• What can I do if I cannot afford the filing fee?

    You may ask a Judge to allow you to file your complaint either without paying the filing fee or allowing payment of the fee in installments and/or at a later time.  You begin by filling out an "Application to Sue as a Poor Person."  If the Judge waives the filing fee, the Sheriff's fee for service process will also be waived.

    If you are sued and wish to have a trial on the plaintiff's claim, you may likewise complete an "Application to Sue as a Poor Person," and request that a Judge waive the filing fee otherwise required to file your appearance.
  • I am being sued in Small Claims Court. What do I do?

    If you are sued, you will be notified when you receive a copy of the Small Claim Complaint and Summons in one of two ways.

    The complaint will tell you the reason you are being sued and the amount claimed. The summons will tell you when and where to file your "Appearance" if you contest the claim. Either show up in court or file an appearance before the court date on the summons.

    When sued, you may choose to do any one of the following things:

    1. Admit you owe the plaintiff all of the amount claimed.

    2. Deny you owe the plaintiff all or part of the amount claimed by filing an "Appearance" with the clerk before the "Return Day" and mailing a copy to the plaintiff.

    3. File a lawsuit against the plaintiff called a counterclaim if you believe the plaintiff owes you money in connection with the reason he claims you owe him the money.

    4. Settle the dispute out of court.

    If you contest the plaintiff's claim in whole or in part, you must file an "Appearance" with the Clerk of the Circuit Court and pay the "Appearance" fee before the "Return day". The trial is automatically set for the 14th day after the "Return Day,"  at the same time (9:00 a.m. or 1:30 p.m.) as the summons was returnable.  On the trial day a judge will listen to both sides of the case and render a decision.
  • Can I pay online or over the phone?

    Yes.  You may make a payment on any Criminal or Traffic cases that have been previously plead to and an outstanding balance is owed.  Please visit our Online Payments page for additional information. 
  • Where can I pay a fine?

    You can pay a fine at any of our locations:

    ​Main Courthouse
    18 North County St
    Waukegan, IL 60085

    Park City Branch Court
    301 Greenleaf St
    Park City, Illinois 60085

    Round Lake Branch Court
    1792 Nicole Lane
    Round Lake Beach, Illinois 60073

    ​Mundelein Branch Court
    ​105 E Route 83
    Mundelein Illinois 60085

    Payment on Juvenile cases can be made at the following facilities:

    ​Main Courthouse
    18 North County St
    Waukegan, IL 60085

    Juvenile Branch Court
    24647 N. Milwaukee Ave
    Vernon Hills, IL 60061

    Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

    Payments may also be payed online through our Payment Portal or through the call center at 888-604-7888

  • Can I change my court date?

    No, a court date cannot be changed.  Only a judge can change a court date.  The only exception would be if you are planning to plead not guilty and asking for a trial prior to your first court date on an applicable case.  Please follow the instruction of Avoid Multiple Court Appearances on the traffic citation you received.
  • Why is my Driver's License suspended?

    To find out exactly why you driver's license may be suspended, you should contact the Illinois Secretary of State.  Their number is 217.785.8619.
  • How do I contact the Illinois Secretary of State?

    The primary number to the Illinois Secretary of State is 217.785.8619.  You may also visit their website at www.cyberdriveillinois.gov.

    Should you need to speak to someone in Administrative Hearings, the number is 217.782.7065.
  • Where do I sign up for traffic school?

    If you are completing the Court Diversion Form, asking for Supervision and requesting Traffic School without appearing before the Court, upon receipt of your paperwork and payment in full, our office will notify the College of Lake County - Traffic Safety Division. You should hear from them regarding the scheduling of your class, whether in person or on-line.

    If you were ordered to complete a Traffic School Course or other Course offered through the College of Lake County - Traffic Safety Division, you should have received a referral form when in Court.  Complete that form and mail any payment for the class directly to the College of Lake County to the address provided on the form.

    Should you have any questions regarding the scheduling of your class, or have not received anything from the College of Lake County, please call them at 847.543.2185.

    Information on traffic school courses at the College of Lake County is also available on their website.


  • What will happen if I do not complete my traffic school?

    If you do not complete your traffic school and you were placed on supervision, your sentence may be revoked and your citation will become a conviction on your driving record.  
  • How do I find out if I taken a traffic school course within the last 12 months?

    Please contact CLC Judicial Services at (847) 543-2185 to determine if you have taken a traffic course in Lake County in the past 12 months.
  • How do I find out when my court date is?

    You may look up your court case information through our Public Access system or by contacting the Branch Location your case is assigned to.
  • Is there a fee for paying online?

    There is a small, non-refundable, convenience fee for using the online payment system, that is charged by our vendor.  The fee is neither charged, nor collected by the Circuit Clerk's Office and will be disclosed prior to you submitting your payment.

  • Can I pay any criminal or traffic fees online?

    To pay a criminal or traffic fee online, you must have already plead guilty to or been found guilty and owe an outstanding balance of Fines, Cost & Fees and/or Restitution. The Lake County Circuit Clerk's Office DOES NOT accept guilty pleas or court diversion (supervision by mail) online.
  • There is a financial hold on my license, how long will it take for it to be lifted once I pay my fine?

    Once your payment is posted, the Circuit Clerk’s Office will notify the Secretary of State that your case has been paid in full. However, it may take a few weeks for the Secretary of State to update their record. You may contact our office to obtain a copy of your Failure to Pay Receipt if you are visiting a Secretary of State Driver’s License Facility to renew.

  • Where can I find out the outstanding balance on my case(s)?

    You may visit our Public Access site and look up your case number or name. Once you find your case you will click on the Financials tab.  The assessments and outstanding balance on your case will be displayed on this page.  Please note any amount owed to restitution will not be displayed.  For Restitution information please contact our office at 847-377-3380.
  • How long does it take to process my payment?

    Payments may take up to 5 business days to post. If your court date is within the next week or within the past few days, you should pay in person at any one of our court locations. You may check the status of your outstanding balance on our Public Access site. 

  • Can I pay for more than one case?

    If paying multiple cases, each payment must be submitted individually for proper application to the cases. 

  • What information do I need to pay my online?

    You will need the following information to make an online payment:
    • Case Number (Example 17CM12345)
    • Defendant's name
    • Defendant's date of birth
    • Valid email address
  • Where can I find my case number?

    Your case number should have been provided to you on any paperwork you received in court. Your case number must include alpha characters (example 17TR1234567) and will NOT appear on your citation.  If you do not have this paperwork you may look up your case number information on our Public Access site.  Please note Juvenile case information is not displayed on our public access site. 

  • What form(s) of payment will you take online?

    You must use a debit or credit card to pay online.  Please note a small non-refundable convenience fee will be applied.