Lake County (IL) will waive past due court fees for one week only starting July 15

From the Libertyville Patch:

LAKE COUNTY, IL — Past due fines owed in criminal and traffic cases in Lake County will be waived as part of the county’s amnesty week, officials said. Lake County Amnesty Week will run from July 15 to July 19 and is run in conjunction with the Lake County Circuit Clerk’s Office and the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“During the week-long period, all collection fees and accrued interest will be waived on any past due fines owed on criminal and traffic matters in Lake County,” according to a news release…

Full or partial payments are accepted either over the phone or at any of our branch court locations. The Lake County Circuit Clerk has more information on Amnesty Week available on its website.

Lake County IL pilot program to help Defendants with court fines open through March 29

Exciting news from Lake County, where court fines are very high.  This is copied from a Lake County website:

Road To Reinstatement Pilot Program


Nationwide, individuals are unable to restore or renew their driving privileges based on inability to pay outstanding fees and fines. Unable to drive, this often prevents individuals from obtaining or maintaining employment so they can support themselves and their family. To combat this issue, Vice-Chair Mary Ross Cunningham and the Lake County Board, with support of its partners, are launching the new Road to License Reinstatement Pilot Program, which will provide qualified individuals the ability to get their license renewed or reinstated.

Apply for the Road to Reinstatement Pilot Program

  1. Complete the Personal Information Form and an Application for Waiver of Court Fees 
    Printed copies are also available at the Lake County Building, 18 N. County Street, 9th Floor, Waukegan, IL 60085.
  2. Obtain your Driving Abstract from the Illinois Secretary of State for $12.
  3. Return the completed documents no later than March 29 by email to, or mail or drop off the documents to the Lake County Administrator’s Office, 18 N. County St., 9th Floor, Waukegan, IL 60085.

About the Program

This program will provide Lake County residents who are unable to pay an opportunity to reduce outstanding costs and get their license renewed or reinstated. The following traffic offenses will not be eligible for participation in this program.

  • DUI citations
  • Habitual/dangerous offenders/offenses
  • Felony cases
  • Child support suspension
  • Financial responsibility suspension
  • Insurance suspension
  • Toll violations
  • Unpaid parking tickets
  • Citations issued outside of Lake County

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I know if I qualify for the program?
Applicants will be notified six to eight weeks after the documents are submitted.

How can I submit my documents? 
Fee waivers and driving abstracts from the Illinois Secretary of State can be submitted by email, mail or dropped off at the Lake County Administrator’s Office, 18 N. County Street, 9th Floor, Waukegan, IL 60085

How can I get my driving abstract?
Driving abstracts can be retrieved at a local DMV. Visit a facility or mail an abstract request form. The cost is $12.

When do I have to turn my documents in? 
All documents are due no later than March 29.

Who do I contact for further questions?
Contact Lake County at 847-377-2929

Courts to be closed due to sub-zero weather

Cook County has announced that courts will be closed Wednesday, January 30, 2019 and Thursday, January 31, 2019 due to expected sub-zero degree temperatures.  The only exception will be bond court at 26th Street and 555 W. Harrison.

This link will take you to Chief Judge Timothy Evans’ order, which includes information concerning rescheduled court dates.

Other courts have officially announced that they will be closed Wednesday, including the Federal Court in Chicago and state courts in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties.  You can find information about court closures here:


Two Chicago Branch Court locations have closed

As of yesterday, January 7, 2019, two Chicago Branch Courts have been officially closed.  The courthouses were located at Belmont and Western and at 51st Street and Wentworth.

Misdemeanor cases from Belmont and Western (Branch 29), will now be heard at Branch 23, located at Grand and Central.

Felony cases from Belmont and Western (Branch 45), will now be heard at the Second Municipal District Courthouse located at 5600 Old Orchard Road in Skokie.

Cases that were previously heard at 51st and Wentworth will be divided up between the Branch courthouses located at 3150 W. Flournoy (Flournoy and Kedzie) and at 727 E. 111th Street.  If you are not sure which courthouse to go to, call the criminal court clerk at (312) 603-4641.

Cook County Branch Courts at Belmont and Western and at 51st St to close January 4th

From the Cook County Courts website:

The Circuit Court and Cook County have finalized the scheduled closing of two Chicago branch court locations – 155 W. 51st St. and 2452 W. Belmont Ave.  – to take effect after court concludes on January 4, 2019.

The two branch court closings, which were finalized as part of the budget litigation settlement between the county and the court, will help the county avoid $9.2 million in repairs, renovations and maintenance that would be necessary to keep the two buildings safe, operational and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The matters now heard at each city branch court are misdemeanor bail hearings, misdemeanor trials and felony preliminary hearings.

