Y’all just keep coming!
Since writing that fateful June 2017 column regarding Kane County Judge John Dalton’s regularly despicable courtroom antics, at least 80 of you have come forward with your own version of a family court horror story.
But the consistently recurring them is, “How do we remove this poor excuse for a human being from the bench.” You’d think the fact he’s a bigoted, misogynist, sadistic bully would be enough, but that’s never the case when it comes to the men and women in black.
With the way the system’s set up, it’s virtually impossible to vote a full circuit judge out of office. But there are a number of steps Dalton victims, as I accurately refer to them, can take to get the powers that be to take notice of this eminently miserable excuse for a human being.
But before we continue down that road, if you are a woman, and particularly an Hispanic or Black woman, you cannot step foot into courtroom 101 without an attorney – especially if your ex has retained one – because to do so would be the equivalent of committing legal suicide. Dalton doesn’t give a flying bleep about the law, he won’t enforce his own orders, he doesn’t care about his reputation, and he certainly enjoys making women suffer.
The problem is, most attorneys are intimidated by Dalton while others refuse to practice in his courtroom. So, if you need a reasonable family attorney recommendation, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to hook you up with one.
As is always the case, I receive absolutely no consideration for referring folks to a good attorney.
Now back to the issue at hand.
Step 1 – File a Judicial Inquiry Board complaint
This is the most critical step because these are the only people that have the power to sanction and remove judges. It may be true they don’t remove judges very often, but if just half of the people who’ve approached me filed a JIB complaint, Dalton would be nothing more than a bad aftertaste.
The process and form for filing a Judicial Inquiry Board complaint can be found right here.
When you do file one, keep it short, be very specific as to the misconduct, be as unemotional as possible, and please don’t turn it into a rant about your ex or the system. Those are completely separate issues.
I know some of you are fearful of further incurring the Judge’s wrath, but rest assured, all JIB complaints are completely confidential, so you have nothing to fear. And even if Dalton managed to figure out who filed onet, can he really make your life any worse than he already has?
Step 2 – Email Chief Judge Susan Clancy-Boles
You can contact her at email@example.com. She may not have the power to remove Dalton from the bench, but she’s under no obligation to assign him to a courtroom, either. He could very easily be relegated to simple administrative tasks that not even he could screw up.
Again, be specific, don’t let your commentary devolve into a rant, and please don’t make any threats. Simply explain your situation and ask her way this bleep is allowed to single-handedly destroy people’s lives.
Step 3 – Call State Senator Cristina Castro’s Springfield office
Castro is one of Dalton’s biggest supporters to the point where his husband, Rich Jacobs, runs her Elgin office. And don’t give me any more crap about outing Dalton as gay because he broadcasts it to anyone who will listen, and he regularly bludgeons plaintiffs, defendants and attorneys with it, too.
Politicians are timid creatures by nature and Castro has much higher political aspirations. So, if her Elgin constituents start calling her – and it hast to be a call to Springfield or Jacobs will intercept emails or calls to Elgin – to explain why she no longer has your vote, it will make her very, very nervous.
I’m in the process of recruiting a Democrat to run against Castro in 2020 to make a point. Given her campaign ethic, she will be very difficult to beat, but collectively, we can make her spend a whole lot of money to stay in office.
There’s more than one way to send a message. If we strip Dalton of his support, it makes him that much more vulnerable.
Step 4 – Stage a protest on the Kane County Judicial Center steps
This is a fascinating proposition that even I hadn’t even considered, but when a reader suggested the possibility, I was rather intrigued. So, I reached out to one of my bevy of attorneys who not only said it was perfectly legal to demonstrate on those Peck Road and Route 38 steps, but he thought it was an excellent idea.
This is exactly the kind of thing that would make the local newspapers wake up and take notice.
Again! PLEASE DON’T DISRUPT the Judicial Center proceedings or be obnoxious in any way. Peaceful protests with simple and direct signs are always the most effective.
To this end, Alton Jones, a long-time Dalton victim who’s had more than enough is willing to coordinate these protests. Those interested in making a statement can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be more than happy to reach out the local press to be sure they cover it, as well.
The bottom line is, while I can’t single-handedly solve this problem, collectively, we have the power to create change. And the faster we start moving on this, the faster Dalton’s rein of judicial terror will end.