse within this
State which is claimed to have resulted in the conception of a child who resides in this State;
(9) The failure to support a child, spouse or former
spouse who has continued to reside in this State since the person either formerly resided with them in this State or directed them to reside in this State;
(10) The acquisition of ownership, possession or
control of any asset or thing of value present within this State when ownership, possession or control was acquired;
(11) The breach of any fiduciary duty within this
(12) The performance of duties as a director or
officer of a corporation organized under the laws of this State or having its principal place of business within this State;
(13) The ownership of an interest in any trust
administered within this State; or
(14) The exercise of powers granted under the
authority of this State as a fiduciary.
(b) A court may exercise jurisdiction in any action arising within or
without this State against any person who:
(1) Is a natural person present within this State
(2) Is a natural person domiciled or resident within
this State when the cause of action arose, the action was commenced, or process was served;
(3) Is a corporation organized under the laws of this
(4) Is a natural person or corporation doing business
(b-5) Foreign defamation judgment. The courts of this State shall have personal jurisdiction over any person who obtains a judgment in a defamation proceeding outside the United States against any person who is a resident of Illinois or, if not a natural person, has its principal place of business in Illinois, for the purposes of rendering declaratory relief with respect to that resident's liability for the judgment, or for the purpose of determining whether said judgment should be deemed non-recognizable pursuant to this Code, to the fullest extent permitted by the United States Constitution, provided:
(1) the publication at issue was published in
(2) that resident (i) has assets in Illinois
which might be used to satisfy the foreign defamation judgment, or (ii) may have to take actions in Illinois to comply with the foreign defamation judgment.
The provisions of this subsection (b-5) shall apply to persons who obtained judgments in defamation proceedings outside the United States prior to, on, or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly.
(c) A court may also exercise jurisdiction on any other basis now or
hereafter permitted by the Illinois Constitution and the Constitution
of the United States.
(d) Service of process upon any person who is subject to the
jurisdiction of the courts of this State, as provided in this Section,
may be made by personally serving the summons upon the defendant outside
this State, as provided in this Act, with the same force and effect as
though summons had been personally served within this State.
(e) Service of process upon any person who resides or whose business
address is outside the United States and who is subject to the jurisdiction
of the courts of this State, as provided in this Section, in any action based
upon product liability may be made by serving a copy of the summons with a copy
of the complaint attached upon the Secretary of State. The summons shall be
accompanied by a $5 fee payable to the Secretary of State. The plaintiff
shall forthwith mail a copy of the summons, upon which the date of service
upon the Secretary is clearly shown, together with a copy of the complaint
to the defendant at his or her last known place of residence or business
address. Plaintiff shall file with the circuit clerk an affidavit of the
plaintiff or his or her attorney stating the last known place of residence
or the last known business address of the defendant and a certificate of
mailing a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant at such
address as required by this subsection (e). The certificate of mailing
shall be prima facie evidence that the plaintiff or his or her attorney
mailed a copy of the summons and complaint to the defendant as required.
Service of the summons shall be deemed to have been made upon the defendant
on the date it is served upon the Secretary and shall have the same force
and effect as though summons had been personally served upon the defendant
within this State.
(f) Only causes of action arising from acts enumerated herein may be
asserted against a defendant in an action in which jurisdiction over him or
her is based upon subsection (a).
(g) Nothing herein contained limits or affects the right to
serve any process in any other manner now or hereafter provided by law.
(Source: P.A. 99-85, eff. 1-1-16
735 ILCS 5/2-209.1
(735 ILCS 5/2-209.1)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-209.1)
Actions by and against voluntary associations.
voluntary unincorporated association may sue and be
sued in its own name, and may complain and defend in all actions. For the
purposes of this Code, "voluntary unincorporated association" means any
organization of 2 or more individuals formed for a common purpose, excluding
a partnership or corporation.
(Source: P.A. 84-1043.)
735 ILCS 5/2-210
(735 ILCS 5/2-210)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-210)
Aircraft and Watercraft.
