Jury Awards Ryan Hallett $450,000

 A jury in Rockford, Illinois has awarded plaintiff Ryan Hallett $450,000 in his civil rights trial against Village of Richmond police officer Brian Quilici. Hallett claimed that he was handcuffed, beaten and kicked in the face by Quilici outside a bar. Hallett was represented by Russell Ainsworth from the law firm of Loevy & Loevy. 

Judge Hibbler Rules No Constitutional Violation in Loevy's Car Accident Case

"On May 19, 2004, 8 year old Gregory Jones and 11 sufficent year old Dantondra Mitchell were struck by an unmarked police car.  Both children were gravely injured and Jones died the next day.  The plaintiffs - parents of the children - allege the officers' reckless driving deprived the victims of their substantive due process rights.  In response, the officers moved for summary judgment and assert vehicular accidents cannot support a finding of constitutional liability. " Judge Hibbler, citing US Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit cases, agreed.  

 
The Court explained:
"The threshold question of any substantive due process challenge is whether the behavior of a state actor 'is so egregious, so outrageous that it may fairly be said to shock the contemporary conscience.'"
 
"Ultimately the [Supreme Court] held the police officers' conduct did not deprive the plaintiff of substantive due process: 'high speed chases with no intent to harm...do not give rise to liability under the Fourteenth Amendment" ...As there was no time for reflection or deliberation it cannot be said the officer's conduct was deliberately indifferent.
 
The Court also discussed the relevant Seventh Case on point, Hill v. Schobe:
In Hill, the officer - who was not chasing a suspect or responding to an emergency call - was driving over the speed limit, and failed to turn on his lights or sirens even though it was after midnight.  Subsequently, the officer ran a red light and struck and killed Robert Hill.  The Seventh Circuit held, "the officer must have knowledge of the danger so the court can "infer he intended to inflict the injury" - He must have known it "was imminent but consciously and culpably refused to prevent it." The key word is accident - "if the vehicular collision was accidental - there is no constitutional liability. "
 
As such, summary judgment was granted in favor of defendants.  
 
Jon Loevy, Arthur Loevy, Douglas Shreffler, Amanda Antholt, Michael Kanovitz, Samantha Liskow, Loevy & Loevy for plaintiffs 
 
Liza Franklin, Steve Borkan, Stellato & Schwatrz, George John Yamin, Jr., Jordan Marsh, Scott Jebson, City of Chicago , for Defendants.

Jones v. City of Chicago 04 C 3742

 

 

 

Evan Zimmerman Seventh Circuit Appeal Dismissed

Evan Zimmerman, who served three years in prison for a murder conviction that was later overturned, has died of cancer at the age of 61. Zimmerman had been convicted of strangling his ex-girlfriend Kathleen Thomson in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. After being released from prison, Zimmerman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming he had been framed by the police. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the the police officers and the City of Eau Claire. Zimmerman then appealed the decision to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Oral argument was heard in April 2007. On July 1, 2007,  prior to the Seventh Circuit rendering a decision, Zimmerman died of cancer.  Zimmerman's attorneys have now dismissed their Seventh Circuit Appeal. Zimmerman was represented by Jon Loevy of the law firm of Loevy & Loevy.

Jose Lopez Civil Rights Lawsuit Is Dismissed Due To Statute Of Limitations

Judge Der-Yeghiayan has dismissed the civil rights lawsuit filed by plaintiff Jose Lopez, stating: "Plaintiff has filed a cause of action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983. Plaintiff has alleged that he was 'arrested and charged' sometime in 2002. (Compl. Par. 7). Plaintiff also alleged that '[a]fter serving several years in jail . . . Plaintiff was tried on the false charges in 2005, whereupon Plaintiff was acquitted of murder.' (Compl. Par. 9). Plaintiff filed the instant action in the Northern District of Illinois on November 15, 2006. Thus, pursuant to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Wallace v. Kato, 127 S.Ct. 1091 (2007), the instant action is time-barred by the applicable statute of limitations and we dismiss the instant action." Plaintiff Jose Lopez  was represented by Jon Loevy and Jon Rosenblatt from Loevy & Loevy. The defendants, the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Officers Robert Gliwa, James K. Sanchez, Adrian Garcia, Michael Pietryla and Thomas Flaherty, were represented by Andrew Hale and Eileen Rosen of Rock Fusco, LLC.

City Of Chicago Files Response To Michael Evans' Appeal

The City of Chicago and ten former Chicago police officers have filed their response to Michael Evans' Seventh Circuit appeal. In August 2006, a federal court jury found in favor of the City of Chicago and the police officer defendants, rejecting Evans' claim that he had been framed for the rape and murder of Lisa Cabassa back in 1976. Evans spent 27 years in prison before being released in 2003 when DNA found on a rectal swab did not match Evans. An eyewitness, Judith Januszewski, testified that she saw Evans and his friend Paul Terry abducting Lisa Cabassa on the evening she disappeared. In their appellate brief, the defendants argued that the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing testimony by police officers who fully complied with discovery. The defendants also argued that Evans' failure to ask the district court for additional time to conduct discovery waived any claim of prejudice. For example, the defendants' brief states "Tellingly, the primary relief Evans seeks is a remand to 'provide Plaintiff a reasonable opportunity to take fact and expert discovery. Evans never sought this relief from the district court, although the officers suggested it. Evans wanted to go to trial as quickly as possible. Evans apparently now regrets this strategy, but his gamesmanship should not be rewarded with relief he never sought below. Indeed, because Evans never asked the district court for more time for discovery, this argument is waived." (Defendants' brief at p. 38). Defendants are represented on appeal by Benna Ruth  Solomon (Deputy Corporation Counsel), Myriam Zreczny Kasper (Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel), and Jane Elinor Notz (Assistant Corporation Counsel). Evans is represented on appeal by Jon Loevy, of Loevy & Loevy, who was also Evans' lead trial counsel. At trial, the defendants were represented by Andrew Hale, Eileen Rosen and John Rock from Rock Fusco, LLC.

