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Filing Cases

Effective February 2, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois requires attorneys to open civil cases online via the Case Management Electronic Case Filing (CM/ECF) System. If you are a registered attorney in our district with a valid user name and password for CM/ECF, you are able to open a civil case, file the case initiating document(s), and pay the filing fee with a credit card via Pay.gov. Registered CM/ECF users are reminded of their obligation to keep their personal contact account information, especially their e-mail addresses, current.

Step-by-step instruction documents are listed under Training Resources.

For assistance with using the Electronic Case Filing system, email questions to ecfhelp@ilsd.uscourts.gov or contact the ECF help desk at (866) 867-3169 (East St. Louis) or (866) 222-2104 (Benton). Clerk's office personnel are available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.

A new case must initiated by either filing a complaint with an attached civil cover sheet as an exhibit or a notice of removal, with an attached state court complaint, and civil cover sheet as exhibits.

If necessary to file a document in paper form, or if filing Pro-se (representing self without an attorney), contact the Clerks Office in Benton at (618) 439-7760 or in East St. Louis at (618) 482-9371 for further information.

You may represent yourself (referred to as Pro Se), however the District Court and Clerk's office will not be able to provide you with legal advice. For additional information on representing yourself, see the Representing Yourself (Pro Se) section of this site.

Fee Schedule

Type of Filing Fee
Attorney Admission - Biennial Renewal Fee $100
Attorney Admission - General $231
Attorney Admission - Late Renewal Penalty Fee $25
Attorney Admission - Pro Hac Vice $200
Central Violations Bureau Processing $30
Certificate of Goodstanding $19
Certification $11
Civil Case Filing $400
Copies $.50/page
Copies Printed from Public Access Terminal $.10/page
Electronic Copies
Effective September 1,2018:  Provision in electronic form of any record (including but not limited to, document files, audio recordings, and video recordings) when the record is not available on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system or stored in the Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) system. A "record" is defined as a single electroinc file. Audio recordings of court proceedings continue to be governed by a separate fee.
Electronic Retrieval $19.90+
Exemplification $22
Filing/Indexing Miscellaneous Paper $47
Habeas Corpus Filing $5
Misdemeanor Appeal $38
Notice of Appeal (Civil and Criminal) $505
Record Retrieval
  *$64 for one box of records; $39 each additional box.
 For electronic retrievals, $10 plus additional charges are assessed by the Federal Records Center, National Archives, or other storage location removed from the place of business of the courts. Refer to Electronic Retrieval noted above
Duplicate Admission Certificate $19
Returned Check $53
Search of Record $31

Transcript Rates

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