Philip Kardis

Retiring Madison County Circuit Judge Phillip Kardis left a ton of work behind – in fact, a ton and a half.

Employees of Circuit Clerk Matt Melucci have moved all 3,000 pounds worth of civil case files from Granite City, where Kardis held court, to Edwardsville. Upon his retirement, Chief Judge Edward Ferguson closed the Granite City civil court.

The task of hauling the files fell to Shawn Jackson, who works in the records room in the courthouse basement. He started the job Monday, Aug. 29, but did not finish it.

Jackson did not complain, but someone noticed that he needed a hand. Mitch Stille, who works on the first floor of the courthouse, was asked to lend a hand Tuesday.

“Each trip was around 25 boxes,” Jackson said about the job that required three trips with a van. “Banana boxes full of files.”

Stille said, “We didn’t lose anything. Everything we should have, we’ve got it.”

Ferguson must now divide Kardis’s cases among the remaining circuit judges.

The closing of civil court in Granite City ends a tradition that dated back 36 years.

According to Melucci, the state constitution of 1969 did away with city judges and justices of the peace. Circuit court officials, figuring that Granite City still deserved a full time judge for civil cases, assigned a circuit judge to City Hall.

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