Michael Evans Appeals Jury Verdict In Favor Of Ten Former Chicago Police Officers

Plaintiff Michael Evans has filed his appellate brief with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Evans had sued ten former Chicago Police Officers claiming they framed him for the rape and murder of nine-year old Lisa Cabassa back in 1976. Evans was convicted of that crime in 1977 and spent 27 years in prison until being released in 2003 based on the results of DNA testing. Evans later received an innocence pardon from Governor Blagojevich. In August 2006, a jury found in favor of the ten Chicago Police Officers and against Evans. Evans had asked the jury to award him over $50 million in damages.The main issue raised in Evans' appeal is that several of the former Officers were allowed to give depositions shortly before trial after having previously asserted their Fifth Amendment rights. Evans claims he was prejudiced by these depositions, but did not ask District Court Judge David Coar to continue the trial date. The ten former Chicago Police Officers were represented by Andrew Hale, Eileen Rosen and John Rock from the law firm of Rock Fusco, LLC. Michael Evans was represented by Jon Loevy of Loevy & Loevy, Flint Taylor from the People's Law Office and Locke Bowman from the MacArthur Justice Center.

Jose Lopez Files Suit Against City Of Chicago And Five Chicago Police Officers

Jose Lopez has filed a federal court lawsuit against the City of Chicago and five Chicago Police Officers. Lopez alleges that the defendants violated his rights by framing him for a murder they knew he did not commit. Lopez spent two years in jail awaiting his murder trial. He was subsequently acquitted. Lopez is represented by Jon Loevy at Loevy & Loevy. The City of Chicago and the five Chicago Police Officers are represented by Andrew Hale and Eileen Rosen at Rock Fusco, LLC. The case is pending before the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan in the Northern District of Illinois.

Donald Vance Files Suit Against Donald Rumsfeld

On Monday, December 18, 2006, Donald Vance, a 29 year-old former member of the United States Navy, and a former supervisor of security personnel for the Sandi Group and later Shield Group Security (SGS) in Iraq, filed suit against Donald Rumsfeld in the Northern District of Illinois. In his suit, Vance alleges that while employed by SGS in Iraq he observed suspicious payments by SGS agents to Iraqi Sheikhs and reported this activity to the FBI, in particular, to FBI agent Travis Carlisle in Chicago. Vance alleges that he was subsequently removed from the SGS compound and then taken to the US Embassy, then to Camp Prosperity and later to Camp Cropper which Vance alleges houses "high-value" detainees. Vance alleges he was detained for almost 100 days purely for purposes of conducting months of abusive interrogations. Vance alleges he was detained without due process of law, was never charged with a crime, was never told why he was being detained, was never given the opportunity to obtain a lawyer, was never given the opportunity to challenge his detention, and not even his family was told of his detention. Vance alleges that while detained his detention and interrogation were tantamount to torture in that he was exposed to intolerable cold and continuous artificial light, he was placed in solitary confinement, he was subjected to blarring music, he was awoken by startling if he fell asleep, he was subjected to blindfolding and "hooding" and deprived of food and water. Vance alleges that defendant Donald Rumsfeld was personally responsible for developing, authorizing, supervising and implementing the policies and practices of arrest, detention, treatment, and interrogation of detainees in Iraq. Vance alleges that Rumsfeld's policies and directives are inconsistent with fundamental Constitutional and human rights and that "Defendant Rumsfeld is not entitled to any form of official immunity for his knowing decisions to break with the laws protecting American citizens and international treaties on human rights." Vance's complaint contains the following ten counts: false arrest (I), unlawful detention (II), unlawful search and seizure (III), right to counsel in interrogations - coerced statements (IV), denial of Sixth Amendment right to counsel (V), denial of right to confront adverse witnesses (VI), denial of right to present witnesses and evidence, and to have exculpatory evidence disclosed (VII), conditions of detention (VIII), denial of necessary medical care (IX) and denial of property without due process (X). Vance's suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs and attorneys' fees. Vance's suit has been assigned to the Honorable Milton I. Shadur. Vance is represented by attorneys Michael Kanovitz and Jon Loevy of the law firm of Loevy & Loevy.

Dr. Terry Kupers Testifies For Plaintiff Re: PTSD

Dr. Terry Kupers, a California psychiatrist, has testified again on behalf of a plaintiff, this time for Alejandro Dominguez in his civil rights suit against the City of Waukegan. On October 10, 2006, Dr. Kupers testified that Mr. Dominquez suffers from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Earlier this year, Dr. Kupers testified on behalf of Michael Evans in his suit against the City of Chicago and ten former Chicago Police Officers. Dr. Kupers testified in that case that Mr. Evans suffers from PTSD. Dr. Kupers also testified last year on behalf of plaintiff Steve Manning in his suit against two FBI agents, Robert Buchan and Gary Miller. In each case, the plaintiff was represented by the law firm of Loevy & Loevy. All three of these trials were conducted in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. Dr. Kupers is the author of the book "Prison Madness."