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What does it mean when you file an appearance in a case?

Chicago, IL |

Will the person who filed an appearance be notified of everything that takes place in that court case?

Will they be supplied all information in regards to the case (from other coucel, etc.)?

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Attorney answers 3


An appearance is the formal document that submits a party litigant to the court's jurisdiction in Illinois.

Once it is filed, the court clerk and all parties are to provide all counsel in the case with information as the case progresses of all filings, status dates, etc....


Everything? NOT necessarily. ONLY if the person then does everything else required in the case. If NOT, and a default is entered (after notice), further notices may STOP. Simply filing an appearance and then burying your head in the sand will NOT stop things from happening, and the next thing you know is someone serves you with a citation to discover assets in a civil money case that could lead to jail if you don't appear in those proceedings, or a notice to vacate in a foreclosure case, and then you may have lost many or all of the rights you may have had to defend yourself.......

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is currently licensed to practice law actively only in the State of Illinois, inactively in Florida. Responses are based solely on Illinois law unless stated otherwise.


I think we need a little more information. Do you already have a lawyer for your case? An appearance is a legal document, and other documents will likely need to be filed with the appearance. Assuming you are the defendant, you might want to file a motion to dismiss or file an answer to the complaint. An attorney can help you with legal strategy and advise you on what needs to be filed.

To answer your question, an appearance notifies the Court and opposing counsel that your lawyer is representing you. After the appearance is filed, your lawyer should receive everything that is subsequently filed in the case. However, your lawyer may not automatically receive everything related to the case. For example, your lawyer will not receive a copy of a deposition transcript unless the transcript is ordered from the court reporter and the reporter is paid a fee.

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