Illinois Governor Signs New Law On Judicial Safety Concerns

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (photo) has signed into law the Michael Lefkow and Donna Humphrey Judicial Privacy Improvement Act of 2012. The law is designed to improve the safety of Illinois judges, and allow them to request their personal information be removed from public documents, says a Madison Record article.

The Illinois government hopes the new law will lessen concerns of personal retaliation at the hands of individuals who were significantly affected by a judge’s decision, says the article. It was named for the murdered family members of U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow. Her husband and mother were murdered after she dismissed a plaintiff’s medical malpractice suit, says the article.

Under the law, judges will be able to ask in writing for their personal information to be removed from web sites and public documents. The information includes judges’  home addresses, personal emails, and telephone numbers.  If an individual illegally publishes a judge’s information, they could be charged with a felony should any harm befall the judge.

The Illinois law endeavors to allow judges to “administer justice fairly” without worrying how their actions may affect their safety.

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