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Clerk’s Office Struggles With Mountains Of Paper

Clerks deal with mounds of paper in chancery court. (CBS)

Clerks deal with mounds of paper in chancery court. (CBS)

Pamela Jones Pamela Jones
Pamela Jones serves as a general assignment reporter for CBS 2...
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(CBS) – A Cook County court is literally buried in paperwork.

But now officials are trying to go green and clean up some of that paper.

But as CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, they have a long way to go.

Mountains upon mountains of paper — documents that have to be date-stamped, paid for, assigned codes and punched into computers.

“It can be very hectic at times, and you have a lot of paperwork,” says Paulette Alonzi.

The paperwork gets stuck into files in the massive shelves of the Cook County Chancery Division.

Last year, that division pushed some 10.5 million sheets of paper — all scanned page by page.

Starting April 22, the chancery division turned the page with a new e-file system on the clerk’s website.

With it, you can file a case, pay filing fees and even get a court date in just a few minutes online. No more standing in line.

“This not only saves time and money for the attorneys, and pro se litigants, but also saves us from having to shuffle the paper,” Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown says.

E-file won’t make these stacks vanish overnight.

The Illinois Supreme Court still requires the clerk’s office to print e-filed cases.

“We’re hoping and appealing to the Supreme Court to permit us to not have to maintain, to print these documents,” Brown says.

Eventually the clerk wants to see each judge with a computer they can view the cases on in court and eliminate all the paper.