Metro-East News

Former federal bankruptcy judge for Southern Illinois, Kenneth Meyers, dies

Judge Kenneth Meyers
Judge Kenneth Meyers

Former federal bankruptcy judge Kenneth Meyers, who served the Southern Illinois district, died Saturday.

Meyers retired in 2015 after serving 40 years as a federal judge. He served as the chief bankruptcy judge for the Southern District of Illinois from 1986 to 2010. He held court in East St. Louis, Alton, Mount Vernon and Effingham.

Laura K. Grandy, the current chief judge of the bankruptcy court, said she remembers Meyers as a good friend and mentor.

“When we first met, Judge Meyers told me, 'Kid, always be prepared and always be on time, and we’ll always get along,' " Grandy said. "At the courthouse, his sense of humor and insight created a court family that was ready to take on complex judicial projects. He was respected by both those he ruled for and those he ruled against. To those who knew him well, he was fair, fun and unforgettable. The halls of justice have lost one of their most creative and dedicated jurists.”

In 1985, Meyers presided over a case involving the lockdown of a federal penitentiary following the murder of two prison guards. His ruling in that case set the first guidelines for implementing prison lockdowns.

In 2002, under Meyers' direction, the bankruptcy court in the Southern District of Illinois became one of the first courts to successfully convert from a paper filing system to an electronic one.

Meyers graduated from law school in 1969.