About the Court of Claims Court of Claims

The Illinois Court of Claims serves any citizen with a claim of money damages or personal injury against a state agency or state employee. The court also awards compensation to victims of violent crimes under the Crime Victims Compensation Act, and to dependents of police officers, firefighters and National Guard members killed in the line of duty. The court also compensates money owed to Illinois citizens that has lapsed due to the close of the fiscal year.

The Governor, with the advice and consent of the State Senate, appoints the seven judges of the Illinois Court of Claims. The judges serve six-year terms. One judge is designated by the Governor to serve as chief justice. The full court meets monthly, alternating between the Chicago and Springfield courthouses, to conduct the business of the court. The Attorney General represents the State of Illinois on all matters.

The 16 commissioners appointed by the Court of Claims conduct trials, take evidence and make confidential recommendations to the court as to the disposition of cases. The commissioners are lawyers who serve on a part-time basis. They conduct court business in the region of the state in which they reside. Cases are assigned to them on a regional basis.

The Secretary of State serves as the Ex-Officio Clerk of the Court of Claims. The Clerk of the Court of Claims maintains case files and official records of the court, providing support services to the judges, commissioners and claimants, and disbursing awards.

Approximately 8,500 cases are filed against the State of Illinois with the Court of Claims annually, ranging from personal injury to awards to victims of violent crime.