All associate judges seeking retention in St. Clair County
All of St. Clair County's associate judges will be up for a retention vote this year.
They join their Madison County counterparts who are also all seeking to retain their seats on the bench.
Like in Madison County, St. Clair's associate judges take on a number of roles.
They preside in civil cases, family court and other divisions of the Twentieth Circuit.
Recent moves in the circuit court have meant some judges have taken on new dockets and roles.
For example, St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson took over St. Clair County's newly active asbestos docket after the retirement of St. Clair County Circuit Judge Patrick Young last year. Gleeson is the only associate judge assigned to the major civil division.
Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf is the presiding judge of the family division.
Unlike circuit judges, associate judges all stand for retention at the same time.
The circuit judges also vote to retain them as opposed to average citizens who weigh in on whether or not the circuit judges continue to wear robes.
St. Clair County saw several changes in the circuit court last year.
Young and Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley both retired as did Circuit Judge Annette Eckert.
Belleville attorney and former judge Stephen McGlynn was appointed to O'Malley's seat.
St. Clair County State's Attorney Robert Haida won a circuit judgeship in November 2010's elections and Associate Judge Michael Cook also moved up to the circuit bench, replacing Eckert.
The current St. Clair County Associate Judges and their assignments are:
Laninya Cason – Probate, Title IV – D, Taxes
Julie Katz – Traffic, Misdemeanor, First Appearance
Vincent Lopinot – Traffic and Criminal Misdemeanor, Trials
Stephen Rice – Satellite Court
Ellen Dauber – Small Claims, Eminent Domain
Randy Kelley – Family
Zina Cruse – Family
Heinz Rudolf – Family
Brian Babka – Family, Domestic Violence
Walter Brandon – Juvenile Delinquency, Non-delinquency
Richard Aguirre – Arbitration, Forcible Entry & Detainment
Andrew Gleeson – Major Civil