DeKalb, Kendall counties to be moved to new judicial circuit

By Tom Verschelde

DeKalb County will soon experience speedier trials due to the redistricting of Illinois judicial circuits, said Rep. Bob Pritchard.

DeKalb and Kendall County were moved from Illinois 16th Judicial Circuit and were put into the newly formed 23rd Judicial Circuit because of a bill signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on Aug. 26, Pritchard said.

The 16th Judicial District previously held DeKalb, Kane and Kendall counties.

“It is a concept that the judges have been proposing for years,” Pritchard said. “The reason is because the districts have grown in different ways, Kane has grown so much faster than both DeKalb and Kendall. There was a feeling that the courts could function better this way because the size of the two counties is similar.”

The new restructuring of the districts will allow both DeKalb and Kendall County to have the appropriate amount of resources, said House Republican Leader Tom Cross.

“Due to rapid population growth, Kane County became exponentially larger than Kendall and DeKalb counties and as a result the allocation of judges and the services in that district were disproportionately allocated to Kane,” Cross said. “We passed the bill so Kane would be its own district and Kendall and DeKalb would be put together as counties of similar size.”

The changes will take affect in December 2012, Cross said.

This will result in DeKalb County getting a new associate judge and Kendall County getting a new judge. Both judges will be appointed at a later date. The split of the 16th Judicial District will bring about some new expenses as well, such as the new judges salaries, but the cost will not be passed on to citizens, Pritchard said.

“It will be a better redistribution of state dollars,” Pritchard said. “DeKalb County will have the resources to respond faster to court cases.”