Quick Hits – Judge John Dalton has to go

I know! When you get down to the judge section, you kind of look at it, shrug your shoulders and simply submit the ballot. Before I became a journalist, I did the same thing. Nobody has the time to truly determine who is, or who would be a good judge.

But the truth is, much like any State’s Attorney’s Office, the men and few women in black have a huge impact on the often desperate people who come before them. And a judge has supreme power in their courtroom. He or she can do whatever they want – including slapping your sorry ass in jail for the least perceived slight.

Sure! You can go to another judge, pay thousands of dollars to have that decision overturned and even then, your only recourse to go to the Judicial Inquiry Board. To make matters worse, you can’t sue a judge for abuse of power or for a bad decision and I can’t remember the last time the JIB dismissed a judge. We all know what absolute power does to some people, too.

The only other possibility – and it’s a longshot – is to convince enough voters that a sitting judge should not be retained. We’ll talk about that before we’re done.

Dalton

John Dalton

But before we get into the kind of malfeasance Judge John Dalton regularly wreaks in the Kane County Courts on a daily basis, please let me to issue the kind of caveats that’ll set the groundwork for my case.

1. I don’t give a rat’s ass that Judge Dalton is gay – but he certainly likes to trumpet the fact and use it as a weapon to excuse his horrific behavior. In fact, when attorney Dalton thought the Elgin Democrats were giving him short shrift over his sexual orientation, he turned to me, we talked at length, and I wrote a Courier-News column in support of his judicial efforts.

And whenever you back someone who disappoints you, there is a moral obligation to restore balance to the force. That’s what I’m doing here.

2. Yes! This is a case of fighting my own battle which I don’t like to do in print. However, having had to sit Dalton’s courtroom five or six times, sometimes for hours, I’m not nearly the only target of his incessant bullying and bad decisions. So while some of the incidents I’ll report involve me, most of them don’t!

Not only that but, I’ve generally been successful in front of the Judge, including two pro se motions. Though his rulings can be beyond bizarre, it’s what you have to endure throughout the process that shouldn’t be endured by any plaintiff, defendant, or attorney.

3. The reason I’ve appeared in front of Dalton so much lately is due to the fallout from my pickup truck being firebombed in my driveway in April of 2016. Though things have gotten much better, the Geneva Police have a well-known habit of not helping folks who disappoint them, so this columnist had to deal with most of it on my own. No to mention that most Geneva parents refuse to parent.

4. This will not help my cause. Judge Dalton is so intent on exacting his pounds of flesh that, should I ever appear in front of him again, I’m convinced he will not recuse himself. Bullies have to be bullies, after all. He will continue to lash out at anyone he believes has even mildly offended him, as he did when I took on his political sponsor, former Elgin State Senator Michael Noland.

Dalton is also bound and determined to repay society for every slight he believes he’s suffered as a result of being a gay man. I understand it isn’t easy being any kind of minority, but it certainly didn’t stop him from becoming a judge.

Even if Dalton does recuse himself, “replacement” judges take a very dim view of anyone who believes their brethren in black can’t be fair under any circumstance. But as I’ve always said, the truth is far more important than Jeff Ward.

So here’s why Judge Dalton has to go:

1. He regularly ignores the law and imposes his own brand of “justice.”

I sat in courtroom 101 with my mouth agape as Judge Dalton failed to enforce his own order. The plaintiff’s attorney was beyond baffled. A defendant had frequently failed on the child support front and, with jail as the appropriate last resort, the Judge said, “We don’t have debtor’s prison in this country.”

The plaintiff’s attorney tried to argue that Dalton had to enforce his own rulings or they’d be meaningless to no avail. And after talking to a number of attorneys, I discovered that wasn’t nearly the only case in which the judge reversed himself.

Then there was the time my son was assaulted in a Geneva High School hallway to the point where the police arrested the perp without any intervention on my part. But when it came time for the Judge to enforce the court’s existing no-contact order, in an utterly bizarre abrogation of the law, Dalton called it “double jeopardy” and let the kid off with a warning.

His theory was the perp had already been fined by the criminal court, so no action civil court action was necessary. I correctly argued that The People have a vested interest in providing criminal consequences, while the court has a vested interested in seeing that their orders aren’t violated. But Dalton simply decided to write his own law.

