Quick Hits – Ya Gotta Love the Kane County “Justice” System

I’m really starting to regret my promise to keep you informed of the progress in my pending lawsuit against the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office. It’s getting so convoluted I can barely keep track of it and I’m the plaintiff!

For background purposes, I filed a FOIA request for all sexual harassment complaints against one former prosecutor way back in October of 2018 and KCSAO Civil Division head, Joe Lulves, responded with 255 redacted pages. Well, he did give me one sentence! So, I appealed that FOIA denial to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office and, in mid-June, they ruled in my favor.

It should’ve ended there, but because State’s Attorney Joe McMahon firmly believes his office is above the law, the KCSAO generally refuses to abide the AG’s ruling.

Kane County Judicial Center

Kane County Judicial Center

So, I filed a lawsuit to force McMahon’s hand in mid-July, and the KCSAO turned it over to private attorney Pat Kinnally of, Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur. If I said the complaint was proceeding, it wouldn’t be completely inaccurate, but that might depend upon your definition of the word “proceeding.”

With the original status hearing set to October 31, and given the hurry-up-and-wait nature of civil cases, I filed a motion to move matters along which was set to go before Judge Kevin Busch on Thursday (8/8).

And that was the easy part. I would encourage you to get your scorecards out if you want to follow along from here.

On Monday afternoon, I received an email from opposing council that Chief Judge Susan Clancy-Boles, once again, unilaterally asked the Illinois Supreme court to move the lawsuit out of Kane County. This is the third time she’s pulled this BS due process violation on me and it’s really getting old.

What the Chief Judge is essentially saying is, if Jeff Ward is involved, every last one of the 27 16th Circuit judges completely lacks the capacity to set aside their personal proclivities and rule on a lawsuit based on its merit or lack thereof. Think about what that statement truly means.

One could argue that, given my regular coverage of our judiciary, they’re trying to avoid the appearance of impropriety, but recusing an entire circuit is like trying to kill a gnat with a cruise missile. I’m sure there’s more than one Kane County judge who’s never heard of me before.

Unless the judge has a personal connection and moves first, a recusal is typically up to the plaintiff or respondent. And our judges hear lawsuits against the KCSAO all the time, so that’s certainly no excuse, either.

The problem with this venue shift was, neither I nor opposing council received any paperwork to back it up. It’s just another sign of Bole’s vast arrogance. Since the men in black tend to get kinda surly when you miss a court date without a note from Epstein’s mother, I informed court administrators I would be showing up on Thursday to argue my motion. Five minutes later, I received a copy of the Illinois Supreme Court order:

16th Circuit Mass Recusal

Now, I really thought about challenging it, but that would mean filing another motion with the Illinois Supreme Court to reconsider the move, because only they can grant or revoke the Chief Judge’s request.

The basis for that motion would’ve been that Boles provided no evidence it was necessary, I was not officially informed until I asked for the paperwork, and we all  have the right to be heard by a judge we elected, or by a judge appointed by a judge we elected.

While that motion would’ve been an intriguing notion, it would entail travelling to Springfield only to have those Illinois Supreme Court justices flip me the collective bird and say, “We have the power to do this and if you don’t like it, there’s always the SCOTUS.”

Yeah! But the U.S. Supreme Court takes a dim view of pro se litigants, and after all that effort, I’d have absolutely nothing to show for it other than setting the lawsuit back for a year or more.

Still frustrated that Kane County judges flee at the mere sight of my gleaming visage, I turned to my crack team of legal advisers who told me, much like my longsuffering wife, the 16th Circuit wants less than nothing to do with me. It would seem my capacity to ferret out the truth makes them more than a little nervous.

But the irony of finally receiving the venue change paperwork was that it actually made matters worse! As you can see, the case was moved to 23rd Circuit Judge Melissa Barnhart’s courtroom, but the order stipulated the first court date would be held right here in good old Kane County.

But what was the first court date? Was it my motion to move things along on Thursday, or was it the first appearance before Judge Barnhart? And opposing counsel’s legal aide was just as confused as I was.

So, I turned to the only man in Kane County who could sort this out, Court Administrator Doug Naughton. He dutifully listened to this convoluted tale, actually understood it, and by end of business yesterday, he had procured a handwritten 23rd Circuit Court order striking all previous court dates. It further stipulated the first hearing will take place on August 26 at 1 p.m. in courtroom 110 in front of Judge Barnhart in the Kane County Judicial Center.

Here’s that order: 19MR833 Court Date Order

On that fateful day, two motions will be heard, my motion and Mr. Kinnally’s request for the Judge to personally review the sexual harassment documentation.

The irony there is, shortly after I filed it, Mr. Kinnally submitted his response to my complaint mitigating my need to move things along. For the truly masochistic among you, you can read his response right here:

KCSAO Lawuit Answer

Before you hit send, please remember that, unless a judge seals them, all court proceedings are public record.

As far as opposing counsel’s motion, I have absolutely no objection to the Judge reviewing those complaints because there isn’t a female attorney on the planet who hasn’t faced down multiple counts of sexual harassment. With some notable exceptions, male attorneys are always a fascinating proposition.

If you’ve managed to stay with me thus far, you’re all caught up. Put far more simply, Houston! We have lift off!

But if you’ve ever wondered why attorneys’ fees seem to add up so quickly, it’s because the system eats up time faster than a supermassive black hole. This lengthy 1,150 word column describes just two short days in the civil lawsuit process. Had I not been proceeding pro se, I’d hate to even think about that next law firm invoice.

In the end, I’m not sure if my continuing contention to keep you posted is more of a promise or a threat, but in the words of those great philosophers Modest Mouse, “We’ll all float on!”

7 thoughts on “Quick Hits – Ya Gotta Love the Kane County “Justice” System

  1. The band of thugs here in Kane county is large, joe MCMAHON along with most of his family members and the unions, when government funding gets cut, they find a way to generate income through frivolous lawsuits(legal extortion)
    And seized assets(seems ethical)

  2. My brain hurts …

  3. This is sounding a lot like divorce court Kane County style. I hope for your sake it doesn’t drag out as long. Looking forward to reading about August 26.

    • Sarah,

      Doesn’t it though?

      Though I’ll certainly cover the 8/26 hearing, it shouldn’t be much of a story. I’ll withdraw my motion, and I won’t object to opposing council’s motion.

      Judge Barnhart will ask me to file a brief in response to Mr. Kinnally’s answer to the original complaint, and I’m gonna tell her that won’t be necessary because that complaint already says it all.

      Then the judge will set a date and it’s on to actually arguing the lawsuit.

      Jeff

  4. Do you believe McMahon will leave before an un-redacted version gets to be made public?

    • John,

      It depends upon if the KCSAO appeals my inevitable win. The odd thing is, despite the AG’s ruling, Pat Kinnally has offered no new grounds to justify the FOIA denial, and the standard for a FOIA denial by a public body is “clear and convincing” evidence. That’s the civil equivalent of beyond any reasonable doubt.

      Since Mr. Kinnally has already responded to the lawsuit, the first court date is 8/26, and my complaint is going to serve as my brief (response to their response), it should move forward very quickly.

      There’s certainly no need for deposition or any other such time wasting effort.

      But if the KCSAO appeals a loss to the 2nd District, the scenario of which you speak would most certainly come true! Appeals take a LONG time.

      Jeff

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