Circuit clerk candidates agree technology upgrade is priority
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org October 25, 2012 4:54PM
10/10/12 Waukegan Democtratic candidate Rupam Dave answers a question during the debate with Keith Brin for the Clerk of the Circuit Court at the Waukegan City Hall Wednesday, Oct 10. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
What is the Circuit Clerk?
This clerk of the circuit court maintains records of all traffic, civil, criminal and juvenile cases in Lake County. The office is responsible for collecting and disbursing traffic and criminal fines, civil fees, child support and processes passport applications. Circuit clerk staff also record filed documents and attending court to maintain records of all proceedings.
The Circuit Clerk of the 19th Judicial Circuit is located in the Lake County Court House and has branch courts in Waukegan, Mundelein, Park City, Round Lake and Juvenile Branch Court in Vernon Hills.
Updated: December 25, 2012 1:15AM
No matter which contender wins the circuit clerk in the upcoming election, the circuit clerk’s office is up for a technology upgrade. That’s because both Republican candidate Keith Brin of Highland Park and Democratic candidate Rupam Davé of Grayslake identified upgrading technology as a priority.
“(My) top goal is to improve operations through technology,” Brin said.
He is the chief deputy in the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Brin practiced business law in Chicago for six years and held management roles with multiple businesses before working for the Circuit Clerk’s Office. Both Brin and Davé have law degrees from Loyola University, Chicago.
Davé announced her candidacy in May after Democratic candidate Cynthia Haran withdrew from the race. Davé holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and has been a practicing attorney for more than 20 years.
“My first goal is to modernize the office. It’s very important. When money is spent in an antiquated computer system, everybody loses,” Davé said.
Both Brin and Davé want to implement remote access to court files and electronic filing.
Brin has been part of the planning process in his capacity as deputy clerk of the court. He said the technology system upgrade is pending approval from the Illinois Supreme Court.
If the Supreme Court approves the plan, Lake County judges will deliver and implement rules for electronic filing, Brin said. “It is a state-of-the-art system. We’re very proud of it and we’re working very intensely with the judges. The system is going to have to work very well for everyone in the system,” Brin said.
Brin, 40, also identified fiscal responsibility and good customer service as goals for the clerk’s office.
“This election, I’ve always contended, is about expansion and vision. I’ve got experience ... I’ve learned the job of being a clerk and understand what people do in the office. I’ve undertaken management and strategic duties,” Brin said.
Davé, 50, graduated from Libertyville High School. She has worked in personal injury, commercial litigation, business litigation, probate, wills, trust, estate planning and family law since she was admitted in the bar in 1995. Her paternal grandfather worked as an advisor to Mahatma Gandhi in India. Her other grandfather practiced law in India, she said.
In addition to technology upgrades, Davé wants to implement a victim’s counter in the clerk’s office.
“It’s not a counter where victims are counseled. I’ve been approached by attorneys who practice criminal law and they tell me victims are not getting the notice that they are supposed to get. This would be a counter where a person can go to get notices in regard to their case,” Davé said.
Neither she nor Brin have any history of disciplinary action from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. No criminal history for Brin appears in Lake County’s court system.
Davé has two DUI cases in 2005, according to court records. She said she did everything the court required of her to repay her debt to society.
“I think everybody has a capacity to serve the public. That’s what I want to do ... I believe in life you have to give back. That’s why I’m running for this office,” Davé said.