By: Timothy Black
Gather ’round, children; I’d like to tell you about a little thing called the fax machine. You see, back when I was a kid, we didn’t have your fancy Gmails and Outlooks – nope – if you wanted to send a letter to someone immediately, you had to find a fax machine. There was no such thing as e-mail service. Fax was a lot like a scanner, but instead of sending the file to my computer, it sent the file to somebody else’s fax machine, and that fax machine printed it out. In fact, we still have a fax machine at LauraLaw, so if you want to see one in action, come on by. But I must warn you, if you’re expecting to see us serve a document via fax, you’ve come to wrong place. You see, starting July 1 of this year, the Illinois Supreme Court amended their rules of service so that service via e-mail is preferred and service via fax is disallowed.
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 11 was amended on June 22 and took affect on July 1. The amendment requires e-mail service of documents where possible. If for some reason it’s not possible to complete e-mail service – if the person receiving service doesn’t have an e-mail address, if some other rule requires service by other means, or if e-mail servers are down – the rule allows service by only 4 alternative means. Those alternative methods of service are (1) Personal service, where the documents are hand-delivered to the recipient; (2) Delivery to Attorney’s Office or Self-Represented Party’s Residence; (3) United States Mail; or, (4) Third-Party Commercial Carrier, such as FedEx or UPS. Removed from the list of acceptable alternative methods of service was “Facsimile Transmission,” or fax.
Illinois Courts are moving into the digital age at the speed of dial-up internet, and this is one step closer to their goal of a paperless court system. In the vain of electronic filing, e-mail service will help bring the Courts current with the technology that is available, which will (in theory) help the Courts move more swiftly and more efficiently.
We here are LauraLaw are certainly ready for e-mail service. Laura‘s got her firstname.lastname@example.org inbox humming, and my email@example.com inbox is always ready for the next e-mail. So if you have a legal issue that needs our experience and dedication, give us a call, shoot us an e-mail, or send us a fax and we’ll do our best to help you work toward the resolution that’s best for you. Until then, if you want to see a real live fax machine, Maddy will be happy to show you how ours works.