Illinois First District Appellate Court

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Illinois First District Appellate Court
Court information
Judges:   23
Founded:   1877
Salary:   $199,000[1]
Judicial selection
Method:   Partisan election of judges
Term:   10 years

The Illinois First District Appellate Court (also called the Cook County Judicial Circuit) comprises all of Cook County, Illinois, and meets in the city of Chicago. An executive committee serves as the general administrative authority for this district.[2]

There are five appellate court districts in Illinois. Each judge has a support staff of two law clerks and a secretary.

The clerk of the First District Appellate Court is Steven Ravid.


Like every appellate district, the judges elected to the First District serve 10-year terms "commencing on the first Monday in December following his election."[3]

There are six divisions within the First District. Each division has four judges.

Illinois First District
Appellate Court


Former JudgesNotable Cases

First Division

Illinois Appellate
Court Districts
Illinois Second District Appellate CourtIllinois First District Appellate CourtIllinois Third District Appellate CourtIllinois Fourth District Appellate CourtIllinois Fifth District Appellate CourtIL District Map.png
JudgeTermAppointed by
Judge Margaret Stanton McBride1998-2018
Judge Rodolfo Garcia2003-12/6/2020
Judge Robert E. Gordon2006-12/6/2020
Judge Shelvin Louise Marie Hall1999-2020
Judge Thomas Hoffman1993-12/1/2024
Judge Themis Karnezis2002-12/6/2020
Judge Joy Cunningham2006-2016
Judge P. Scott Neville2004-2022
Judge James Fitzgerald Smith2002-2022
Judge Maureen Connors2010-2022
Judge Sheldon Harris2010-12/1/2024Illinois Supreme Court
Judge Michael Hyman2013-12/6/2020Illinois Supreme Court
Judge Mary Anne Mason7/8/2013-12/6/2020
Judge Stuart Palmer1/6/2012-12/2016
Judge James Epstein2010-2020
Judge Aurelia Marie Pucinski2010-2020
Judge Mary Katherine Rochford2010-2020
Judge Daniel James Pierce2010-2016
Judge Bertina E. Lampkin2009-2020
Judge Terrence J. Lavin2010-2022
Judge Nathaniel R. Howse2009-2022
Judge Jesse G. Reyes2013-2022
Judge Mathias W. Delort1/2013-2022
Judge William H. Taylor II2012-2014
Judge Laura C. Liu2014-2016
Judge Cynthia Y. Cobbs2015-PresentIllinois Supreme Court
Justice John B. Simon11/16/2012-12/1/2024Illinois Supreme Court
Judge David Ellis (Illinois)12/1/2014-12/1/2024

Former Judges

First name Last name Appointed/Elected Term ended
Alan Greiman 1987 1991
Anne M. Burke 1995 2006
Blanche Manning 1986 1994
Charles Freeman 1976 1986
Denise O'Malley 1992 2002
Jill McNulty 1982 1990
Michael Murphy 2005 2012
John Tully 1984 2009
Leslie Elaine South 1992 2006
Mary Jane Theis 1983 2010
Michael Toomin 1984 2010
Roger Kiley 1940 1961
Sharon Coleman 1996 2010
Sheila O'Brien 1994 2011
Warren Wolfson 1975 2009


The following charts display caseload statistics from the First District Court.[4]

Civil and Criminal Caseload Breakdown
Civil & Criminal Caseloads Civil Filed Civil Disposed Criminal Filed Criminal Disposed
2009 2013 2088 1606 1663
2008 2020 1987 1582 1697
2007 1820 1998 1715 1808
2006 1965 1989 1768 1956
2005 2153 2227 1927 1577
Total Cases Pending by Year
Year Total Pending
2009 5835
2008 5738
2007 5589
2006 5551
2005 5358

Notable Cases

For all recent Court opinions see: Illinois Courts, "Recent Appellate Court Opinions"

Abortion clinic dodges state fines (2015)

In 2009, Antonesha Ross, an 18-year-old, sought a surgical abortion at Chicago's Women's Aid Clinic. At the time, Ross had pneumonia, a condition which should have made her ineligible for an abortion that day. The first time Ross visited the Clinic, she was turned away because of an upper respiratory infection; doctors told her to see her primary care doctor for a course of antibiotics. She returned less than a week later, still unwell. The Women's Aid Clinic proceeded to provide the service Ross requested; they did so without first determining that Ross actually obtained the medical care the Clinic said she needed before they would perform the abortion. This time, instead of a respiratory infection, Ross had pneumonia. When she began having trouble breathing, workers did not perform CPR on Ross and instead handed her a paper bag in which to breathe. Ross died several hours later from cardiopulmonary arrest.