In the only ruling that went against me, Dalton claimed that taking pictures of vandals’ license plates, with the Geneva Police fully informed of my effort, was “vigilantism.” My attorney was beyond stunned.

But the worst example is what the Judge did to an overly emotional black defendant. His white girlfriend was seeking an order of protection and I’ve never seen anyone so blatantly lie in court. Her description of being hit in the head with a chair was so cartoonish that not even Gloria Allred would’ve bought it.

The woman admitted to having a serious drug and alcohol problem, too.

But when the defendant rebutted the argument but saying the incident happened seven years ago and he actually swept a chair out from under her after she’d given him an STD, Dalton granted the order.

An attorney I know turned to me in the front row and said, “There you go! Start filing motions about stuff that happened seven years ago. Judge Dalton clearly doesn’t care about timing.

Oh! And after he told that defendant that his own testimony sank him – a Dalton favorite – the Judge laughed under his breath as the defendant fled his courtroom. Though I don’t have enough evidence to come to a final conclusion, it certainly seems like Judge Dalton has a problem with other minorities.

 

In part two, we’ll discuss how the judge ratchets up the legal bills for folks he doesn’t like and he frequently stops attorneys from putting on a defense so he can have afternoons off. But the worst of it is how he berates attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants – sometimes for 10 minutes at a time, because he can. And then he smiles or laughs about it.

It’s time for someone to call him out on his blatant BS. We’ll also cover the three ways Judge Dalton can be removed the bench. Stay tuned!

13 thoughts on “Quick Hits – Judge John Dalton has to go

  1. It’s scary how much power Judges wield. I’ve been involved in the family court system for close to 10 years and while things have largely gone my way, it’s easy to see how a crabby judge on a bad day could have blown up my whole life. While I think my Judge was fair, it was still eye opening how much contempt goes unpunished. And how the the most ridiculous details are focused on while huge glaring injustices are ignored.

  2. I need SERIOUS HELP.THIS GUY HAS DISCREDITED MY SONS SERVICE TO THIS COUNTRY.MY SON IS USMC.JUDGE DALTON STATED TO ME “ARE ALL YOUR KIDS GONNA HAVE TO GO TO THE MARINES FOR US TO GET YOU TO PAY YOUR CHILD SUPPORT”.TO SAY I WAS PISSED IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.HE ALSO STATED TO ME “DIDNT YOUR MOTHER TEACH YOU RIGHT FROM WRONG?”I STATED TO HIM YOUR HONOR MY MOM PASSED 3 YEARS AGO SO I DONT FEEL COMFORTABLE TALKING ABOUT HER AT THIS TIME.THERE WAS A BRIEF PAUSE THEN HE STATES WELL WHEN SHE WAS ALIVE???NOW YOUVE TALKED ABOUT MY SONS SERVICE TO THIS COUNTRY AND ALSO ASKING WHAT MY MOM TAUGHT ME AFTER I LET HIM KNOW SHE HAD PASSED!!! SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!!!I HAVE TO APPEAR 7/5/17.I DONT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.HE HAS ALOUD MY DAUGHTERS MOTHER TO GROSSLY VIOLATE A PERMANENT VISITATION ORDER,THEN WHILE IN VIOLATION OF THE ORDER HE ALOUD HER TO FILE A MOTION TO SHOW CAUSE ON WHY MY VISITS SHOULD BE SUSPENDED,HE GRANTED HER MOTION.NOW I NEED A PSYCH EVALUATION TO SEE IF I CAN CONDUCT MY PARENTING TIME THAT THE MOTHER IS IN VIOLATION OF.SHE IS IN VIOLATION OF MULTIPLE ORDERS IN THIS CASE.I HAVE NEVER SEEN A JUDGE MAKE A MOCKERY OF THE COURT IN THE WAY THIS GUY DOES.IM SCARED OF WHAT HE WILL DO NEXT.BUT IM NOT GOING TO STOP FIGHTING TO BE A FATHER.I INTIATED ALL RECENT COURT PROCEEDINGS.I NEED HELP HE IS SERIOUSLY ALLOWING LAWS TO BE BROKEN AND THEN RULING IN FAVOR OF THE PERSON BREAKING THE LAWS.I FEEL LIKE ALL RIGHTS THEY CLAIM I HAVE HAVE BEEN GROSSLY VIOLATED BY THIS JUDGE AND THE MOTHER OF THE CHILD.PLEASE HELP ME.THANK YOU FOR READING THIS.THIS JUDGE IS BREAKING LAWS AT A RAPID RATE.HE ALSO ADDED OVER $2500 IN INTEREST ON MY BALANCE AFTER I HAD GOTTEN IT DOWN TO $400.31.IM DISGUSTED.HOW IS THIS ABLE TO HAPPEN?I KNOW ITS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE GOING THROUGH FAMILY COURT AND WE NEED JUDGES LIKE THIS OOFF THE BENCH!!!!!!!!!!KEEP FIGHTING FOR WHATS RIGHT!!!THANKS FOR THE TIME.SORRU SO LONG BUT IM PISSED OFF.ALL ALONG I HAVE AN ACTIVE DISABILITY CASE AT THIS TIME.HE DOESNT EVEN FOLLOW THE ACTUAL LAW I AM A VICTIM TO HIS OWN WAY OF LAW.THIS HAS TO BE STOPPED.I DONT WANT ANYONE ELSE TO BE TREATED THE WAY MYSELF AS WELL AS OTHERS HAVE BEEN TREATED IN COURTROOM 101.ITS VERY SICK.

