Judge Aspen grants City of Chicago's Monell Bifurcation

Judge Aspen: "We agree with the City that it is more efficient to resolve Plaintiffs' claims against Defendant Officers "before turning to the more burdensome and time-consuming task" of litigating the Monell claim. (Mot.ΒΆ 4). Convenience, expedition, and economy are furthered "where a separate trial 'disposes of one charge or establishes a necessary element of a second charge.' " Myatt v. City of Chi., 816 F.Supp. 1259, 1264 (N.D. Ill 1992) (quoting Ismail v. Cohen, 706 F.Supp. 243, 251 (S.D.N.Y.1989)). In the instant case, unless Plaintiffs can prove that Defendant Officers violated their constitutional rights, their Monell claim against the City will fail as a matter of law. See City of Los Angeles v. Heller, 475 U.S. 796, 799, 106 S.Ct. 1571, 1573 (1986) (explaining that Monell does not authorize an award of damages against a municipality based on the action of its officers if a jury concludes that no constitutional harm was inflicted); Myatt, 816 F.Supp. at 1264 (stating that if "the individual officers are not held liable, the City cannot be held liable under a Monell claim"). Judge Aspen also explained: "that there is a real "danger that evidence admissible on the issues relating to conduct by the City ... will contaminate the mind of the finder of fact in its consideration of the liability of the other defendant[s]" A MUST SEE: Desperate to keep their Monell claim in the case - plaintiff's counsel has made the following representation in response to the City's motion, "Plaintiffs contend that litigating the Monell claim will not require significant additional time, effort, or money outside of that required for litigation of the claims against Defendant Officers. " Michael Oppenheimer and Brendan Shiller represent plaintiff. Marc J. Boxerman, Diane Cohen and Meghan Kennedy on behalf of defendants See Ojeda-Beltran v. Lucio, 2008 WL 2782815 (July 16, 2008)