Two Lake County attorneys are facing off to be named Lake County Clerk of the Circuit Court in the upcoming November election.
Republican Keith Brin, 40, of Highland Park, is running against Democrat Rupam Dave, 50, of Grayslake. The position carries a 4-year term.
Brin currently serves as the chief deputy clerk in the office. Dave has a master's degree in economics from Loyola University.
They are vying to replace Sally Coffelt, who decided to not seek re-election.
The Daily Herald sent each candidate a questionnaire. Their responses to one of the four questions are listed below.
Q: Do you favor public online access to court records? Why or why not.
Dave: I favor public online access. It is time for the clerk's office to catch up to the rest of society. It just makes sense to offer as many services as possible online. Litigants and lawyers should have the ability to access case information such as status updates and the next court date online.
Some fines should be able to be paid over the Internet. This type of access will save time and money for both the people and their lawyers. It will also allow the county to have access to the funds in a more timely manner.
Our priority should always be to wisely spend taxpayer's dollars. Our charter should always be to create a savings for the taxpayer when and where possible, as well as we should be making every effort to spend Lake County tax dollars in Lake County, or at least in Illinois.
Brin: Absolutely. Since becoming chief deputy I've spearheaded the creation of an electronic filing system that is comprehensive in its approach to improving access, security and automation.
I'm a proponent of remote access to court records and documents in real time from anywhere, and one of my main priorities is to utilize technology to create a seamless connection between the courts and those utilizing the courts.
Q: Many circuit court systems now offer the public online access to basic case information. Where do technology upgrades to benefit public users rank on your platform? Please elaborate.
Brin: Upgrading technology in the clerk's office is my first priority. We definitely need a more user-friendly interface to our system, and it is actually something that is currently being designed.
While our current system caters to office operations, it sacrifices intuitive use for stability, speed and reliability. Any remote access will involve a more user-friendly interface designed to allow users to more readily access court records, and this will be a priority for me as Circuit Court Clerk.
Dave: Technology upgrades, along with the creation of a victim's rights counter, are the highest priority of my platform. When elected, I will begin the process to move the clerk's office into the 21st century with technology advancement that includes the ability to access information and pay fines online.
Additionally, we will have a victim's rights counter to assist the victims of crimes. The court system shouldn't just be about crime and punishment. It should also be more compassionate toward the victims of these crimes.