(a) For the purposes of this Section:
"aircraft" means any contrivance now known, or hereafter invented,
used or designed for flight in the air;
"watercraft" means any boat, vessel, craft or floating thing designed
for navigation in the water; and
"waters of this State" means the Illinois portion of all boundary
lakes and rivers, and all lakes, rivers, streams, ponds and canals
within the State of Illinois.
(b) The use and operation by any person of an aircraft on the
land of or in the air over this State or the use and operation by any
person of a watercraft in the waters of this State, shall be deemed an
appointment by such person of the Secretary of State, to be his or her true and
lawful attorney upon whom may be served all legal process in any action
or proceeding against him or her, growing out of such use or resulting in
damage or loss to person or property, and such use or operation shall be
signification of his or her agreement that any such process against him or her which
is so served, shall be of the same legal force and validity as though
served upon him or her personally if such person is a nonresident of this State
or at the time a cause of action arises is a resident of this State but
subsequently becomes a nonresident of this State. Service of such
process shall be made by serving a copy upon the Secretary of State, or
by filing such copy in his or her office, together with a fee of $2.00, and
such service shall be sufficient service upon such person; if notice of
such service and a copy of the process are, within 10 days thereafter,
sent by registered mail by the plaintiff to the defendant, at the last
known address of the defendant, and the plaintiff's affidavit of
compliance herewith is appended to the summons. The court in which the
action is pending may order such continuances as may be necessary to
afford the defendant reasonable opportunity to defend the action. The
fee of $2.00 paid by the plaintiff to the Secretary of State at the time
of the service shall be taxed in his or her costs, if he or she prevails in the action.
The Secretary of State shall keep a record of all such processes, which
shall show the day and hours of such services.
(c) When a final judgment is entered against any non-resident
defendant who has not received notice of service and a copy of
the process by registered mail, required to be sent to him or her as above
provided, and such person, his or her heirs, legatees,
or other legal representatives, as the case may require, shall within
one year after the written notice is given to
him or her of such judgment, or
within 5 years after such judgment, if no such notice has been given,
as above stated, appear and petition the court to be
heard regarding such judgment, and shall pay such costs as the court may deem
reasonable in that behalf, the person so petitioning may appear and
answer the plaintiff's allegations, and thereupon such proceeding shall
be had as if the defendant had appeared in due time and no judgment
had been entered. If it appears upon the hearing that
ought not to have been entered against the
defendant, the judgment may be set
aside, altered or amended as shall appear just; otherwise, it shall be
ordered that the judgment stands confirmed against such defendant.
The judgment shall
after 5 years from the entry thereof, if not set aside in the manner
stated above, be deemed and adjudged confirmed against such defendant, and
all persons claiming under him or her by virtue of any act done subsequent to
the commencement of such action, and at the end of the 5 years,
the court may enter such further orders as shall be
required for the enforcement of the judgment.
(Source: P.A. 84-549.)
735 ILCS 5/2-211
(735 ILCS 5/2-211)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-211)
Service on public, municipal, governmental and
In actions against public, municipal, governmental or quasi-municipal
corporations, summons may be served by leaving a copy with the chairperson
of the county board or county clerk in the case of a county, with the
mayor or city clerk in the case of a city, with the president of the
board of trustees or village clerk in the case of a village, with the
supervisor or town clerk in the case of a town, and with the president
or clerk or other officer corresponding thereto in the case of any other
public, municipal, governmental or quasi-municipal corporation or body.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)
735 ILCS 5/2-212
(735 ILCS 5/2-212)
(from Ch. 110, par. 2-212)
Service on trustee of corporation or receiver.
Any trustee of a corporation or its property or any receiver may be
served with summons (1) in any manner provided for service on
individuals or corporations, as is appropriate, or (2) by leaving a copy
thereof with any agent in the employ of the trustee or receiver anywhere
in the State. The trustee or receiver may also be notified by
publication and mail in like manner and with like effect as individuals.
(Source: P.A. 82-280.)