The HCBullet: The blog of the Attorneys at HCB

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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Appellate Court Upholds 3-Book Policy of County Jail But Grants Damages Remedy to Inmate for Jail’s Destruction of Excess Books

March 11, 2020

Generally, jail officials have substantial discretion in operating a jail, and inmates do not have the same liberties as those not incarcerated. This applies to reading material. In Koger v. Dart, an inmate sued the Cook County Sheriff, claiming that the Jail’s “three-book policy” violated his First Amendment rights. A federal judge dismissed the claim…

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Plaintiff Must Show More than a Handful of Incidents to Prove a Widespread Practice

February 21, 2020

Kenyatta Bridges, a Cook County inmate, was given a medical order for a low bunk. He didn’t get assigned to a low bunk, and, when he fell off the top bunk, he sued.  He made a Monell claim, alleging that the Cook County Sheriff had a policy and practice of ignoring low bunk permits. He…

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