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updated: 2/14/2014 10:43 PM

Donald (D.J.) Tegeler: Candidate Profile

Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit (Republican)

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  • Donald (D.J.) Tegeler, running for Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit

      Donald (D.J.) Tegeler, running for Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit


Back to Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit


Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Geneva


Office sought:

Kane County Circuit Court-16th circuit, 3rd subcircuit

Age: 50

Family: One daughter, recently widowed

Occupation: Lawyer

Education: Libertyville High school - 1982

Lake Forest College - 1986 BS History; BS Political Science

IIT Chicago Kent College of Law - 1989 Juris Doctorate

Civic involvement: Member- First Baptist Church Geneva, Illinois

Member - Batavia Moose Lodge

Former Board Member - Tri-City Family Services

Kane Co. Republicans

Kane Co. Bar Association

Illinois State Bar Association

Elected offices held: Precinct Committeemen - Blackberry Twp. District 5 - 2004 to 2010

V. Chairman - Kane Co. Western Twp. Republicans - 2008 to 2010

Appointed General Counsel of Kane Co. Central Republican Party 2008 to present

Appointed President of Mill Creek Water Reclamation District- 2010 to present

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No

Questions & Answers

Why are you running for this office? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that?

I am running for the office of circuit judge to make a difference in Kane County and give Kane County a judge who has worked in all areas of the law. The office of circuit judge requires the fair application of the law in relation to all people who appear before the court. Over the course of my 24 years of experience, I have the reputation of not only vigorously defending my clients but also diligently working and researching the law so that the courts can ensure the fair application of the law in relation to all people. Kane County deserves a circuit judge who has worked in both the criminal and civil areas. Kane County deserves a judge who also worked in family law and understands both sides of all issues. I am that person.

There are several issues pending which have motivated me to run for circuit judge. The first issues are the fair application of law in relation to all people who appear before the court. The court should not show favoritism towards the State or Defendant or the big guy versus the little guy, or the husband versus the wife in a divorce setting. As a circuit judge I know I will be fair and I also know I will apply the facts to the law and render a just decision.

The second reason I am running for circuit judge is to work with the circuit clerk's office and the county board to allow greater access to the court's system and dockets to the general public. This can be done through e-filing, greater access online to online court documents, and I believe working with the clerk's office and the county board that all general forms can be available to the general public online. Law should not be for the rich and wealthy. The law should be open to all people and as a circuit judge, my issue is to make sure the legal system is opened to all people.

The third reason I am running for circuit judge is to develop a uniform judicial campus. I have good working relations with the county board and the circuit clerk's office as an attorney. That relation will allow me to work with the county board and circuit clerk's office to develop a uniform campus for all judicial activities. For too long Kane County has been segregated between the county clerk's offices, the courthouse and, until the last several years, the jail and other necessary agencies. The citizens of Kane County deserve one uniform campus to do all their legal work. The citizens of Kane County spend way too much time waiting in line for their cases to be heard by the Court. Even after they are heard, sometimes they must drive several miles to pay their fines, get their driver's license or get other necessary court documents. This unfortunate situation needs to be corrected and I intend, as circuit judge, to work towards implementing a uniform campus of legal activities.

Additionally, it is my firm belief that educating the citizens of Kane County as to the ramifications of their actions and helping them live better lives is imperative for all circuit judges. As circuit judge I intend to go out to the community and give seminars and/or help educate all people in the ways of the judicial system. I have previously helped accomplish this as an attorney by helping write the drug court rules and regulations for the 16th judicial circuit. I was also invited quite some time ago, to participate in the formulation of the second chance/diversion program for non-violent offenders in felony court. It is my firm belief that if the citizens can hear from a circuit judge as to how the legal system works and the ramifications of their actions, whether it be criminal, civil or divorce court, that many of the cases that are litigated might be resolved through alternative forms of conflict resolution.

Lastly, I would work diligently to alleviate the problem of severe back log in all cases in all divisions of the court. Since I have practiced in every division of the courthouse, my experience and knowledge will allow me to implement procedures which would help alleviate the backlog of cases. A divorce case that takes forever to go to trial simply does nothing but destroy any family relation possible between the children and their parents. A speedy resolution to custody and property issues is imperative so that the children of Kane County can have more productive lives. In many cases, a criminal case where the imposition of a jail sentence is real must go to trial within approximately six (6) months to nine (9) months. However, civil cases and divorce cases can take up to two (2) to three (3) years to go to trial. This is an unfortunate situation I believe as a circuit judge by keeping track of your court file and keeping mandatory dates requiring attorneys to file a discovery orders and/or go to trial is imperative. By keeping a strict control of the court calendar, the backlog of cases will subside.

What differentiates you most from your opponents in the race?

My almost 25 years of experience in litigation differentiates me from my opponent in this race. There is not a courtroom in Kane County that I have not tried a case in. I have tried cases in civil court, divorce court and criminal courts. I have tried juries and bench trials. In the last, almost 25 years of practice, I have probably done between 500-600 trials between jury and bench trials. I have represented all facets of life and I have been able to talk to all facets of people. This wealth of knowledge allows me to take the bench and have an understanding of all people and the issues they bring to court. Additionally, I am known as a person who loves the practice of law. My reputation is that I am a tireless researcher and worker. I am very proud of the fact that no appellate court as every reversed a case due to my actions or my ineffective representation. I am also very proud of the fact that I have a reputation for being prepared, knowing my files, and being a trial attorney who zealously represents his clients. It is this experience I intend to bring to the bench that will show the citizens of Kane County that they have elected a circuit judge who will work for them and put them and their issues first. In order to be a judge in Illinois you must be licensed as an attorney for one day. My almost 25 years of experience as a trial attorney and guest speaker in the area of law at some of the most prestigious universities clearly shows that not only am I qualified but I am the most qualified person in this race. The new perceptive I will bring to the bench based upon my experience will do nothing but benefit the citizens of Kane County.

Finally, is there anything we haven't asked about that you feel we should know?

Almost 25 years ago I came to Kane County to start the practice of law right out of law school. I fell in love with Kane County and I have made Kane County my home. The Kane County court is where I met my wife. I was happily married for 17 years until the unfortunate death of Susan on July 28, 2013. I have a beautiful 14 year old daughter who I am now raising as a single parent. The challenges of raising a young lady as a single parent are great but very rewarding. It is Kane County where my wife and I decided to raise our family and I intend to stay in Kane County to raise my family. Not only do I practice law as a lawyer, but I also currently hold a 3rd degree black belt at TaeKwondo. Most people know me as a lawyer but most people who also know me, know that I am an avid sports fan, that I am fun loving and that I wear cowboy boots on a daily basis. I consider myself lucky to live in the great community of Kane County and to practice law in Kane County. I would consider it a great privilege to be Kane County's next circuit Judge. I also consider it a privilege to be a member of the Kane County community.


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