December 9, 2011
Professional Courtesy, Conduct Prejudicial
A complaint filed by the Illinois Administrator alleges misconduct by a former associate judge on behalf of a fellow judge's daughter:
On April 30, 2010, Judge Perrin’s daughter, a minor, received a traffic citation for allegedly disobeying a road closure sign in Leland Grove, Illinois, in Sangamon County. The matter was docketed as case no. 2010 TR 017760 in the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and a first appearance was scheduled for Monday, June 7, 2010, before Respondent.
On June 2, 2010, on the sixth floor of the Sangamon County building, Respondent and Judge Perrin conversed on court business, and Respondent complained about the unusually large traffic call that he had on the coming Monday. Judge Perrin told Respondent that his daughter’s case was on that docket and that it conflicted with a missionary trip that she had planned for that week. Respondent told Judge Perrin that he would continue his daughter’s case.
On June 2, 2010, following his above-described conversation with Judge Perrin, Respondent directed the Circuit Clerk’s office to send the file in case no. 2010 TR 017760 to his chambers. Respondent received the file later the same day.
On or about June 4, 2010, the Honorable John Mehlick ("Judge Mehlick"), who was another associate judge, agreed to take one-half of the traffic call scheduled for Monday, June 7. The Court Administrator assigned Respondent to take the cases of defendants whose last names began with letters A through O, and Judge Mehlick to take the cases of defendants whose last names began with letters P through Z.
At no time did Respondent forward the Circuit Clerk’s file in case no. 2010 TR 017760 to Judge Mehlick. Respondent retained the file in his chambers.
On June 7, 2010, Respondent entered an order on the cover of the Circuit Clerk’s file in case no. 2010 TR 017760 dismissing the citation, and he checked boxes on the file cover that stated that the citation was dismissed on the motion of the State due to insufficient evidence. Following his court call, Respondent placed the file with other Circuit Court files from his call in which he had entered orders, and he returned them to the Circuit Clerk’s office.
Respondent’s above-described representations that the State had moved to dismiss case no. 2010 TR 017760 and that he had allowed the motion were false, and he knew that they were false. At no time had the State’s Attorney’s office moved for the dismissal of the case.
Respondent intended by his actions...to deceive the Circuit Clerk, the public and others about the basis for the dismissal of Judge Perrin’s daughter’s traffic citation and conceal his ex parte actions.
The complaint alleges that the conduct was discovered and the judge's daughter pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to a $75 fine.
SJR.com had this report on the decision earlier this year not to impose judicial discipline on Judge Perrin. (Mike Frisch)
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