Posted on 26. Jul, 2011 by citizen in Uncategorized
Court of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans recently announced he has appointed Circuit Judge Grace G. Dickler, who had been serving as the Presiding Judge overseeing the recently established Domestic Violence Division, as Presiding Judge of the court’s Domestic Relations Division. At the same time, Evans also announced he has appointed Circuit Judge Sebastian T. Patti, a former supervising judge of the First Municipal District’s Housing Section and Appellate Court justice, to succeed Judge Dickler as Presiding Judge of the Domestic Violence Division.
Evans said, “Before I asked her to lead the new division dedicated to domestic violence last year, Grace Dickler had amassed almost two decades of experience as a judge in the Domestic Relations Division; only one other judge of those judges currently assigned to that division of the court has served there longer.” He continued, “Judge Dickler also has first-hand experience with the Domestic Relations Division system wide, having first served in the Richard J. Daley Center and later in the suburban Second Municipal District in Skokie. The depth and range of her experience and perspective, in addition to her practical wisdom and administrative skills, make Grace Dickler an ideal choice to now head the Domestic Relations Division.” Evans also acknowledged Judge Dickler’s considerable progress in helping the court to provide both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence with court based services that seek to end the cycle of violence.
Recently added services include much expanded free legal representation for victims without lawyers and the development of a questionnaire to assist in the on-site assessment of the needs of victims entering the courthouse. Criminal defendants are now also required to appear in court more frequently to ensure they are complying with court orders. In announcing his appointment of Judge Sebastian T. Patti to succeed Judge Dickler as the Presiding Judge of the Domestic Violence Division, Evans added, “Judge Patti has been blazing trails in the Circuit Court since he became a circuit judge in 1995. He served a decade as the effective and respected supervising judge of the high profile Housing Section of the First Municipal District, and most recently, he was selected by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a Justice for the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District.” Evans further, “Sebastian Patti is an individual of great ability, intelligence and integrity, and I have the utmost confidence that the Domestic Violence Division will benefit under his direction.”
The appointments went into effect July 18.
Evans established the Domestic Violence Division in 2010 to improve processing of civil and criminal domestic violence matters by combining them in a single court division and to better coordinate the delivery of court and community-based services to all those involved in domestic violence disputes. The Circuit Court’s Domestic Relations Division hears matters concerning dissolution of marriage and civil union, as well as issues involving child custody and visitation, parentage and child support.