Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier announced that the application process has begun to fill the vacancy that will be created by retiring St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael O'Malley.
O'Malley announced in April that he would retire July 31.
His current six-year term would not have expired until 2014.
O'Malley has said he would open an office in St. Clair County for St. Louis-based personal injury firm Carey, Danis & Lowe.
He said he will pursue class actions in federal and state court against pharmaceutical companies.
Under the Illinois Constitution, the Supreme Court holds the authority to fill interim judicial vacancies.
Karmeier will use an application, evaluation and interview process to make recommendations to the court for vacancies in the Fifth Judicial District, stated a press release issued Thursday.
Notice of O'Malley's at-large vacancy will be posted in courthouses throughout the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. Applicants must submit a cover letter with the "Requested Information of an Applicant Form" to Karmeier at: P.O. Box 266; Nashville, Ill. 62263.
The form may be obtained from the office of St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic; the presiding judges or circuit clerks of the counties within the 20th Circuit or from Karmeier.
Applicants' cover letter and completed form must be received in Karmeier's office no later than July 2.
The person appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the position is filled through the November 2012 general election. The appointment will terminate Dec. 3, 2012.
To be eligible for appointment, a person must be a resident of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit at the time of the appointment.
The 20th Judicial Circuit is comprised of five counties in southwestern Illinois: Monroe, Perry, Randolph, St.Clair and Washington.