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!

44 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

  6. Where’s part two?

    • Junior,

      My attorneys have advised me to save part two till January. And one should always listen to their (good) attorneys.

      Jeff

      • When’s part 2 hitting the press? I want to see this judge drown or at least flip out of his chair je feels so superior leaning back in

      • I’m I the only one who believes that the talking parents ap. Is illegal ,you have the right to choose who you want to represent you, that’s your civil right, plus it’s false advertising,it says the device is free, not true so I’m reporting them to Lisa Madigans office for fraud. Can Anyone tell me this how can a judge allow a father take custody of a child because of he say she say.not even considering, he abandoned his child for over ten years, and had to be taken to court to help with child support . He is not fair, and he don’t read or care about the facts all he cares about is a side show, I thought it was court and the people acting like no one has sense just the Corrupt criminal justice system.

      • He went from a pizza boy to a judge and it shows.he owns Danny’s pizza in Elgin.How do I know???because I worked witH HIM THERE.HE DOESNT KNOW THE LAW AND THE LAWS HE DOES KNOW HE DOESNT FOLLOW ANYWAY.HE IS A SEAT FILLER PRETTY MUCH.

  7. If your attorneys want to speak to a victim of his mental illness, have them look me up

  8. I just had dalton in court today. the ASSHOLE didnt let me talk.

    • Oliver, That is exactly his MO. I’m still working on him!

    • He doesn’t let anyone talk.
      unless you have a lawyer to talk for you. Wich they are all in it together.
      Total scam. This judge just makes fun of people and act like he’s a comedian. But his jokes suck. He constantly puts people down I court and he’s not a good human being.he’s definitely a bully. He’s also a big time lied I caught hi. Up on several lies and when I questioned his lies to him he had me arrested.for Contempt of court. Hrs not judge worthy material.

  9. he needs to go ASAP. i put a motion in and he didnt even want to hear my argument against my ex wife. what can we do as citizens to get judges out of here like dalton?

    • Oliver, Your best bet is to file a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Board which can remove a bad judge. It doesn’t happen very often, but considering the vast number of complaints against Dalton it’s starting to become a real possibility.

      Here you go! https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/jib/Pages/complaint.aspx

      • it took everything to keep me from going off on him. I work for a police agency and for other departments and this man didnt even care. its so HARD to work for a system that doesnt even work. i can see why some good cops turn bad…

      • Jeff Thank you for posting this information I’m truly100% behind you on this matter.
        This Judge is a joke I can’t believe the things he gets away with.
        Totally unprofessional

  10. I am in a long battle with Judge Dalton and facing losing my daughter because of his ways. He’s completely unfair in every regard, flips his stance at the drop of a hat and is certainly not looking out for the best interest of my daughter.
    I’m about to go to a hearing in a couple of weeks to re-establish allocation of my daughter who I’ve had sole custody of for her ENTIRE life, minus one year that has been dragged out from when I took a job opportunity and allowed my child to reside with her father for a short time while I went to make money in order to create a better circumstance for both of us.
    I want to fight this til my death, but I don’t have the funds required to hire a vicious lawyer and the custody evaluator recommended by an attorney I’ve asked for advice from. I absolutely plan to file a complaint with the link you provided above. Do you have any references for me in regards to an attorney who works well with this man or a way I may be able to change judges or if he rules that I dont get my daughter, How do I appeal this?? I don’t know what to do at this point. It seems he may have already made up his mind.

  11. Hello Mr. Ward. I love this article because Judge Dalton has made my fiance’s life a living hell. This poor excuse for a man, keeps letting things that his ex does, go. And makes my fiance jump through hoops to keep his son away from his drug addict ex, the boy’s “mother.” At the end of the article, you mentioned there will be a follow up article to tell us how to get him removed from his position. I can’t find this article. Did you write it? Can you please share the link if you did? And if not, can you please contact me and let me know what I have to do? We will do ANYTHING to get this guy his much deserved seat – on a lazy boy, in his house, where he belongs. Thank you!

    • Angela, No! I have not written the follow up yet, because I’d heard reports that Dalton was beginning to behave. Since I don’t believe that’s the case, part 2 will be coming.