The upcoming changes are:

  • Starting on December 10, 2018, all misdemeanor bail hearings at all five city branch court locations will move to the Leighton Criminal Court Building, 2600 S. California Ave. This brings all Chicago bail hearings to one location, as is currently done on weekends and holidays.
  • Starting on January 7, 2019, all other misdemeanor matters (such as misdemeanor trials) and felony preliminary hearings at 155 W. 51st St. will move – depending on the location of the alleged offense – either to the branch court location at 727 E. 111th St. or the branch court location at 3150 W. Flournoy St.
  • Starting on January 7, 2019, all other misdemeanor matters (such as misdemeanor trials) at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. will move to 5555 W. Grand Ave. The felony preliminary hearings at 2452 W. Belmont Ave. and 5555 W. Grand Ave. will move to the Skokie courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Road, which is where those two branch courts’ cases already go when they advance to trial. Felony matters that arise in Chicago and are already heard in Skokie do not include Chicago murder charges and Chicago sexual assault charges, which are currently only heard at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

Defendants should check their bail bond slip, summons, ticket or notice-to-appear documents for the correct court location. Those whose court locations may change will receive notice by mail from the Clerk of the Circuit Court. Defendants may also contact the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Criminal Department at (312) 603-4641.


Chicago Bar Association Judicial Ratings are now available

Early voting has begun and the Chicago Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) has released its findings for Cook County Judicial Races.  I am on the executive committee of the JEC and I am in a perfect position to inform you that these ratings are based on detailed investigations of all the candidates, which includes contacting numerous attorneys who have appeared before the candidate, reference and background checks, reviews of appellate court decisions, and holding a hearing in which the candidate appears to answers questions before the committee.

You can find the CBA’s ratings at but for convenience, I have cut and pasted the results below.

The CBA Judicial Evaluation Committee (JEC) invites you to view its evaluations of judicial candidates running for vacancies on the Circuit Court of Cook County in the upcoming election to be held on November 6, 2018. The Chicago Bar Association urges voters to elect only candidates found Highly Qualified or Qualified for judge. Judge Lisa Ann Marino was found Not Recommended for Retention by the JEC, punch ballot # 314 to vote “NO.”

Cook County Circuit Court and Subcircuit Vacancies:

