Electronic signatures in PC JIMS

KB article ID:5003 (permalink)

PC JIMS has the ability for users to add a signature to a digital document in Imaging. Using a TOPAZ signature pad makes this easy.


A ​few ​words before you begin using this feature​

First, ​while some of our clients want to start using digital signatures in court now, ​the rules for electronic signature​s​ are ​currently ​still being decided​. W​e​​ put ​this feature out there to accommodate the want, but​ we​ may have to make changes to it once ​the ​rules for electronic signatures​ get defined​.​

A​lso​, and more importantly, ​while signature pads are a great way to capture signatures, using a signature pad to directly sign documents is not how judge signatures should be applied. Judge signatures require an extra ​layer of authentication​.

  • Use a signature pad to capture a judge's signature, and associate it with their PC JIMS User ID. Judges then apply their signature as described (below) under Apply a signature to a document, approach to be used by judges.

A word on TOPAZ signature pads


Goodin Associates elected to work with ​TOPAZ Systems signature pad​s because this brand only creates one DLL which works with most of their models. While we tested on a T-LBK-462-HSB-R, PC JIMS relies only on the signature capture functionality of TOPAZ signature pads, and not on any of that company's supplemental software. According to TOPAZ, any of their signature pads should work with PC JIMS. It's easy enough to test one. Just plug it into your PC and try it.


Capture a signature and associate it with a PC JIMS User ID


  1. Get into Imaging.

  2. Go to Technical/Signatures

  3. Go to File/New

  4. Choose your User ID in the Select User window

  5. Choose CIRCUIT CLERK in the User Role window (choose JUDGE User Role for judges)

  6. To the far right of 'Upload signature," click on the [pen on paper] icon

  7. Sign the signature pad.

  8. Click 'Save' on the Edit Signature screen, or 'Clear' to retry (your signature may look bad here, but it will look same as on the pad when saved)

  9. Click Save.

  • Your signature will be associated with your PC JIMS User ID in the iSeries. Only your User ID will have access to your digital signature.


Apply a signature to a document


First, the document has to be​ in PDF format, and​ in​ PC JIMS​ Imaging​. If ​you're working with a Notice Generation document, you'll first need to create ​it and export it to Imaging.


Once a document is in Imaging​,​ follow these steps:

  1. Open the document in Imaging.

  2. Right click on the document.

  • To sign using a saved signature (approach to be used by judges), select Add Annotation\Signature (or Signature and date), then left click approximately where you want the signature.

    • Enter your User ID and password.

  • To sign using the signature pad (approach used by litigants to directly sign/date a digital document), select Add Annotation\Signature Pad, then left click approximately where you want the signature.

    • An "Enter signature" screen ​will ​appear.

    • Sign and date on the signature​ ​pad. It will display on the screen. Press Save.

  1. The signature will be added to the document for ​you ​to resize or move ​as needed.

  2. The ​document needs to be saved to save the signature to ​it​. Note that the signature is not permanent until the user makes all annotations permanent.



Ready to add your judges' signatures into your system?


Repeat the "Capture a signature..." steps above with each of your judges to capture their signature and associate it with their PC JIMS user ID. Remember to indicate JUDGE under User Role. Each judge needs to have (and use) their very own User ID; even visiting judges need to be set up with their own, and not use a generic User ID if you intend for them to sign documents digitally. A judge's signature cannot be applied without entering the judge's User ID & password. The same goes for any signature saved in PC JIMS.



TOPAZ signature pad doesn't work?


It may be defective or obsolete. Please contact TOPAZ.


​For questions pertaining to digital signature standards, we recommend you contact the AOIC.


For a review of the 2014 standards governing the use of electronic signatures, see: http://illinoiscourts.gov/SupremeCourt/Policies/Pdf/Electronic_Filing_Standards.pdf