News Releases

The 17th Judicial Circuit Court is pleased to announce the reappointment of John S. Lowry to serve as Chief Judge for an additional two-year term, effective from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025. The decision was made by unanimous vote by the eleven Circuit Judges, reflecting their confidence in Chief Judge Lowry’s leadership and management of the judiciary.

Chief Judge Lowry has been instrumental in fostering a fair, efficient, and accessible legal system within the 17th Circuit Court. During his term of office and under his guidance, the court has planned and achieved significant milestones, including re-establishing a local Juvenile Justice Counsel, petitioning the Illinois Supreme Court for the allocation of two additional associate judges, continuing operations during a five-month fire remediation of Winnebago County Courthouse, and most recently, coordinating the implementation of the Illinois Pre-Trial Fairness Act.

The 17th Judicial Circuit is comprised of Winnebago County and Boone County, Illinois. The chief judge of a judicial circuit is a position created under the Illinois constitution.   The chief judge has “general administrative authority” over the court, including the assignment of cases.

Speaking about his reappointment, Chief Judge Lowry expressed his gratitude for the trust placed in him by his colleagues, stating, “I am deeply humbled to have been chosen for a second term as Chief Judge. The 17th Circuit is known for excellence and innovation throughout Illinois. I am grateful for the opportunity to work together with justice system stakeholders to help advance that reputation.”

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