General Information

The purpose of this guide is to explain the workings of Small Claims court in Lake County, Illinois. Because procedures differ from county to county, much of this information does not apply elsewhere. While certain sections may be directed primarily to the person filing the case (the plaintiff) or to the person being sued (the defendant), most of the information is important to both.

The Center for Self-Representation offers information, forms, and legal research assistance for people who want to represent themselves in Small Claims court. The Center is located in the William D. Block Memorial Law Library, which is located in the main lobby of the Lake County Courthouse and Administration Building, 18 North County Street, Waukegan, Illinois, 60085. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Much of the Center for Self-Representation information is available 24 hours a day online at

You may ask court staff general questions regarding procedures, but court personnel are prohibited from giving legal advice. If you need legal advice, see a lawyer. If you want to hire a lawyer, you may contact the Lake County Bar Association by telephone to obtain a list of attorneys by practice area and their contact information. If you do not have the money to afford your own lawyer, you may contact Prairie State Legal Services by telephone for an appointment. You may also contact the Lake County Volunteer Lawyers Program at the same number.