A career spent prosecuting the worst predators in St. Clair County history also meant consoling countless victims and their loved ones. Many of the young people Judge Armstrong has helped throughout her career are now adults, working and raising their own families in our community. Judge Armstrong helped them gain their voice and achieve justice.
Judge Armstrong has also exhibited that kind of compassion in hundreds of District Court matters over her twenty-five year career. She held the hands of domestic violence victims trying to muster the strength to finally break free and testify. She has met with family members whose loved ones had been seriously harmed or killed by drunk drivers. Judge Armstrong did not simply “observe” that from afar, she lived it.
These experiences uniquely position her to understand the circumstances of the parties appearing in her courtroom. These experiences gave Judge Armstrong the kind of compassion and empathy that does not come from merely observing things in court, but from actually doing things in court.
THE PEOPLE'S COURT
District Court is known as “The People’s Court” for good reason. While many people may never experience Circuit Court firsthand, most St. Clair County residents will have experience with District Court. Your 72nd District Court handles both criminal and civil matters.
Civil matters in District Court include landlord/tenant issues, small claims, lawsuits which claim damages up to $25,000 and informal hearings on civil infractions (mainly traffic tickets).
Judge Armstrong recognizes and appreciates the importance of each and every civil matter, and the stakes involved for each litigant. She knows it is her responsibility to give every civil litigant a fair opportunity to present evidence and have their grievances heard. What’s more is that Judge Armstrong encourages feedback from every landlord or tenant, business owner or customer, and plaintiff or defendant to ensure the court remains easily accessible and the proceedings transparent and fair. District Court is, however, primarily a criminal court.
Every criminal case charged in St. Clair County passes through the District Court, whether misdemeanor or felony. Judge Armstrong spent the majority of her last three years as a prosecutor working exclusively in District Court. She has conducted over a thousand hearings of all kinds in District Court.
Judge Armstrong is the only candidate in this critically important election who has ever actually handled cases in the District Court. Judge Armstrong is the only candidate who has ever appeared in District Court; she is the only candidate who has ever tried a case in District Court; she is the only candidate who has ever represented a litigant in District Court. Judge Armstrong is the only candidate who has the perspective to understand those who find themselves in District Court. She understands the difference between a person struggling with substance abuse issues who might benefit from Court resources and someone who simply chooses to exploit another’s vulnerability and make excuses. Judge Armstrong has been in the “People’s Court” all along, doing one thing:
WORKING FOR YOU
Judge Armstrong has always been “working for you”. She began working for you way back in 1994 as a Research Attorney for Judge Peter Deegan. She always worked for you during her prosecutorial career. She was appointed to serve as Assistant Prosecutor by three different St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorneys: First by Judge Elwood “Woody” Brown, second by former Prosecutor Peter George, and again by current St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling.
Now, 72nd District Court Judge Armstrong continues “working for you.” She will go to the St. Clair County Courthouse every day knowing who she truly works for. The same boss she has had for twenty-five years: The citizens of St. Clair County.