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Home arrow Rules and Orders arrow Latest News arrow Circuit Judge Eugene G. Doherty Selected as Next Chief Judge
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Winnebago County will transition to efileIL for all Civil Filings effective August 30, 2018.

The current FCE E-filing portal used by attorneys will no longer be available on August 29th at 5:00 pm.   All users will be required to efile in civil cases from an approved provider.  Service providers may be found at 

August 21, 2018 Press Release from Winnebago County Circuit Clerk Thomas A. Klein 

efiling Training Registration    


Circuit Judge Eugene G. Doherty Selected as Next Chief Judge Print E-mail

The Circuit Judges of the 17th Judicial Circuit elected Judge Eugene G. Doherty to serve as Chief Judge of the Circuit effective January 1, 2018, succeeding Judge Joseph G. McGraw.


“I am gratified that my colleagues have selected me to serve in this role,” Judge Doherty said.  “I look forward to continuing Judge McGraw’s good work in promoting the full and fair administration of justice, and in defending the integrity of the Court.” 


Judge McGraw has served as Chief Judge of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit Court since January 1, 2012.  Judge McGraw served two consecutive two year terms as chief judge and then by a special vote of the Circuit Judges was chosen for two additional one year terms.  In September 2016, Judge McGraw announced that he would not seek to retain the position of chief judge beyond calendar year 2017.  His final term as chief judge will expire on December 31, 2017.  


Judge McGraw said, “It is time to pass the torch. Judge Doherty is an excellent choice and will provide leadership and vision as our next chief judge.”


Trial Court Administrator Thomas Jakeway stated, “Judge McGraw has led the 17th Circuit Court with an unyielding resolve to improve upon the court’s delivery of services by embracing innovative and evidence-based court practices.”


During his tenure, Judge McGraw has been instrumental in advancing the Court’s core values of due process, access to justice and procedural fairness. 


Judge McGraw has guided the delivery of probation services with a concerted focus on evidence-based practices and making the best use of available resources.  The 17th Circuit Court is a statewide leader in the use of pre-trial risk assessments that aid the court in deciding whether someone needs to be detained while awaiting trial. 


He has lead the court by promoting e-business initiatives and data driven decisions based upon recognized court performance measurements. Undeterred by past practice or fear of change, Judge McGraw is often known for stating, “We will follow the evidence wherever it leads us.”


As one of the three co-equal branches of government, the judicial branch does not have the power of taxation or other abilities to generate its own revenue.  The judicial branch is dependent upon the legislative and executive branches of government to provide for its needs so that it may fulfil its Constitutional and statutory obligations. Judge McGraw has demonstrated his commitment to his office and as a guardian of the core functions of the court has defended the very independence of the judiciary. 


On December 11, 2014, Judge McGraw was elected by all of the Chief Judges in the State to serve as Chairman of the Illinois Conference of Chief Judges.  His term as the Chairman of the Conference will likewise expire on December 31, 2017.  


With this upcoming succession of leadership, Judge McGraw expects to return to a full time felony trial call in the 17th Circuit Court.  Further details will be made available at a later time.


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