Judge Dan Dildine ended 12 years of public service, retiring at the end of 2012 after serving two terms as the Circuit Court
Judge of the 45th Circuit. He was honored with a reception held at the courthouse.
“Judge Dildine took risks that I think that I persuaded him to take,” said Judge Ben Burkemper, Associate Circuit Judge, who spoke at the reception. “He could have discouraged me, told me no and/or stand in the way of progress but he did not do that. What struck me about Dan was his willingness to perceive change as a natural part of life instead of resisting it and seek improvements to the judicial system.”
Among the achievements Burkemper cited Judge Dildine for implementing during his two terms included enactment of local court rules for the first time ever in this circuit; language allowing the use of affidavits in uncontested family cases and use of plea forms in criminal cases and use of a PJ secretary for the first time.
Burkemper said Dildine introduced JIS in April 2002 and it went statewide in 2008. “He also oversaw the plans and the building of the justice facility and oversaw the transition of one circuit clerk to another in both counties,” he said. He also created the community service program as a condition for probation.
“One of the most important things Dan has done as a judge which does not involve donning a robe and gavel, and done without fanfare, is his love and education of the public about the judicial system,” said Burkemper.
Other areas Burkemper cited Dildine’s leadership was the creation and implementation of mediation in 2003 involving the use of mediation in contested custody and visitation cases and the creation of the ADR program specialist position which oversees the program. He also supported the creation and implementation of drug courts and their progency (DWI, family and co-occurring) in 2004. “At the time there were about five to six circuit with drug courts in place,” said Burkemper adding there are now only three to four circuits without them.
“For taking those risks with me and having the confidence in me and others to get it done, the circuit is eternally grateful,” concluded Burkemper.
Wayne Henke, former state representative, presented Dildine with a resolution from the House of Representatives honoring him on his accomplishments. Henke was subbing for Rep. Ed Schieffer who was unable to attend following a knee replacement.
Dildine said he didn’t have any immediate plans except for rehabbing antique cars and assisting wife, Chris, with caring for their grandchild.