The HCBullet: The blog of the Attorneys at HCB

Arrests Based on “Investigative Alerts” Gets the Attention of the Illinois Supreme Court

April 1, 2020

A hotly debated issue in law enforcement these days is whether the police can arrest a person based on a so-called “investigative alert.” These alerts are based on a department policy that permit a warrantless arrest based on certain information that the department possesses at the time of the arrest. In a divided opinion, the…

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An Employee’s Conduct Can Be Sufficient Notice for FMLA Claims

March 26, 2020

In Valdivia v. Twp. High Sch. Dist. 214, 942 F.3d 395 (7th Cir. 2019) Noemi Valdivia worked successfully as an administrative assistant for Township High School District 214, which is headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois, until she began experiencing severe psychological problems that ultimately led to the end of her employment there. Valdivia applied for…

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Park District Is Liable for Willful and Wanton Maintenance of Recreational Property

March 26, 2020

Under the Illinois Tort Immunity Act, park districts and their employees are not liable for an injury where liability is based on the existence of a condition of recreational property unless the district is guilty of willful and wanton conduct proximately causing the injury. “Willful and wanton” means a course of action that shows an…

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Routine Warrant or Name Checks During Terry Stops Comply with Fourth Amendment

March 26, 2020

Recently, in Hall v. City of Chicago, ___ F.3d ___ (7th Cir. 2020), the police stopped plaintiffs for panhandling and, during the course of the stops, asked for identification. The officers then used the identification cards to search for outstanding arrest warrants or investigative alerts (called “warrant checks” or “name checks”). The officers would not…

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Disputed Use of Force Incident Quashes Officers’ Appeal for Qualified Immunity

March 11, 2020

The doctrine of qualified immunity is one of the most significant and powerful defenses that a police officer has to a federal civil rights claim. Qualified immunity applies when the officer’s use of force does not violate any clearly established rights. This defense should be asserted prior to trial, usually on a motion for summary…

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