Adult Guardianship Help Desk

CDEL administers the Pro Se Adult Guardianship Help Desk (Help Desk) in conjunction with the Cook County Circuit Court and the Circuit Court Clerk. This self-help program assists those seeking to appear pro se in proceedings for adjudication of disability for an alleged disabled adult and appointment of a personal guardian. The Help Desk is located in the Probate Division of the Cook County Circuit Clerk’s Office - Room 1202 of the Richard J. Daley Center and operates from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, on all days that Court is in session.  Please arrive by 11:00 a.m., in order to receive service, as the process may take 1 to 2 hours to complete and file the necessary paperwork.


The Help Desk is staffed by volunteers, primarily law school students and paralegals, who are required to participate in a training program and to volunteer for at least four hours per week for each scheduling period. Volunteers provide information and assist pro se petitioners with the legal process and procedures, including pleadings, their purpose and completion.  Staff provides directions for: filing the Petition; Calendar, Judge and Courtroom assignment; scheduling a hearing; issuance and service of Summons; and service of Notice. Staff also briefly explains procedures for the hearing; entry of the Order(s); issuance of the Letters of Office and annual reporting.

CDEL began administering the Adult Guardianship Help Desk in July of 2009.  In 2017, CDEL saw 857 people at the desk, of whom CDEL assisted 556 pro se litigants with the adult guardianship legal process and provided 301 with information and referral to other agencies, programs and resources for assistance with a variety of legal issues.