      Meanwhile, as I explained before, your best bet is to file a complaint with the Judicial Inquiry Board which can remove a bad judge. It doesn’t happen very often, but considering the vast number of complaints against Dalton it’s starting to become a real possibility.

      Here’s the link:
      https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/jib/Pages/complaint.aspx

      I will email you privately as well.

      Jeff

  12. Illinois laws the Judge can’t just make up his on laws, at random. Then just laugh like it’s a joke.

  13. Child custody to a parent who committed statuary rape,

  14. JUDGE Dalton discriminates against BLACK WOMEN I’M one he decriminated againsts in child support they take all the money paid to them and dont give me a DIME he helps the babydaddies WHAT IS HE THERE FOR NOTHING I TELL YOU HES AND THE STATES ATTORNEY OFFICES NEEDS TO BE BOYCOTTED PERIOD

    • Has nothing to do with your skin color. Kane County is working on sueing the SDU because thousands of dollars that have been collected are not being sent to the custodial parents of all colors it was collected for

  15. It’s time “We the People” make a change with Judge Dalton, and I don’t mean “Keyboard Warrior” style, that nor writing to any other Supreme Judge works. Lets lay down some facts about Judge Dalton and Kane County. I have been in front of Judge Dalton for the past year and jailed at least 4 times for 2 weeks at a time. When I first appeared in front of him, my child support case was compared to his favorite game show, “Let’s Make a Deal”, which I have seen him do too many other cases when they first appear in front of him for the first time. He loves to degrade you right out of the gate and he really gets off on it when his courtroom chuckles at his little comedian act of your sensitive matter. Let me throw this out here before the “Social Justice Warriors” silence me. If a married father loses his job and has a hard time finding a new one, he’s a dad without a job. But if a divorced father loses his job with the same scenario, he is a “Deadbeat Dad” and doesn’t have a voice because he doesn’t deserve one. In my case, I went before him and explained I haven’t worked and can’t perform many jobs because of a medically proven heart condition and tumor-like growth in my right lung making finding a doable job hard to find. He raises both hands and says, let us play “Lets play make a Deal”. The right hand is curtain #1, I have a hearing and show proof why I haven’t worked and he decides my fate, or the left hand is curtain #2 and I admit to being in contempt and risk jail. Being completely stunned that my case was now laughed at by his entire courtroom and the entire States Attorney staff faked their laughs from his daily joke of people, I showed him my medical paperwork as proof and offered to show a log of my job search, he found me in contempt because the medical paperwork didn’t say by a doctor “He is broken and can’t work”. I told him I had no money. My current child support is $220 a week, he said he wouldn’t modify the current order and continued my case for 30 days and told me to return with a paycheck stub or a toothbrush. I returned 30 days later with a new job. I hadn’t received my first check yet but did have a job letter explaining my pay plan and job verification. I was handcuffed and jailed for 2 weeks, released and told to come back with 4 weeks of child support or be jailed again.
    He told me to find a job flipping burgers, I replied flipping burgers won’t pay the court-ordered $220 a week and his answer was “Just Do It”. As much as “Just Do It” works for a Nike commercial, doesn’t mean it works in real life. I returned to court 30 days later with another new job, found it within 3 days of my release. They held my 1st check for a week and I walked into the courtroom with $550. He refused to accept the money and I was jailed.
    moving ahead, on April 4th I went to court again with my 4th new job after my jail release date of March 5th with $660 which was a Wednesday, 2 days before my 4th paycheck which would have been my 4 payments for the month in full…….Jailed again because I brought the payment to court and not through SDU because SDU told me making the payment through them, it wouldn’t post to the account for 7 to 14 days. Again the payment wasn’t accepted and another lost job.

