Bethany Krajelis Dec. 10, 2014, 12:24pm

Parties filing cases in Illinois’ reviewing courts will see their fees double next month.

Starting Jan. 1, filing cases in the state’s Supreme and appellate courts will cost petitioners or appellants $50 and respondents or appellees $30. The fees currently are $25 and $15, respectively.

The upcoming change marks the first time filing fees in these courts have increased since 1957, according to a news release the Supreme Court issued this week. While Illinois’ current filing fees are some of the lowest in the country, along with those in Arkansas, the court’s release says the “new fees remain well below the national average of $181.”

The increase stems from Gov. Pat Quinn’s August 2013 signature on Public Act 98-0324, which put the power of setting these fees in the hands of the courts, rather than the legislature, by saying Supreme Court rule, not statue, would set fees collected by the clerks of the state’s reviewing courts.

The Supreme Court amended Rule 313 in January to provide for the doubling of fees.

In addition to changing who sets these fees, the law created the “Supreme Court Special Purposes Fund” to hold the filing fees that previously were put into the General Revenue Fund.

“The new fund will be used to support the Supreme Court’s commitment to e-business initiatives, including the streamlining and upgrading of the case management system in the courts of review,” according to the court’s release.

Michael Tardy, director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, told a Senate appropriations committee last year that the courts typically collect about $405,000 in filing and other fees. Tardy said that in response to a question about the-then proposed fund during the court's Fiscal Year 2014 budget request.

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