The St. Clair County Circuit Clerk's office has new online features available for those searching for civil case information.

The features went into effect June 1 and coincide with a similar program that made criminal case information available online last October.

New civil features will allow the public and attorneys to search for information on arbitrations, small claims, evictions, foreclosures, family cases, divorces, large and small civil suits, orders of protection, probate and other cases.

Adoptions, juvenile cases, and mental health cases will not be placed online due to confidentiality laws.

The program brings St. Clair County into line with its northern neighbor, Madison County, which has had a similar system and search capabilities for some time.

"But now the public and attorneys can very easily search online saving them a trip to the St. Clair County courthouse or a long wait on the phone," Circuit Clerk Brendan Kelly said via press release.

Those searching may enter a party name or case number to search the cases, docket histories and pending court dates.

Attorneys and judges may use their individual attorney registration numbers.

The new searching capabilities come on the heels of a program of scanning documents that began in the Twentieth Circuit in January.

Currently over 370,000 pages of civil case documents have been scanned and digitally archived by the Circuit Clerk's office.

"This is an important step to weaning our local court system off paper," Kelly said.

Criminal and civil record searches may be conducted on traditional computers or by using a hand-held device such as a Blackberry or I-Phone.

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