    Let’s look at why. I’m a “Deadbeat Dad” and this injustice just stays silent. This is where Kane County comes in. An inmate in the classification pod of the jail considers himself to be a “Constitutional Rights Advocate”. While his views seem to be way out in left field, he has raised many and provable facts regarding the Kane County Correctional system. Using the freedom information act he found out the phone system in the jail for inmates clearly states that if the “Kane County Jail maintains an inmate count of 475 inmates daily, the county receives a 30% kickback on the phone system”. Does this mean the judges have a monitoring system for the number of inmates that must be taken into custody daily whether they deserve jail or not? And that’s just the phone system, wonder how much the inmate uniform or other supply companies kickback.
    3 months ago, the kitchen area had a faulty dishwasher part and food trays were washed out of large garbage cans and many inmates ended up very sick and many suffered all types of sores on their mouths waiting for a new motor for the dishwasher to arrive or fit the budget of the jail. But the jail was nice enough to give all affected inmates vaseline to put on their cracking sores on the outside and inside of their mouths.
    The jail was originally built on a swamp I’m being told which might explain the black mold growing on the 1st level of the jail. Many inmates complained to the medical facility of many rashes, especially on their feet. One gentleman I met this last time showed me the scars all over his body he has obtained since being at the Kane County Jail. The medical doctor even had a blood test done for him over a month ago and he can’t seem to get an answer of the test results. His many medical requests for an answer go unanswered.
    They told him the test was being done to make sure his growing scars are not a blood issue, but if it’s caused by the neglect of the jail, I guess I could understand their silence.
    Anyways, I’m getting off track here. But a few questions after reading your posts regarding Kane County. Judge Dalton does not belong in a family courtroom or any courtroom for that matter. In a family courtroom, people deserve compassion and empathy in many cases. When it comes to marriages that failed and when there are children involved, these families court issues don’t deserve a judge who makes jokes about it. These are sensitive issues that involve families to where parents are against each other and in many cases the children are used as pawns to hurt the other parent. We don’t need a gay judge who probably is angry because he can’t have children naturally due to his sexual orientation, I’m sure somehow that is an issue for him and his wife (legally married) named Richard.
    Referring back to your sexual harassment story within the Kane County Courts, I’m sure their fear of legal issues is why Judge Dalton still resides on a bench considering he has sued because of being gay to win his bench as a judge.
    A judge who has blocked many people of their constitutional rights does not belong on a bench. It has been documented he has been heard by an attorney saying “The constitution is bullshit and needs to be updated” should not hold any bench in any court of law considering this same judge will prosecute people using the constitution he claims is bullshit. Many lawyers fear him and won’t take cases in his courtroom because this man makes his own laws, or is he maybe there to maintain Kane Counties financial need to maintain 475 inmates a day. Wow, what a system, jail divorced dads (deadbeats who social justice warriors deny a voice) that have the same financial issues in some cases as married dads with the same financial issues.
    Hopefully, Mr. Ward since you have helped and supported many in politics can direct some of us somewhere other than the Judicial Inquiry Board or Chief Judge Boles because as you said in the sexual harassment story, Kane County fears lawsuits, and we all know Judge Dalton will file suit using his sexual orientation as a reason for any claims against him, he has a history of doing so.

  16. Lord have Mercy I think this is a nightmare, Why is Dalton on the bench? He make decisions without knowing the facts. I might be wrong but in illinois if you’re not married the mother is sole guardian, so how can the Judge grant guardianship to the father who abandon his child for ten years, and had to be force to pay child support,. Lord have Mercy.

  17. The taikingParents.com is illegal. if you want your lawyer to represent you you show be able to choose, the talking parents was created by an attorney it will make them rich, but the ap also say it free, and that’s false advertising, I reported the talking Parent s to BBB the attorney General, office of professional regulation, and any bother else who will listen it’s a fraud and a scam,

  18. Dalton is a Clown. He thinks he’s funny and treat his courtroom like a Comedy.
    He needs to go. He Treats people like his personal punching bag.degrades people on a daily basis.
    He’s not worthy of being a judge.never let’s you talk,he always has something witty or stupid to say to make you feel like you’re not with seeing your child. How did this Penis Sucker become a judge and tell us when or when you’re allowed to see your child get real.

  19. I’ve read these comments and I’m sick to my stomach that John Dalton is still allowed to be a judge. He’s an absolute asshole and I’ve heard about him berating people in court.

    How do we get him out of office???

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