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Illinois statute 735 ILCS 5/2-202(f), aka "The Cook County Statute" only requires the appointment of a special process server when the person or entity is to be served WITHIN the physical boundaries of Cook County, IL and is not relevant to the venue.
i.e. A Kane County case with a named defendant to be served in Cook County, IL would require the appointment whereas a Cook County Case with a named defendant being served in Kane County, IL would not.
The statute is 735 ILCS 5/2-202(f). As an overview, it addresses that you must make such a motion when the documents will BE SERVED in a county of more than 3 million people. Currently Cook County is the only county in IL that is over 3 million people. It does not matter what county the case originated in.
Example: In Schorsch v. Fireside Chrysler-Plymouth, Mazda, Inc., 172 Ill.App.3d 993, 998 (2nd Dist. 1988) the Court, which was reviewing a default judgment entered in DuPage County against a defendant served in Cook County, stated:
"We conclude that from a plain reading of section 2 -- 202, a licensed or registered private detective is authorized to serve process without court appointment only in counties with a population of less than 1 million. Where service of process is not obtained in accordance with the requirements of the statute authorizing service of process, it is invalid, no personal jurisdiction is acquired, and any default judgment rendered against a defendant is void.
( ITT Thorp Corp. v. Hitesman (1983), 115 Ill. App. 3d 202, 206, 450 N.E.2d 11; Gocheff v. Breeding (1977), 53 Ill. App. 3d 608, 609-10, 368 N.E.2d 982; County of Lake v. X-Po Security Police Service, Inc. (1975), 27 Ill. App. 3d 750, 754, 327 N.E.2d 96.) As the service of process on Fireside was served in Cook County and was not authorized under the statute for the aforesaid reasons, the order denying Fireside's petition to vacate the judgment is reversed, and the default judgment against Fireside is vacated.”
Since the time of this case, the threshold county population has been increased to 3,000,000, but the principal remains: if a person or entity is to be served in Cook County, by someone other than the Sheriff, an order appointing the process server is necessary regardless of the county of case origination. The motion and order must both contain the agency's license number. See 735 ILCS 5/2-202(a-5). Most judges also require the identity of the agency in the motion and order, though it is not explicitly required in the statute. Failure of any of these can lead to process being quashed, and, as in the Schorsch case, the judgment being vacated.
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