An investigation was opened by the state following Ross' death. Women's Aid Clinic was ultimately fined $36,000 in 2011 for:

1. failing to inform patients of medical conditions which make abortion too risky to perform ($9,000); 2. failure to employ an on-staff registered nurse to act as supervisor of care in the operating room ($18,000); and 3. for sanitary violations ($9,000).

In 2011, the Women's Aid Center filed for bankruptcy and closed. The Clinic's ending bank balance was just $77. The fines were never paid because of the bankruptcy. Its owner, Larisa Rozansky, later opened a new clinic called the Women's Aid Center. The Illinois Department of Public Health challenged nonpayment of the fine, attempting to seize over $3,000 held in the Center's bank account. The Department of Public Health attempted to seize those funds to collect on the Clinic's debt, but Rozansky sought judicial intervention. An evidentiary hearing was held by Judge Alexander White to determine if those funds were part of the Clinic's assets. Judge White ultimately determined that the Clinic and the Center were entirely separate entities, as Rozansky argued, and thus the state could only collect the $77 in the Clinic's bank account.

The Department of Public Health appealed Judge White's ruling to the First District Appellate Court, arguing that the money in the Center's account could be traced back to the Clinic closed by Rozansky. The court's decision was written by Judge Mathias W. Delort. He wrote that, at the evidentiary hearing held by Judge White, no evidence was presented linking the two businesses; the Clinic offered surgical abortions while the Center provides only medication-induced abortions. Further, there was no evidence Rozansky transferred any funds or equipment from the Clinic to the Center, and there was ample evidence that, at the time of closing, the Clinic was insolvent. Therefore, the state could not seize the funds in the Center's bank account.


Other cases

  • Oak Park School District 97 was sued by Chicago-based Taxpayers United of America for allegedly printing misleading information on the school ballot for the election on April 5, 2011. The group claims that the school wrote the ballot in a way that did not disclose the full impact of the school property tax increase. The school noted, though, that they had consulted a law firm about the ballot language before they submitted it.[5]
  • Tower Automotive v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission dealt with the issue of worker's compensation benefits, and if it was applicable for time that was spent after the 40 hours of a traditional work week, otherwise known as overtime. The court ruled that if an employee was injured during overtime hours, it was still included in their benefit plan.[6]

See also

External links


IllinoisIllinois Supreme CourtIllinois Appellate CourtIllinois Circuit CourtUnited States District Court for the Central District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Northern District of IllinoisUnited States District Court for the Southern District of IllinoisUnited States Court of Appeals for the Seventh CircuitIllinois countiesIllinois judicial newsIllinois judicial electionsJudicial selection in IllinoisIllinoisTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg


Gordon vacancy
CandidateIncumbencyPartyPrimary VoteElection Vote
LyleFreddrenna M. Lyle NoDemocratic35.4% 
HarrisSheldon HarrisApprovedANoDemocratic37.4%ApprovedA   ApprovedA
Kennedy SullivanSusan Kennedy Sullivan NoDemocratic27.2% 
Unopposed   David Ellis (Illinois) (Murphy vacancy)
Steele vacancy
CandidateIncumbencyPartyPrimary VoteElection Vote
Oden-JohnsonSharon Oden-Johnson NoDemocratic45.9% 
SimonJohn B. SimonApprovedAYesDemocratic54.2%ApprovedA   ApprovedA
JudgeElection Vote
HoffmanThomas Hoffman 78.3% ApprovedA


CandidateIncumbencyPartyPredecessorPrimary VoteElection Vote
SmithJames Fitzgerald Smith   ApprovedAYes   ApprovedA
ReyesJesse G. Reyes   ApprovedANoDemocraticVacancy of Sheila O'Brien33%ApprovedA100%   ApprovedA
DelortMathias W. Delort   ApprovedANoDemocraticVacancy of Robert Cahill25%ApprovedA100%   ApprovedA
ConnorsMaureen Connors   ApprovedAYesDemocraticVacancy of Mary Jane TheisApprovedA100%   ApprovedA
HowseNathaniel R. Howse   ApprovedANoDemocraticVacancy of Sharon ColemanApprovedA100%   ApprovedA
NevilleP. Scott Neville   ApprovedAYesDemocraticVacancy of Michael Gallagher44%ApprovedA100%   ApprovedA
LavinTerrence J. Lavin   ApprovedAYesDemocraticVacancy of John TullyApprovedA100%   ApprovedA