Handling Legal Documents and Contracts From Outside Legal Authorities

This policy statement explains what to do if your unit receives a legal document or is contacted by a legal authority from outside the University.

When you receive a legal document, prompt notification of the campus Legal Counsel office is essential. In some cases, delay in responding to legal documents can result in the loss of valuable rights.

When you receive contact from a legal authority from outside the University, such as a non-University police officer or attorney not working for the University, you should contact the campus Legal Counsel office (and in some instances, the University Police) before responding to information requests, etc.

In case of an emergency or if you have an urgent question, call the campus legal counsel office at (217) 333-0560.

  1. What To Do When You Receive A Legal Document

    1. From time to time, different offices throughout the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign receive various legal documents, such as:
      • Subpoenas
      • Summonses and Complaints in Lawsuits
      • Complaints of Discrimination or Other Administrative Legal Claims
      • Court Orders
      • Search Warrants
      • IRS Notices of Levy
      • Wage Assignments
      • Notices of Filing of Petitions in Bankruptcy
      • Notices of Claim in Class Action Lawsuits

      This is not an exhaustive list. When in doubt about whether a document is a legal document or otherwise requires the attention of legal counsel, please contact the campus legal counsel office at (217) 333-0560.

    2. Upon receipt of a legal document, you should first call the campus Legal Counsel office at (217) 333-0560 and then send the document, via the method instructed by legal counsel, to:

      • Campus Legal Counsel
      • Office of University Counsel
      • 258 Henry Administration Building, MC-340
      • 506 South Wright Street
      • Urbana, Illinois 61801
      • (217) 333-0560
      • (217) 244-2370 (fax)
    3. Legal counsel is responsible for coordinating responses to all legal documents and will notify any other involved offices or persons as necessary. Units and persons contacted by legal counsel for aid in responding to legal documents will provide assistance as requested, including, for example, providing copies of documents, signing affidavits, answering written or oral questions, etc.
    4. Special Considerations Regarding Service of a Summons and/or Complaint
      1. If someone attempts to serve a summons and complaint on the University of Illinois:
        1. The Secretary of the Board of Trustees is the appropriate person to accept service of summons on behalf of the University.
        2. If someone attempts to serve you with a Summons on the University (which may be named as the Board of Trustees), inform the person that you have no authority to accept service on behalf of the University or the Board of Trustees and that the proper person to make service on is:
          • Secretary of the Board of Trustees
          • 354 Henry Administration Building
          • 506 South Wright Street
          • Urbana, Illinois 61801
        3. Call the campus legal counsel office at (217) 333-0560 immediately.
      2. If someone attempts to serve a summons and complaint on an individual:
        1. Where an individual person is named as a defendant, only that person should accept service of the Summons and Complaint.
        2. If you are the named individual in a Summons and Complaint, accept service of the documents and then contact the campus legal counsel office at (217) 333-0560 immediately for instructions.
  2. What To Do If You Are Contacted By A Police Officer Or Other Law Enforcement Official From Outside The University

    1. Unless it is a routine request regularly handled by your unit, before responding to any requests from police officers or other law enforcement officials OTHER than University Police:
      1. If the law enforcement officer is present on site, immediately call University Police at (217) 333-1216 and notify them of the law enforcement officer’s presence. The University Police will assist you in verifying the officer’s credentials.
      2. Call the campus legal counsel office at (217) 333-0560 for instructions on responding to the request.
    2. Ask the officer for his or her identification and if possible make a photocopy of the identification.
    3. Keep the original of any documents the officer provides, or make a copy if the officer will not give you the original. Forward the original or copy as directed by legal counsel.
  3. What To Do If You Are Contacted By An Attorney From Outside The University

    1. Before talking to, or responding to an email or letter from, an attorney from outside the University, contact the campus legal counsel office at (217) 333-0560 for guidance on whether and how to respond.
    2. As a general rule, all outside attorney requests for information, etc., will be handled by legal counsel, and outside attorneys can be directed to contact the campus legal counsel office directly at (217) 333-0560.
    3. You MAY respond to inquires from the attorneys and staff of legal counsel and the attorneys and staff of outside legal counsel retained on behalf of the University.