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Serving Process (Summons)

Service of Process

Can the Cook County Sheriff’s Office give me advice?

While the Sheriff’s Office cannot offer legal advice, we can provide information about Service of Process policies and procedures and give advice increase service efficiency. For any other questions or legal advice, contact a licensed attorney or Legal Aid foundations.

How do I start my Service of Process?

Start your Service of Process at the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The clerk has one office at every courthouse and multiple at the Richard J. Daley Center, where the nature of your case determines where you should file the process. Find out where to begin by visiting the clerk’s website at .

What paperwork will I need for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office to perform a Service of Process?

The Document Requirements page lists the paperwork you need depending on the type of filing.

Bring numerous copies of paperwork with you, including a set for each defendant, given that the availability of a photocopier is limited.

Click here to see the document requirements for the Sheriff’s Office, Civil Division

How much does it cost for a Service of Process?

The Service of Process fee is $60 per service, per defendant.

Counter Service in the Sheriff’s Civil Process Unit Office is available in probate cases when the party being served is in agreement and present at the time of filing. Counter service is $50.00 per service, per defendant.

Re-filing an Order for Possession costs $60.00. If needed, an eviction post card is 50 cents, bringing the total to $60.50.

Check, money order, credit card, debit card or pre-paid debit card are all acceptable payment methods, excluding cash and temporary checks.

Credit card, debit card and pre-paid debit card transactions incur a standard processing fee.

What if my case requires the appearance of the defendant?

If the appearance of the defendant is required, include the date, time and court information. All summonses, subpoenas and court orders require a file stamp from the clerk of the circuit court. Before leaving the clerk’s office, verify that the date, time and court are accurate.

What if I have questions about my Service of Process?

The sheriff’s office ability to assist is limited to the policies and procedures regarding the service and execution of civil process, not legal advice.

Always keep your receipt in case you need to check the status of your service, refunds or need any other information about your case. If you contact the sheriff’s office, have your receipt with the case number and reference number in hand.

You can contact the sheriff’s office by calling:

  • Richard J. Daley Center – 312-603-3365 (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Skokie Courthouse -847-470-7558 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Rolling Meadows Courthouse – 847-818-2097 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Maywood Courthouse – 708-865-6034 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • Markham Courthouse -708-232-4429 (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

What can I do to facilitate the process?

Include as many details as possible when the sheriff’s office asks you about the address, property and defendant to increase the likelihood the process will be serviced.


  • Jane Doe works from 2 to 5 o’clock everyday so the best time to serve her is in the morning.
  • The deputy can call the residential office/doorman/handy man etc. at 555-555-555 to be allowed in building.
  • The defendant has a history of evading Service of Process.


  • Include the apartment, unit or suite number so the deputy knows exactly where to go, e.g., 110 E. Washington Ave., Unit 305
  • Inaccurate information in the address can result in a delay or inability to complete the Service of Process; always include the zip code and street direction (when applicable)
  • List known safety hazards; for example, dangerous animals live on the premises or criminal behavior is suspected
  • If serving someone in a gated community, facilitate arrangements to ensure deputy’s entry

How do I cancel a Service of Process?

A plaintiff must bring a written letter requesting the cancellation of their Service of Process in person, present a valid photo identification and a copy of the receipt issued by the sheriff’s office (not the clerk of the circuit court). Cancellations will only be accepted from the plaintiff and attorney of record.

For verification purposes, attorneys must submit their written request to cancel a Service of Process on office letterhead either in-person or via fax to 312-603-5769.

How can I request a refund?

Requests for a refund can only be made in writing and sent to:

Richard J. Daley Center
Civil Process Unit
50 W Washington St., Room 701
Chicago, IL 60602

Include a copy of a state-issued identification and a copy of the receipt issued from the sheriff’s office (not the clerk of the circuit court). Keep your receipt to check the status of your refund.

Refund requests are considered on a case by case basis. For more information, contact our office at any phone number listed above.

How do I check the status of my service of process?

Have your receipt on hand. Refer to the date listed under “Check on service after __/__/____.” If the date has passed, with the case number or sheriff’s number, you can check the status of your service at At the top, you can also refer to the phone number or address of the office where you filed your service of process. Locate the reference number before calling.

How do I file a Petition for Tax Deed with the sheriff’s office?

Following these Tax Deed Filing Procedures will expedite the service:

  • Each case must be attached individually with all the take notices included.
  • Postcards must be attached to the corresponding case number, preferably in the order of the Sheriff Rider. Bulk postcards will NOT be accepted.
  • Certified mail labels must be attached with the matching case number. The label must include the defendant’s address, information and case number.
  • Attach the Petitions for Tax Deed with the corresponding case number and indicate the services requiring the petition on the Sheriff Rider.
  • Secretary of State (“SOS”) checks and duplicate filled-out SOS Affidavit of Compliance forms must be attached with the corresponding case number; indicate the services requiring the check and check amount on the Sheriff Rider.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Tax Deed Department at 312-603-5356.

What is the mailing address for the Sheriff’s Civil Division?

Cook County Sheriff’s Office
Civil Process Unit
Richard J. Daley Center
50 W. Washington Street, Room 701
Chicago, IL 60602-3002