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Universal Citation: Illinois

A South Carolina focused guide to discussions of citation reform, sometimes referred to as vendor neutral citation, medium neutral citation, uniform citation, or public domain citation.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 6

Illinois requires only a public-domain citation for its case law. It permits, but does not require, a parallel citation to a regional reporter.

The elements of an Illinois public-domain citation are:

  1. year of decision
  2. court abbreviation
  3. unique identifier number derived from the docket number
    • if a subsequent opinion is filed under the same docket number, such as upon rehearing, append a sequential capital letter
    • if an opinion is considered unpublished, append "-U"
  4. pinpoint paragraph numbers as appropriate

Examples of Illinois public-domain citations:

People v. Doe, 2011 IL 102345.
People v. Doe, 2011 IL App (1st) 101234.
People v. Roe, 2011 IL App (5th) 101237-U.
People v. Doe, 2011 IL App (1st) 101234, ¶ 15.

Public Domain Citation in Illinois

The 2011 press release announcing Illinois' adoption of public domain citation coincided with its announcement that the electronic version of opinions on the court's website would be the official version.

The reasons given for the change were:

  • a widespread shift to online legal research among practitioners and the public;
  • the court's overarching goal of continuing to integrate technology that will enhance transparency and efficiency;
  • opinions already available on the court's website dating back to 1996 that could not be directly cited without a rule change; and
  • taxpayer savings of "hundreds of thousands of dollars a year" if bound volumes do not need to be published or purchased.