Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1996 Full List Judge Fattor

Fifth Judicial District - Lake County Judge

Honorable Joseph A. Fattor

Retention year: 1996
Recommendation: No Opinion

The 5th Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance gives NO OPINION on the retention of Judge Joseph Fattor.

Judge Fattor was appointed to the Lake County court bench in 1972. He serves as a 45% time Judge in Lake County. Judge Fattor currently handles criminal misdemeanor cases, traffic matters, and civil matters.

The Respondents who sent in written comments expressed concern about Judge Fattor’s appearance of bias on the bench, his lack of current criminal law knowledge, and his practice on considering facts not presented in evidence when ruling on cases. Some respondents stated that Judge Fattor was decisive in his rulings, not afraid to make unpopular decisions, and that he managed his caseload and docket well. There were also complaints that Judge Fattor rushed proceedings at times. Judge Fattor felt this was based on insufficient access to the courtroom for County Court matters. In Lake County the courtroom must be shared between district court and county court. Judge Fattor told the commission he did not believe he showed bias on the bench, but would work to avoid giving the appearance of bias. He also advised the commission that because he has lived in the community so long, it is difficult to bring certain knowledge with him to the bench.

The 5th Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance concludes that because of the limited evaluations received on Judge Fattor, the commission is unable to fairly or clearly recommend retention or no retention. The written comments received did expose areas of concern to the commission which were communicated to Judge Fattor. The commission expects that Judge Fattor will be addressing these concerns.