Judge Justin Hansen is a dedicated community servant who serves with integrity as McHenry County Circuit Court Judge.
Unanimously appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court in February 2019 to fill the vacancy resulting from Judge Michael Sullivan’s retirement, Judge Hansen serves on the Third Subcircuit of Illinois’ Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit. He presides over cases in the Family Division, and he previously heard cases in the Civil Division. As a younger judge with a fresh perspective, Judge Hansen has worked to improve access to justice and the use of technology in the court system, including supporting programs that assist self-represented litigants.
Judge Hansen’s dedication to public service started at an early age when he was active with service projects through Habitat for Humanity and InterVarsity. Before attending law school, he was an advocate at the Task Force on Family Violence, a non-profit organization in Milwaukee that provides services to victims of domestic violence. He helped pilot a program to provide training to law enforcement, child protection services, school personnel and social workers on the effects of children witnessing domestic violence. In law school at DePaul University, he participated in the Public Interest Law Section, the Center for Public Interest Law, and a clinic for parents of students with special needs. As a judge, he visits area schools to help with civics education, teaching students about the Constitution, the judicial system, and what it means to be a judge. Judge Hansen sits on the Rules Committee and Public Relations Committee for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit. He serves as the Continuing Legal Education Coordinator and member of the Board of Governors for the McHenry County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Illinois Judges Association and serves on committees for In School Programs, Public Affairs & Media, and Community Engagement.
Prior to his service as a judge, Judge Hansen was an accomplished prosecutor and experienced attorney with over a decade of experience in the law. He represented individual, corporate and municipal clients, and successfully litigated scores of cases to verdict, including both jury and bench trials, in McHenry, Lake, and Cook Counties.
Judge Hansen began his legal career in 2009 at Cowlin, Naughton, Curran & Coppedge, a full-service law firm located in Crystal Lake. He worked as a local prosecutor for the City of Crystal Lake and the Villages of Huntley, Cary, Prairie Grove, and Bull Valley. Judge Hansen successfully tried many DUI trials to verdict and provided training to law enforcement about DUI cases and effective courtroom presentation. While at CNCC, Judge Hansen also handled other municipal and civil matters as well as real estate transactions. During that time, he also served McHenry County as a Special Public Defender, representing indigent clients in felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases. Most recently, Judge Hansen was appointed to be a member for the ISBA Standing Committee on Law Related Education for the Public.
In December 2014, Judge Hansen moved to the Libertyville office of Swanson, Martin & Bell. He expanded his practice to include defending physicians, nurses, and hospitals from medical negligence claims. He also continued serving as the local prosecutor for Crystal Lake and litigating a variety of other matters, including breach of contract, land use, landlord-tenant, and small claims cases.
Judge Hansen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana College in 2004 and his Juris Doctor from DePaul University of Chicago in 2009. He lives in unincorporated Crystal Lake with his wife, Cheryl, and their children. He serves on the Board of Directors for Senior Care Volunteer Network and Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, and is a member of the Crystal Lake and Cary-Grove Chambers of Commerce. He and his family are active members at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.