    • Alton, I wish I could help with individual cases, but that’s beyond the capacity of one person. Also I want to be clear that there are two sides to every divorce story, but what you have described is vintage Judge Dalton.

      You have two courses of action. The first is to file a complaint with the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board. They do take those complaints seriously. The second is to email Chief Judge Boles bolessusan@co.kane.il.us and explain your situation to her.

      I wish you the best of luck.

      Jeff

    • Not only am I aware of Judge Kostelny, but I helped defeat her when she ran for election.

      • Yes, she was defeated, but she continues to use a political appointment to remain on the bench. How convenient! Doesn’t anyone else see the hypocrisy and sheer arrogance in this, to say nothing of allowing her to collect her fat salary and continue to spew her hate at litigants? Please include Kostelny in any efforts to oust a judge.

  3. Patiently waiting for part 2. I have had the displeasure of sitting in this individual’s court room on multiple occasions. He talks about his nieces and nephews and runs it more like a theater than a place of justice. He has favorite attorneys and no matter what the argument is by opposing counsel he will side with his favorite- right, wrong or indifferent. I saw him look at an order he wrote which contradicted a previous order he wrote in the case and say outloud “why did I rule on it a second time if I had already ruled? No matter. I’m moving on now.” The law does not apply in his court room. And I’ve also heard the famous “your testimony is what hurt you.” When it clearly shouldn’t have.

    • Stacey,

      Thank you for reminding me. I’ll do my best to get to it by next week. What I can tell you is, I’ve certainly caught the attention of the Chief Judge and the entire 16th Circuit.

      • I know many people would be grateful to know that someone with a voice has experienced the same injustice they have but feel they have no recourse because they are just a common citizen. There are many individuals (and clear documentation in court rulings and court reporter minutes) that can attest to the injustice of his court room and antics. I was not a litigant in his court room, just an observer and could not believe the attitide and injustice. I hope the Chief also looks into some of the clear political alliances that have formed between the judge and certain locally based law firms. I do know several months ago Judge Dalton handed out a survey to select attorneys as well… which was unusual according to these practitioners.

        The signs of power abuse were clear with the RV…..

        Keep up the good work and giving the common citizen a voice!

  4. I am dealing with his injust orders after I showed proof for over a year that my child’s father was constantly lying, didn’t cooperate with the GAL and refuses to follow Daltons order he gave him more time with my child and is now punishing me because I can’t get an app to work properly, this man is horrible during our trial he didn’t pay any attention he was constantly looking down laying back in his chair rolling his eyes. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE!

  5. I was just in front of dolton yesterday he granted my child’s mother to have majority of parenting time after she has left her with me for 3 months and was taken from her by dcfs and I had the child a year and a half and recently she was incarcerated for battery against a minor while 2 other minors were present and stated to the judge she lives in a hotel that’s no place for a 2 yr old even the clerk was dumbfounded at the ruling..he needs to go

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s