How do I set a return date for my document in Cook County?

Certain documents in Cook County, Illinois require filers to set a return date—or the date by which a defendant must respond to the document filed.

Return dates are required most often on summonses and alias summonses in Cook County, but apply to some other document types as well. In some case types, the return date is also a date that attorneys must appear in court.

How to set a return date in One Legal

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When you add a document that requires a return date on the Documents screen, a message stating "A return date is applicable to this filing" will appear below it.

If the document is to be served out-of-state, check the box next to this option. Otherwise, proceed to the next screen.

On the Review screen, you'll see another Return Date section. Below it, One Legal will have pre-selected the earliest available return date allowed by statute.

If you'd like to request a later date, select another option from the calendar and click Request a Later Date.

If the return date you selected is within the date range allowed by the statute, you should see the new date appear along with a message saying "The return date has been updated." This means you're ready to submit your filing.

What if I see 'The requested return date is not available?'

There are typically two reasons a requested date cannot be honored.

  • The requested date is outside of the date range allowed by the statute. (Typically, you can find this range specified on the document itself.)
  • The requested date falls on a day the court is closed.

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