Breaking News Bar
updated: 5/9/2013 7:18 PM

Judges told to report mental health rulings

hello
Success - Article sent! close
 
Associated Press

Illinois' chief justice is urging lower-court judges to comply with laws mandating they promptly notify state police after deeming someone mentally unsound, telling them compliance is all the more critical amid gun control debates and in the wake of "gun-related tragedies."

Thomas Kilbride, the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, made those points in a memorandum this week sent to all 935 circuit and associate judges. The Associated Press obtained copies Thursday from state Sen. Dan Kotowski's office and the Supreme Court's communications' office.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The memo, dated May 7, comes as a federal court's June 9 deadline looms for Illinois to adopt legislation allowing for public possession of weapons. It also follows the December slayings of 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., school, which reignited a national debate about gun laws.

"This issue has received heightened scrutiny in light of recent gun-related tragedies and the current concealed carry debate," Kilbride wrote. He does not refer to any specific shooting.

Kilbride reminded judges that more stringent requirements kicked in this year to "immediately" report the mental- health designations to Illinois State Police, who rule out those individuals for Firearm Owner's Identification cards. The cards are required to purchase weapons in Illinois.

Police had complained for years about lax compliance by judges, leading to the amendment to the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code. The changes took effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat who advocated for the amendment, praised Kilbride for going out of his way to bring judges' attention to their obligations.

"We can all agree that people who have been found to be a danger to themselves and others should not have guns or, even worse, be carrying loaded guns in public," Kotowski said in a Thursday statement.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here