Judge James Pieczonka
Judge James Paul Pieczonka was elected as a Full Circuit Judge of the 12th Subcircuit of Cook County on November 4, 2014. His initial assignment was the First Municipal District Traffic Division. He presided over traffic, misdemeanor DUI, and driver’s license suspension cases, violations, and officiated weddings. Judge Pieczonka gained additional civil non-jury experience for several months decided motions, and presided over bench trials, post-judgment proceedings, replevin cases, and worked several weeks in the First Municipal motion jury room. Next, in April 2015, about five months after being sworn in, Judge Pieczonka was assigned to a high volume eviction room, where he presided until the end of August, 2015. On August 24, 2015, within nine months of his oath of Office, after being requested by the Third District Presiding Judge, Chief Judge Evans assigned Judge Pieczonka to the Third District in Rolling Meadows. He was assigned to the Traffic and Misdemeanor rotation calls three days per week, the Paternity/Child Support call two days per week; and the Emergency Order of Protection and criminal warrant rotation calls. Additionally, he was the back-up Judge for the civil room Judges.
In July, 2019, Judge Pieczonka was appointed Supervising Judge of the Third District Civil Arbitration call and presides over all types of civil jury and bench trials from inception to disposition. Additionally, he reviews and decides all types of motions, name changes, and 298 petitions; monitors and compels discovery, and conducts pre-trial conferences. Also, Judge Pieczonka is assigned as a duty judge, on a weekly rotation, to hear after hour emergency order of protection cases, officiates weddings, and reviews and executes search and arrest warrants.
Judge Pieczonka’s 31 year legal career prior to being elected a Circuit Cook County Judge encompassed two years as associate with a criminal, divorce, real estate, and litigation firm, where he tried cases in court daily; over 10 years as an Administrative Law Tax Judge for the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR); and the last 18 years in private practice representing individuals, families, senior citizens and businesses in almost every area of the law, including: civil litigation, condominium, construction, contract, and corporate law, collections, criminal law, elder law, evictions, family law, foreclosure defense, guardianships, paternity, probate, real estate, tax defense, transactional work, trusts, wills, and complex zoning issues.
Throughout Judge Pieczonka’s career as an attorney and Judge, he has been a director or member of several bar associations including: The American Bar Assn., Illinois State Bar Assn., Chicago Bar Assn., Illinois Traffic Bar Assn., Northwest Suburban Bar Assn., Polish Advocates Society, and Officer of the John Marshall Alumni Association. In addition to bar memberships, he has donated his time to assist seniors and veterans, and not-for profit charitable organizations. Also, Judge Pieczonka has volunteered with the Cook County Volunteer Legal Services and represented homeowners to negotiate settlements with their lenders to refinance their mortgage and save their homes from foreclosure.
Judge Pieczonka was the first attorney in his family and worked full-time during college and law school. He has been a Cook County resident all of his life, has been a practicing attorney in Cook County for over 31years, and a Cook County Judge for almost 6 years. He obtained his B.S. from Northeastern Illinois University in December 1978 in Information Science and Business & Management; and his J.D. from the John Marshall School of Law in June of 1983. Judge Pieczonka has been married for 42 years to his wife, Lucy. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Finally, Judge Pieczonka has a reputation/record of progressing cases to trial and closure, and displays respect, positivity, and a friendly professional environment for everyone within his courtroom. Judge Pieczonka’s continuing goal is to provide competent, honest, compassionate and ethical service to all the litigants and their attorneys, and perform his duties in a fair, unbiased, independent, and effective manner.