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Judicial Appointments

The Illinois Supreme Court has appointed Patricia S. Spratt as Circuit Judge of Cook County, 7th Subcircuit. This vacancy was created by the reitrement of the Hon. Anita Rivkin-Carothers. It is effective Sept. 8, 2015 and terminates on Dec. 5, 2016.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Tuesday that the Third Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Jennifer L. Hightower and Sarah D. Smith as associate judges of the Third Judicial Circuit.

Ms. Hightower received her undergraduate degree in 2005 from the University of Missouri-Columbia in Columbia, MO and her Juris Doctor in 2009 from Thomas Cooley Law School in Lansing, MI. Ms. Hightower is currently affiliated with Simmons Hanly Conroy, LLC in Alton; Lewis & Clark Community College in Godfrey and the Madison County State's Attorney's Office in Edwardsville.

Ms. Smith received her undergraduate degree in 1998 from Millikin University in Decatur, her Master's Degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA and her Juris Doctor in 2002 from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. Ms. Smith is currently affiliated with the Madison County State's Attorney's Office in Edwardsville.

Michael J. Tardy, Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, announced Thursday that the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit judges voted to select Ronald A. Barch as an associate judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit.

Mr. Barch received his undergraduate degree in 1986 from Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois, and his Juris Doctor in 1992 from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Barch is currently affiliated with Cicero, France, Barch & Alexander PC in Rockford, IL.

Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court have announced the appointment of Chicago attorney Devlin Joseph Schoop as an at-large Cook County Circuit Judge.

Mr. Schoop was appointed by the Court to fill the vacancy created by Judge Themis N. Karnezis, who is retiring on July 31, 2015. The appointment takes effect August 10, 2015 and will terminate on Dec. 5, 2016, when the position is filled by the 2016 General Election.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride has announced an application process for appointment to a second Circuit Court vacancy in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created by Chief Judge James B. Stewart's retirement, which takes effect on October 1, 2015. Chief Judge Stewart has been a judge since 1986 and served as chief judge of the six-county circuit since 2012.

Justice Kilbride's announcement comes about two weeks after he gave notice of an application process for an upcoming vacancy that will be created by the August 20, 2015 retirement of Circuit Judge Steven R. Bordner.

Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled by Supreme Court appointment. Justice Kilbride will make a recommendation to the Court after applicants undergo an evaluation and screening process.

Notice of both vacancies has been posted at courthouses within the Ninth Judicial Circuit, which includes Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, McDonough and Warren counties. The application form and instructions may be obtained by visiting the Supreme Court’s website at www.illinoiscourts.gov and following the instructions on the “Latest News” scroller announcing the Ninth Judicial Circuit vacancy.

Applicants must submit one original and the requisite number of copies of the application and other documents as instructed in the application packet. To be considered for the vacancy created by Chief Judge Stewart's retirement, all documents must be received in Justice Kilbride’s office no later than 11:30 a.m. on Monday, August 20, 2015.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas L. Kilbride has announced an application process for appointment to an upcoming Circuit Court vacancy in the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

The vacancy will be created by Circuit Judge Steven R. Bordner's retirement, which takes effect August 20, 2015. Judge Bordner has been a judge since 1995 and has served in each of the six counties of the Ninth Circuit. He is currently assigned to the Fulton County Courthouse in Lewistown.

The Hon. James S. Cowlin, Associate Judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, has been appointed Resident Circuit Judge of McHenry County effective Sept. 8, 2015. This position is presently held by the Hon. Gordon E. Graham, who is retiring Sept. 7, 2015.

Justice Charles E. Freeman and the Illinois Supreme Court announced Tuesday the appointments of an assistant U.S. Attorney and a longtime Chicago lawyer as Cook County circuit judges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie E. Hamilton was appointed as Circuit Judge in the 12th Subcircuit and Chicago lawyer John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. was appointed as At-Large Circuit Judge in Cook County.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis announced on Wednesday an application process for a vacancy in the Sixth Judicial Subcircuit of Cook County.

The vacancy was created by the retirement of Circuit Judge Leida J. Gonzalez Santiago. Judge Santiago had served as a judge since 1992, when she became the first Hispanic woman elected to the judiciary in Illinois. Her retirement takes effect July 2, 2015.
Under the Illinois Constitution, judicial vacancies are filled on an interim basis by Supreme Court appointment until the next General Election. Justice Theis will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court after applicants for the position undergo a screening and evaluation process.

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced that 376 of the 384 Illinois associate judges who filed requests for reappointment to their office for a new four-year term have been retained. Having certified the results of more than 466 total ballots cast in Illinois’ twenty-four circuit courts. Director Tardy informed that each successfiul candidate received votes that tallied three-fifths or greater in favor of their reappointment. Five associate judges in the Third Judicial Circuit, one in the Sixth Judicial Circuit, one in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit and one in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit did not receive the requisite number of votes for reappointment. The new term of office for each reappointed associate judge will begin on July 1, 2015 and terminate on June 30, 2019.

Pursuant to Illinois’ Constitution, associate judges serve a term of office of four years. The Illinois Constitution vests in the Supreme Court the authority to provide, by rule, for the associate judges appointment process in Illinois. With the adoption of Supreme Court Rule 39 in 1971, the quadrennial reappointment election of associate judges is accomplished through the casting of secret ballots by circuit court judges eligible to vote. The Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts administers all associate judge elections on behalf of the Supreme Court. The 2015 quadrennial reappointment election is the eleventh reappointment election since the 1970 amendments to the judicial article of the Illinois Constitution.