The HCBullet: The blog of the Attorneys at HCB

Court Rejects “State Created Danger” Claim Against Elementary School Staff

October 29, 2020

The Supreme Court has long held that the federal constitution restricts government action. It is not a remedy for every private misdeed—even when creative litigants, in their search for a deeper pocket, try and pin that private wrong on some public employer or agency. A recent summary judgment ruling from the Central District of Illinois…

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Court Rejects Litigant’s Attempt to Re-litigate Settled Claims

June 26, 2020

Once a civil case is settled, it is typically over. Courts do not allow second bites at the litigation apple. Settlement serves to manage risks and costs and overall promotes the economies of the judicial system. It is an often used and favored mechanism for resolving a civil dispute. A Chicago federal district court judge…

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Seventh Circuit Reaffirms Legal Tools Helpful Against Abusive Pro Se Litigants

June 26, 2020

Almost every municipality knows the headache of facing a self-represented litigant who knows enough about the legal process to weaponize legal procedure and thereby drive up defense costs, but who refuses to obey the rules himself. Two recent Seventh Circuit decisions remind lower courts of tools to curb such behavior. The first is James v….

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Congressional Bills Eliminating Qualified Immunity Proposed

June 10, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court is still weighing whether to take one of several cases in which one party is asking the Court to reconsider the doctrine of qualified immunity. As noted in a recent HCBullet update, qualified immunity is a doctrine that holds that government employees are immune from civil liability for constitutional violations unless…

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Jail inmate’s habeas corpus petition denied for failing to exhaust state court remedies.

June 9, 2020

The Honorable Billy Joe McDade in the Central District of Illinois denied a habeas corpus petition in favor of Vermilion County Sheriff Patrick Hartshorn in Myron Phillips v. Vermilion County Sheriff, Case No. 20-cv-2093 (C.D. Ill., May 21, 2020). Petitioner, Myron Phillips, was a pre-trial detainee held at the Vermilion County Jail, and his suit challenged…

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