A review of cases assigned to St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien shows that parties asked for substitutes five times in September’s last week and once the next Monday.
In Illinois, any party can substitute a judge once without cause if the judge has not made a substantive ruling.
Parties rarely exercise the right, except with LeChien, according to the docket sheets of St. Clair County civil litigation.
Chief Judge John Baricevic demoted LeChien from civil law cases last year, after parties substituted him 38 times in 102 days.
Baricevic assigned miscellaneous relief cases to LeChien and placed him in charge of chancery court, where foreclosures dominate the docket.
No one substituted LeChien in August except State Farm, as defendant in a miscellaneous relief action about fire coverage.
Michael Bedesky of Reed Armstrong in Edwardsville filed the motion.
Health Care Service Corporation, parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, substituted LeChien in a miscellaneous relief action on Sept. 9.
In that action, David Cates of Swansea and David Novoselsky of Waukegan seek discovery in advance of a suit they intend to file.
Michael Nester of Belleville filed the substitution motion.
In chancery court, one side of a family in a dispute over a trust fund substituted LeChien on Sept. 21.
Donald Schoemaker of the Greensfelder firm in Swansea filed the motion.
Archangels Biorecovery substituted LeChien on Sept. 26, as defendant in a chancery suit alleging it damaged a home that the owner hired it to clean.
Jonathan Kibler of Marion filed the motion.
Illinois Fair Plan substituted LeChien the same day, as defendant in a miscellaneous relief action about fire coverage.
John Cunningham of Brown and James in Belleville filed the motion.
American Modern Select Insurance substituted LeChien on Sept. 28, as plaintiff in a miscellaneous relief action over hail coverage.
Corey Kraushaar of Brown and James filed the motion.
Sandra Mckenzie substituted LeChien on the same day, as defendant in a chancery suit alleging breach of a partnership agreement to rehabilitate a house.
Terry Neubauer of Fairview Heights filed the motion.
Pekin Insurance substituted LeChien on Sept. 29, as plaintiff in a miscellaneous relief action over fire coverage.
Peter Syregelas of Chicago filed the motion.
St. Clair Township substituted LeChien on Oct. 3, as defendant in a miscellaneous relief action over highway spending.
Highway commissioner Skip Kernan seeks an order providing funds he claims he needs to keep the public safe.
Brian Funk of O’Fallon filed the motion.
Cases continue slipping away from LeChien in another direction.
In August and September, Baricevic reassigned 14 of LeChien’s foreclosures because a member of his family represented a party.
LeChien resigned last year so he could run for partisan election this year rather than stand for retention, which would have required 60 percent approval.
LeChien is running as a Democrat and faces Republican Laninya Cason.
Their race will be decided by St. Clair County voters only. Had LeChien stood for retention, he would have been on the ballot in all five counties that make up the Twentieth Judicial Circuit: St. Clair, Monroe, Perry. Randolph and Washington.