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Small claims courts only have jurisdiction over residents of the state where they are located. You could sue someone who lives in another state in the Small Claims Court of their state. It may also be possible to sue in the higher civil courts in your state, if the injury occurred in your state or if the other party visits your state regularly/does business there frequently.
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Then you're unfortunately going to have to sue in Illinois.
You could sell your right to sue to a family member and they could bring the case, but they could not file a lawsuit on your behalf unless they happen to be a lawyer. However, since you are the one who had an agreement with the other party, you'd have to show up in court to testify in order for them to win. So you wouldn't really benefit from doing that.
Most small claims courts accept filings by mail. Call the courthouse in the county where she lives to see if they have forms you can download and mail them to open the case.
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