Illinois: House committee approves bill to require posting in public areas of courthouses how to file disciplinary complaints against trial judges

A bill in the Illinois House discussed here that would have required trial judges make an announcement on a daily basis in their court about the existence of the state’s judicial disciplinary body has been heavily amended.

HB 3054 as filed contained 3 elements

  1. All Circuit Judges must announce that a person can file a complaint against him or her with the state’s Judicial Inquiry Board prior to calling the first case of the day.
  2. The Clerk of the Circuit Court must make a Judicial Inquiry Board complaint form with instructions available.
  3. The Clerk must also post within each courtroom a notice that a person may file a complaint against the judge and that instructions for filing a complaint may be obtained from the clerk.

HB 3054 as amended removes Item 1 entirely and heavily modifies Items 2 and 3. The new bill provides

  1. Circuit Court Clerks are to post in the common areas of the courthouse a notice a person may file a complaint against the judge that includes contact information for the Judicial Inquiry Board.
  2. The Judicial Inquiry Board shall develop a uniform statewide notice and provide the format of the notice to each clerk.

The posting requirement is similar to a 2008 Tennessee bill (HB 3906 / SB 4053) although that version would have placed the notice just outside the courtroom. The Tennessee plan was introduced but never taken up in either chamber.

This amended bill was approved by the House Judiciary – Civil Committee on a 11-0 vote and is currently pending on the House floor.