Policies and Procedures

No Drop Service IL State Image

If someone refuses service of process in Illinois, you have to leave the address with the documents in your possession. In other words, drop service is not allowed in Illinois.

If you speak with a co-resident who refuses service, fill out an attempt and try again later. If it was the defendant who refused: select Attempted, "Per Person" and "new contact", choose the "service not permitted" option, and add that they refused service.

We've noticed a preference for courts to throw out proofs indicating that drop service was performed, and that they will instead choose to pursue alternative service under Illinois Statute 203.1. Rather than filing proofs that will eventually get thrown out, we are opting for a proactive approach.

Proof Timeliness

Timelines for service of process are short in Illinois, so it is important that proofs be returned as quickly as possible. E-sign proofs should be signed within 24 hours. If they need to be mailed, or scanned and sent to, this should happen within 48 hours.

Please contact ABC Legal if you are ever struggling to make these timelines. 

Substitute service

When you perform Substitute Service, it is necessary that you mail a copy of just the summons to the defendant to ensure proper service. This can be obtained from the "packing list" section of your web portal on, or you can print a second copy of the summons when you print the documents.

When performing Substitute Service, the co-resident must be at least 13 years of age or older. Do not perform substitute service until you have verbal confirmation of all of the above criteria. If the co-resident who accepted the documents is 13 or 14 years of age please do not use the selection "14 and under". List their exact age and how it was confirmed in your service notes. 

Private Detective Registration

In order to serve legal process in Illinois, a server needs to be over 21 and either a Licensed Private Detective or employed by a Licensed Detective Agency.  Service of legal process in Cook County must be done by appointment from the Court.