News from the Reference Desk Category: Legal

Helpful websites for renters facing eviction

Eviction Help Illinois is a new program that offers free legal help for Illinois residents facing potential eviction and landlords not represented by a lawyer.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Look-Up Tool: This tool connects people with local programs that may help with rent and utilities.

The Rental Assistance Program – Although the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP) is closed and not currently accepting new applications, there is more funding coming. This site will have information on both DHS and IHDA rent programs.  

For assistance accessing these resources, please contact the Research Desk. 

Illinois Courts launch personalized guide service

Illinois Court HelpIL court help: your guide through the courts is a new, free service from the Illinois Courts that connects people to the information they need to go to court. Call or text (833) 411-1121 to connect with a trained court guide who can provide specific answers to questions about the court process, like how to e-file court documents and how to appear in court by phone or video.   

Illinois Court Help is a go-to source for court information, especially for people who don’t have a lawyer. Guides will provide step-by-step instructions to help make the court process less confusing. Court users will also be able to access plain language forms that can be used in any Illinois court.  

While Illinois Court Help will not provide legal advice, guides will refer people to legal aid and other community services that can help them solve their problem. 

Initial hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, with expanded hours to come over the next few months.   

Visit ILCourthelp.gov to find more information.   

Gale LegalForms

Gale LegalForms provides professionally written legal documents used by attorneys and law firms. You’ll find downloadable forms covering real estate, wills, power of attorney, bankruptcy, small business—practically any area of law—alongside helpful tools like a Law Digest and Attorney Directory. Take charge of your legal affairs with Gale LegalForms.

Browse Legal Definitions alphabetically, or search to build a better understanding of terms you may encounter within forms.
• Link to federal and state Tax Forms.
• Use the Attorney Directory to quickly identify attorneys offering services within particular states and practice areas.
• Build your knowledge of key cases, laws, and concepts by browsing or searching the Law Digest.
• Click Legal Q&A question categories to view sample inquiries and attorney responses from across the country.
• Explore LegalLife Articles to find a straightforward explanation of legal matters surrounding common life events.

Copyright Trends: Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez

Copyright infringement has been a hot topic since the 18th century for print materials, and exceedingly relevant for digital files since the era of Napster in 1999. In recent years, entities like copyright trolls and other digital watchdogs are always on the lookout to acquire significant monetary gain through litigious means, even if the accused is not the infringer, but unknowingly provides the means to do so. For example, our Library safeguards against infringement liability by requiring patrons not partake in “conduct which violates Federal, State, or local law including copyright and licensing infringement,” according to our internet service policy. Copyright trolls frequently win cases against service providers, but a recent ruling is fighting this trend.

On August 27, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit) decided that the owner of a senior living home which provides internet service to occupants will not be held responsible for copyright infringement inflicted by an unnamed guest or occupant. Here is a synopsis by Stanford University Libraries and here is the Cobbler Nevada, LLC v. Gonzalez court publication itself. Whether or not the results of this substantial case will make any lasting changes to copyright policy remains to be seen.

Cook County Marriage Applications

Cook County Clerk David Orr recently announced a new online feature allowing soon-to-be newlyweds the opportunity to fill out most of their marriage application license information online.  Illinois law requires that before a couple marries, they must appear before the clerk in the county where they will be married to sign and complete their marriage license application and pay the fee ($60 in Cook County).  In the past the couple had to complete the whole process in the Clerk’s office.  Now they can start the process at home by going to this section of the county clerk’s website.  The process will still need to be completed at the Clerk’s office but with the online application feature the time spent there will be less than 10 minutes.  For more information about marriage application procedures and requirements please go online to the Cook County Clerk’s website.

The Cook County Clerk’s office has also made an index of Cook County marriage records 50 years or older available online at Cook County Genealogy Online.  This is only an index.  You must still pay for a copy of the actual record.  For $16.75 you can purchase a copy of the full record online with a credit card and receive the record immediately as a zip file.  Cook County Genealogy Online also includes indexes of Cook County birth records 75 years or older and Cook County death records of 20 years or older.