Candidate Full Name: Chris Kachiroubas
Office: DuPage County Clerk of the Circuit Court
Email Address: Katch99@msn.com
Web Site: www.katch22.org
Campaign Name: Committee to Elect Kachiroubas
Campaign Office Mailing Address: P O Box 2049 Elmhurst, IL 60126
Survey Questions (Character limit of 2,000 per response)
1. Should jury duty be optional?
The jury commission is not under the jurisdiction of the Circuit Court Clerk but rather that of the Chief Judge of the DuPage County Circuit Court. However, as a citizen I recognize that many people believe that jury duty is an inconvenience and, if not selected to serve on a jury, a waste of time but it is important to recognize that the right to a jury trial is a constitutional right and to properly preserve this right it is necessary to have sufficient prospective jurors on call each day so that a jury panel is available when needed. In criminal cases, the Constitution requires that jury panels reflect the entire community. A voluntary or optional jury service runs the risk that jury panels would not be reflective of the entire community and could lead to appeals and reversals of criminal convictions..
2. Elective or appointed clerks?
Under the Illinois Constitution the Office of the Clerks of the Circuit Court is part of those provisions related to the judicial system. During the Constitutional Convention for the Illinois Constitution of 1970 the issue of an elected judicial system verses an appointed system was debated. The decision was made to retain an elected judicial system including the circuit court clerks. Arguments can be made on both sides of the issue however absent an amendment to the Illinois Constitution of 1970 the issue is academic.
3. What the Clerk can do to make the justice system function more efficiently?
During my tenure as Clerk of the DuPage County Circuit Court we have instituted programs which have lead to a more efficient court system. Electronic filing has been introduced on the civil side of the office eliminating the need for a physical trip to the courthouse to initiate civil litigation or file papers in pending civil cases. During my next term we intend to expand electronic filing to criminal cases. The E-Citation program which we instituted allowing electronic traffic violations to be issued directly by the police offer which includes the court date has sped up the time necessary for the issuance of traffic citations as well as eliminating the need for my office to mail separate court dates for each violation. The E-Citation program is expanding as more local police departments come on-line. My goal is to create a totally paperless traffic court within the next 4 years. Finally, I hope to have the General Assembly adopt legislation allowing court notices to be delivered via e-mail. This would not only save significant postage costs but would avoid problems relating to late delivered mail. These programs have allowed my office to provide increased services through increased productivity without the need for any budget increases and with fewer employees.
4. What have you done or would do to stream operations and save taxpayer money?
The programs which we indicated above have allowed us to increase productivity and lower my office budget. In fiscal year 2012 a two phase cross-training plan was completed. Nearly 80% of my employees have been cross trained in all phases of office operations, from courtroom assignment, to counter assistance to telephone information services. This has allowed my office to provide increased services with lower personnel and the elimination of two supervisory positions while at the same time enhancing customer service. We have reduced personnel by the outsourcing of image processing and document storage and by the use of lockbox services for process payment of fines by mail. Additional areas of outsourcing are being considered in order to keep my head count stable. This allows my office to allocate personnel where needed without the need to increase staff. We have also privatized the collection of unpaid court fines and costs. Since we initiated this program in 2005 over $23 million in such unpaid fines and costs have been recovered for the County without any additional costs to the County. This program will be expanded in 2012 by the use of garnishments and other court proceedings to recover such unpaid funds. My office has also utilized lock box services for the processing of funds mailed in payment of fines. This has eliminated the need for additional employees while providing increased security for county funds.
5. Probation reforms?
The Probation Department is under the complete jurisdiction and control of the Chief Judge of the DuPage Circuit Court and accordingly my office has no power to implement changes in probation.