Cook Circuit – Brewer Vacancy
111 | Kathryn Maloney Vahey | Q

Cook Circuit – Clay Vacancy
112 | Kathaleen Theresa Lanahan | Q

Cook Circuit – Dooling Vacancy
113 | Tom Sam Sianis | Q

Cook Circuit – Egan Vacancy
114 |Rosa Maria Silva | Q

Cook Circuit – Dunford Vacancy
115 | Thomas F. McGuire | Q

Cook Circuit – Flanagan Vacancy
116 | Preston Jones Jr. | HQ

Cook Circuit – Hartigan Vacancy
117 | Cecilia Anne Horan | Q

Cook Circuit – Jordan Vacancy
118 | Clare Joyce Quish | Q

Cook Circuit – McGinnis Vacancy
119 | Peter Michael Gonzalez | Q

Cook Circuit – Rooney Vacancy
120 | Jack Hagerty | HQ

Cook – 1st Subcircuit – Hambright, Jr. Vacancy
121 | Erika Orr | Q

Cook – 2nd Subcircuit – Lampkin Vacancy
121 | Tiana Ellis Blakely | Q

Cook – 2nd Subcircuit – Laws Vacancy
122 | Adrienne Elaine Davis | HQ

Cook – 2nd Subcircuit – Rhodes Vacancy
123 | Toya T. Harvey | HQ

Cook – 2nd Subcircuit – Turner, Jr. Vacancy
124 | Ieshia Gray | Q

Cook – 2nd Subcircuit – Willis Vacancy
125 | Debra A. Seaton | HQ

Cook – 2nd Subcircuit – Turner Vacancy
126 | Arthur Wesley Willis | NR

Cook – 3rd Subcircuit – Delehanty Vacancy
121 | Kevin Patrick Cunningham | Q

Cook – 4th Subcircuit – Davy  Vacancy
121 | David R. Navarro | HQ

Cook – 4th Subcircuit – Riley  Vacancy
122 | Elizabeth Ciaccia-Lezza | Q

Cook – 5th Subcircuit – Banks  Vacancy
121 | H. Yvonne Coleman | Q

Cook – 5th Subcircuit – Jones  Vacancy
122 | Marian Emily Perkins | NR

Cook – 5th Subcircuit – Washington, II  Vacancy
123 | Robert Harris | HQ

Cook – 6th Subcircuit –  Chevere Vacancy
121 | Kent Delgado HQ

Cook – 6th Subcircuit – Cooke Vacancy
122 | Andrea Michelle Webber | Q

Cook – 6th Subcircuit – Lopez Cepero Vacancy
123 | Linda Perez | Q

Cook – 8th Subcircuit – Fabri  Vacancy
121 | James “Jamie” Shapiro | HQ

Cook – 8th Subcircuit – Liu Vacancy
122 | Lindsay Huge | Q

Cook – 8th Subcircuit – Pethers  Vacancy
123 | Jeanne Marie Wrenn | Q

Cook – 10th Subcircuit – O’Neill Burke Vacancy
121 | Stephanie Saltouros | Q

Cook – 10th Subcircuit – Suriano Vacancy
122 | Colleen Reardon Daly | Q

Cook – 11th Subcircuit – Kennedy Vacancy
121 | Joanne F. Rosado | Q

Cook – 12th Subcircuit – Maki Vacancy
121 | Joel Chupack (D) | HQ
122 | David Studenroth (R) | Q

Cook – 13th Subcircuit – Crane Vacancy
121 | Ketki “Kay” Steffen (D) | Q
122 | Gary William Seyring (R) | Q

Cook – 13th Subcircuit – Lawrence Vacancy
123 | Shannon P. O’Malley (D) | NR
124 | Daniel Patrick Fitzgerald (R) | NR

Cook – 13th Subcircuit – O’Donnell Vacancy
125 | Samuel J. Betar, III (D) | HQ
126 | Christine Svenson (R) | NR

Cook – 14th Subcircuit – Garcia Vacancy
121 | Beatriz A. Frausto-Sandoval | NR

Cook – 15th Subcircuit – Scully, Jr. Vacancy
121 | Michael B. Barrett | HQ

Cook – 15th Subcircuit – Zelezinski Vacancy
122 | Scott Mckenna (D) | Q
123 | Karla Marie Fiaoni (R) | HQ

Supreme Court Retention
201 | Anne M. Burke | Q

Appellate Court Retention
203 | Margaret Stanton McBride | Q

Circuit Court Retention
205 | Kathy M. Flanagan | Q
207 | Moshe Jacobius | Q
209 | Stuart F. Lubin | Q
211 | Martin S. Agran | Q
213 | Ronald F. Bartkowicz | Q
215 | E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. | Q
217 | Catherine Marie Haberkorn | Q
219 | James M. Varga | Q
221 | Marcia Maras | Q
223 | Peter Flynn | Q
225 | Paul A. Karkula | Q
227 | Maura Slattery Boyle | Q
229 | Mary Margaret Brosnahan | Q
231 | Matthew E. Coghlan | Q
233 | Joyce Marie Murphy Gorman |Q
235 | Joan Margaret O’Brien | Q
237 | Thomas David Roti | Q
239 | Colleen F. Sheehan | Q
241 | Carl Anthony Walker | Q
243 | Daniel Patrick Brennan | Q
245 | Grace G. Dickler | Q
247 | Ellen L. Flannigan | Q
249 | Carol M. Howard | Q
251 | Jill C. Marisie | Q
253 | James Michael McGing | Q
255 | Mike McHale | Q
257 | James Patrick Murphy | Q
259 | Thomas W. Murphy | Q
261 | Ramon Ocasio, III | Q
263 | Mary Colleen Roberts | Q
265 | Diane M. Shelley | Q
269 | Celia Louise Gamrath | Q
271 | Lorna Ellen Propes | Q
273 | Tommy Brewer | Q
275 | Andrea M. Schleifer | Q
277 | Thomas R. Allen | Q
279 | Erica L. Reddick | Q
281 | Aicha Marie MacCarthy | Q
283 | Lionel Jean-Baptiste | Q
285 | Michael R. Clancy | Q
287 | Regina Ann Scannicchio | Q
289 | Diann Karen Marsalek | Q
291 | Pamela M. Leeming | Q
293 | Larry G. Axelrood | Q
295 | Carl B. Boyd | Q
297 | Daniel R. Degnan | Q
299 | John H. Ehrlich | Q
301 |Terry Gallagher | Q
303 |William G. Gamboney | Q
305 | Elizabeth Mary Hayes | Q
307 | Martin C. Kelley | Q
309 | Kimberly D. Lewis | Q
311 | Edward M. Maloney | Q
314 | Lisa Ann Marino | NR 
315 | Michael Tully Mullen | Q
319 | Karen Lynn O’Malley | Q
321 | Paul S. Pavlus | Q
323 | Cynthia Ramirez | Q
325 | Beatriz Santiago | Q