Receipt of Legal Documents and Legal Communications


This policy is to help ensure that the University timely and properly accepts and responds to legal communications and Legal Documents relating to University business.


This policy applies to all University employees and agents.


Office of University Counsel at Urbana-Champaign


Unless otherwise directed by the Office of University Counsel (“Legal Counsel”), Legal Documents received by all System and University offices at Urbana-Champaign and relating to University business must be delivered immediately to Legal Counsel at 258 Henry Administration Building, 506 S. Wright Street, Urbana, IL 61801, for appropriate handling. Also, communications from outside attorneys and other law enforcement authorities relating to University business must be referred to Legal Counsel. Many Legal Documents are time-sensitive. Prompt handling is essential in order to protect the interests of the University. Legal Counsel is responsible for determining whether and how the University should respond to all Legal Documents and related communications.

If the Legal Document involves a personal matter – unrelated to University business – the named individual should consider contacting a private attorney because Legal Counsel does not provide personal legal services.


Legal Documents
Includes but is not limited to: subpoenas; summonses and complaints relating to a lawsuit; administrative complaints (such as discrimination) filed through government enforcement agencies; court orders; and search warrants. Contact Legal Counsel immediately when in doubt as to whether a document is a Legal Document that requires the attention of Legal Counsel. Contracts are not covered by this policy and should be handled in accordance with Business and Financial Policies and Procedures 1.2.3: Initiation, Review, and Approval of University Contracts and Leases.


  1. Receipt of Specific Legal Documents

    As a general rule, if you receive or accept service of a Legal Document that either involves or appears to involve University business, you should either contact Legal Counsel immediately for instructions, or immediately deliver the document to Legal Counsel. For summonses, complaints and subpoenas, see the procedures below.

    1. Summons and/or Complaint
      1. Summons and Complaint Naming the University. If a deputy sheriff or process server attempts to serve a University employee with a summons and complaint concerning a lawsuit against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, the employee should decline acceptance and advise the process server that the service on the University is to be made on Legal Counsel. If the employee already has accepted service of the Legal Documents, the documents must be delivered immediately to Legal Counsel.
      2. Summons and Complaint Naming an Individual. A summons naming a particular individual should be accepted by the individual. However, if the summons relates to the individual’s role as an employee of the University, the employee should immediately contact Legal Counsel. If the Board of Trustees or the University also is named as a party in the lawsuit, the employee should advise the process server that service of the summons on the University must be made on Legal Counsel.
      3. Administrative Complaints Alleging Discrimination. Administrative complaints alleging discrimination, or retaliation after having previously filed a complaint of discrimination, should be promptly sent to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA). Occasionally, an administrative agency sends a discrimination charge to the charging party’s employing unit based on the information that the charging party provides to the administrative agency. The unit in receipt of the charge shall immediately notify ODEA of the charge and deliver the original charge to ODEA. Administrative complaints to which this section applies include, but are not limited to, discrimination charges filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office for Civil Rights, and Equip for Equality.
    2. Subpoenas
      1. Compelling Production of Documents. Subpoenas for the production of University records and documents typically require involvement of one or more University offices. Legal Counsel will oversee the response and will direct the relevant offices to assemble and transfer the requested records. Forward any subpoena for production of documents to Legal Counsel.
      2. Compelling a Deposition Testimony or Appearance at a Trial or Other Court Proceeding. A subpoena, notice of deposition, or notice of hearing requiring a deposition or appearance at a trial or other court proceeding must be forwarded to Legal Counsel if the individual is requested to testify or appear in his or her role as a University employee for testimony relating to University information.
    3. Wage deduction documentsDocuments relating to wage deductions, wage garnishments and child support enforcement should be forwarded to University Payroll & Benefits Service.
  2. Receipt of Communications from Outside Law Enforcement Officials

    Except in the case of a routine request regularly handled by the unit, the following steps should be taken before responding to any requests from law enforcement officials OTHER than University Police:

    • 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. University Police will assist you in verifying the officer’s credentials.
    • Call Legal Counsel at (217) 333-0560 for instructions on responding to the request.
  3. Receipt of Communications from Attorneys Outside the University

    Before responding to any communication from an attorney outside the University regarding University business, contact Legal Counsel at (217) 333-0560 for guidance on whether and how to respond.

    As a general rule, all outside attorney requests for information will be handled by Legal Counsel, and outside attorneys should be directed to contact Legal Counsel.

    You MAY respond to inquiries from attorneys and staff with Legal Counsel as well as attorneys and staff of outside law firms hired to represent the University. If you are uncertain if you are communicating with an attorney for the University, contact Legal Counsel before providing any information.




The Office of University Counsel, 258 Henry Administration Building, 506 S. Wright Street, Urbana, Illinois 61801; phone (217) 333-0560.