News Flash


Posted on: September 16, 2019


Judge Kelley officially retires October 1, 2019 after 13 years on the bench as an associate judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit. He has presided in family, treatment, DUI and juvenile courts with equal aplomb.  Judge Kelley is known as an intelligent, thoughtful, and respectful problem solving jurist, who analyzed the issues before him and provided well-reasoned opinions.  In addition to his regular courtroom duties, he gave beyond himself for the betterment of the judiciary by spending a decade in judicial education as a faculty member of the Illinois Judicial Education Conference and New Judges School. Locally, Judge Kelley was a go to resource on a variety of legal issues.  He was also the Tenth Circuit’s Family Law Coordinator and a pioneering organizer of problem solving courts, such as Drug court, DUI court, Mental Health court and Veteran’s court, extending the reach of the judiciary into the rehabilitation of individuals and not just the punishment of them.  Judge Kelley also oversaw the judicial internship opportunity program for the ABA and PCBA, helping numerous law students experience what law schools cannot teach.

In his prior legal life, Kim Kelley was an assistant public defender, member of a well known firm (James D. Reynolds and Associates) and had his own successful private practice for 20 years.  Kim is a 1975 (B.S. cum laude) and 1977 (M.A. psychology) graduate of Bradley University and a 1980 (J.D.) graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law. 

Judge Kelley will be deeply missed around the courthouse as a colleague and friend.  We in the Tenth wish he and his wife the happiest and most fulfilling of retirements, whether it be kayaking on the Mississippi, hiking in the National Parks or cheering in Wrigley Field. 

P.S. Judge Kelley’s replacement, Judge Derek Asbury, will be sworn in on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 10 a.m. in CR 210 at the Peoria County Courthouse.  All are invited.


Paul P. Gilfillan
Chief Judge
10th Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois

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