Illinois Summons of Service Regulations Goes Digital

The State of Illinois recently transformed its legal landscape by introducing alternative methods for service of summons including e-mail, text or direct messaging via social media. Summoning is a procedure that orders a party to appear in court and answer a claim made against them. Previously, individuals could only be summoned by personal service or in specific instances, court-approved methods such as certified mail.

Traditional methods of summons are still required by the court to be tried first, with electronic services only being utilized when the other methods are deemed impractical.

In order to be summoned electronically, a court motion with an affidavit showing the respondent’s recent use of electronic communications must be filed. If approved, the summons, complaint/petition as well as other required documents must be sent by mail, with proof of service filing completed afterward. The proof must detail various aspects including the following:

  • Service method utilized
  • Date of sending the electronic service
  • Contact information used (phone number, email address or social media platform)
  • Last known address of the respondent
  • Copy of the summons, complaint/petition and any other relevant documents (including the court order allowing the electronic service)
  • Date of sending physical copies of summons via certified mail
  • Copy of the e-mail or screenshot of the text message/social media direct message

Supreme Court Rule 102, also outlines specific requirements of the electronic service, including the need for subject headings and body messages.

The amended rule aims to improve summons of service efficiency considering society's growing reliance on technology. The attorneys at Kogut & Wilson are ready to answer any questions and offer assistance regarding this new method of summoning.


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