The continuing saga of Judge Susan Clancy-Boles – the neighbor from hell
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people. ― G.K. Chesterton
When we last left off, despite receiving a more than reasonable offer to make good on the havoc she’d wreaked on her neighbor’s property, our nefarious protagnonist, Kane County Judge Susan Clancy-Boles, steadfastly refused to consider the possibility that she might be wrong. It would seem that being a Clancy means never having to say you’re sorry.
Oh! And when I said “at fault,” I meant Judge Boles committed the following legal torts:
- She had her neighbor’s trees “butchered,” in the words of a Geneva Police officer, without making any attempt to contact them first. The Boles never complained about the trees, never asked about cutting them back, and then they waited until their neighbors went on vacation to call out the chainsaws.
- Anyone who lives in Geneva’s historic district already knows no tree can be removed without the express written consent of the city council. And Judge Boles was well aware of that statute because she’s heard similar cases in her own courtroom. Who cuts down a neighbor’s tree while they’re on vacation leaving just a 12-foot stump?
- She knew that the 1830 Illinois “Wrongful Tree Cutting Act” would open her to treble damages, but she proceeded with her opprobrious scheme anyway.
- The judge and/or her agents clearly trespassed on her neighbor’s property to perpetrate her underhanded scheme.
It kinda makes you wonder what the judge might do on a bad day. It must be a lot of fun being her husband.
So now, three long months later, and only after Joy’s (the Boles’ neighbor) attorney presented the Boles with a lawsuit deadline, did they finally respond. And that recalcitrant response came in the form of a missive from none other than former Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, who’s back where he started at Geneva’s Griffin, Williams, McMahon, and Walsh law firm.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! The decompression required to go from prosecuting Jason Van Dyke to representing a woman who doesn’t have a leg to stand on in a neighborhood dispute must’ve been something fierce. Though truth be told, I’m not surprised that two of the most questionable elected officials in Kane County history finally managed to get into bed together.
And the Griffin, Williams law firm, formerly one of the area’s best, has clearly devolved into something along the lines of Larry, Darryl, and Darryl’s “Anything for a Buck” business. I suppose we’re all hurting a bit after the pandemic.
In a clear case of “the dog ate my homework,” “the check’s in the mail,” and “it must’ve been my evil twin,” despite never mentioning a word about it before, judge Boles now insists that the tree was rotten to the point where it presented a hazard to her and her family.
That’s funny! At the time of the crime, Boles insolently declared that she slaughtered those old elms because, “They blocked the sun from my backyard.” And Joy has an arborist’s statement indicating the tree was perfectly healthy, too. That new “excuse” doesn’t begin to explain why the judge cut ALL of Joy’s trees back well beyond the property line, either.
But let’s say the tree was a threat. That doesn’t give anyone free license to cut it down. Any reasonable individual would’ve provided their neighbor with an expert’s report and asked them to take care of the problem.
The vast irony here, of course is, is civil judges utterly despise this kind of making it up as you go along defense.
Considering the overwhelming evidence against her, if McMahon had half a conscience or an ounce of moral fiber, he would’ve advised his client to take the deal which asks only that the Boles remove the remaining 12-foot stump and plant a row of arbor vitae in place of the missing tree. But that’s not going to happen because here’s what these unscrupulous birds of a feather are counting on.
Since Joy’s current attorney isn’t a litigator, she’ll have to hire the local-ish variety to sue the Boles, and no local-ish attorney or law firm will dare take this case. Why? Because suing the presiding civil court judge – who’s currently running for the second district appellate court, no less – would be the equivalent of committing career suicide. Apparently Lady Justice isn’t nearly as blind as she pretends to be.
More simply put, McMahon and Boles expect to win by default, which really sucks. But I can tell you that’s not going to happen.
Out of the inestimable goodness of my heart, I’ve embarked upon finding a reputable Cook County attorney to take Joy’s case. The local variety may be reluctant to do it, but a Chicago Democrat will have no problem suing an errant Republican Collar County judge even if she does manage to make it to the appellate court.
In fact, they’d probably enjoy it.
I’ve also gone out of my way to warn the Griffin Williams law firm that, since judge Boles is now a client, their attorneys can’t as much as set foot in her courtroom for all the obvious reasons. And it’s really easy to keep track of that kind of thing on Zoom these days, too.
Given the redemptive nature of this existence, I generally don’t apply the word despicable to human beings, but I’ll gladly make an exception here. Whether it’s her frequent abuse of judicial power, her attempt to erase her late brother’s affair with Anjum Coffland, or waiting for her neighbor to go on vacation and “butchering” their trees, Susan Clancy-Boles has clearly earned that title.