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Case Name Chavez v. Illinois State Police PN-IL-0003
Docket / Court 1:94-cv-05307 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On August 30, 1994, Peso Chavez, a Hispanic private investigator and New Mexico resident, filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for alleged unconstitutional racial profiling by the Illinois State Police [ISP] ... read more >
On August 30, 1994, Peso Chavez, a Hispanic private investigator and New Mexico resident, filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for alleged unconstitutional racial profiling by the Illinois State Police [ISP]. Chavez was represented by attorneys from the Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc. Defendants included the ISP; individual troopers; and supervisory officials, including those that headed "Operation Valkyrie," a drug interdiction program. Chavez claimed that the officers of the Operation Valkyrie unit had a practice of stopping, detaining, and searching African-American and Hispanic motorists based on their race and without legally sufficient cause or justification. Chavez's own detention arose when he was retained by a criminal defense attorney to drive through Illinois in an attempt to recreate the circumstances leading to the drug stop and arrest of the attorney's client. See People v. Koutsakis, 272 Ill.App.3d 159, 208 Ill.Dec. 549, 649 N.E.2d 605 (Ill.App.3d Dist. 1995).

Subsequent to the filing of the action, Gregory Lee, Anthony W. Thomas and Linda Thomas, African-Americans, and Joseph Gomez, a Hispanic, joined the action as plaintiffs. Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys from the ACLU.

The five-year procedural history of this litigation is somewhat complicated as reflected by the PACER docket. Plaintiffs were granted leave to amend the complaint numerous times and parties and claims were added and dismissed. Plaintiffs' legal claims alleged violations of: the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; the right to travel provided by the Privileges and Immunities Clauses of Article IV and the Fourteenth Amendment; the Fourth Amendment; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and various supplemental state law provisions. Plaintiffs sought damages and injunctive and declaratory relief.

Through a series of rulings during the five-year litigation, the District Court (Judge Blanche M. Manning) analyzed the legal merits of the various claims. On February 13, 1996, the District Court dismissed the right to travel claim and conspiracy claims. Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 1996 WL 66136 (N.D.Ill. Feb. 13, 1996).

On November 5, 1998, the District Court granted defendants' motions for summary judgment on the equal protection claim, holding that the statistical evidence proffered by plaintiffs was insufficient to show that similarly situated persons of varying races were treated differently by the ISP. As Plaintiffs' request for class certification was based on the equal protection claim, class certification was denied. The District Court also found that the plaintiffs' individual claims would not support an award of injunctive relief. Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 27 F.Supp.2d 1053 (N.D.Ill.1998).

On July 15, 1999, the District Court denied the motion to add Christopher Jimenz as a new plaintiff. Chavez v. Illinois State Police, No. 94 C 5307, 1999 WL 515483 (N.D.Ill. July 15, 1999).

On August 2, 1999, the District Court denied plaintiffs' motions for reinstatement of their claim for prospective relief under Title VI and for class certification of a class of Hispanic motorists with respect to the Title VI claim. Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 1999 WL 592187 (N.D.Ill. Aug. 2, 1999).

Thereafter, plaintiffs' counsel moved to voluntarily dismiss the remaining claims with prejudice, so they could pursue an immediate appeal. The District Court advised plaintiffs that such dismissal would result in reasonable costs being taxed against plaintiffs. Chavez v. Illinois State Police, 1999 WL 754681 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 9, 1999). Plaintiffs' dismissed the remaining claims and the Court awarded costs in the amount of $22,800.72 to defendants. Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on October 15, 1999.

Plaintiffs then moved for reconsideration of the taxing order, which was denied by the District Court. Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 2000 WL 91918 (N.D.Ill. Jan. 19, 2000). Plaintiffs filed a second notice of appeal, seeking review of the taxing order.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed on all issues. Chavez v. Ill. State Police, 251 F.3d 612 (7th Cir. 2001). Of particular note, the Court of Appeals (Justice Michel S. Kanne) held that while statistical proof could be sufficient to establish the discriminatory effect element of the equal protection claim, the statistical evidence offered by the plaintiffs was neither relevant nor reliable and was therefore insufficient as a matter of law.

Dan Dalton - 01/09/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Right to travel
Unreasonable search and seizure
Race discrimination
Racial profiling
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Illinois State of Police
Plaintiff Description All persons who in the past had been, and in the future would be, unlawfully stopped, detained, or searched by the ISP in accordance with their practice of improperly stopping motorists on the basis of race.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filing Year 1994
Case Closing Year 2001
Case Ongoing No
94 C 5307 (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2001
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Summary of Valkyrie Citations and Warning Comparing Motorists w/ Hispanic Surnames to Motorists without
PN-IL-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Excerpts from Plaintiffs' Appellate Opening Brief
PN-IL-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Preliminary Report of James D. Ginger, PH.D
PN-IL-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Memorandum and Order [Granting Motion for a Protective Order] (1996 WL 65992) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/12/1996
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum and Order (1996 WL 66136) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0023.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/13/1996
Source: Westlaw
Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Edward A. Brobick (1997 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10012) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0021.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/10/1997
Source: LexisNexis
Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Edward A. Brobick (1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 3616) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0020.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/17/1998
Source: LexisNexis
Memorandum Opinion and Order (27 F.Supp.2d 1053) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/05/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Expert Report of Jim Ginger
PN-IL-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/1999
Expert Report of Lou Reiter, with Exhibit 1
PN-IL-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/1999
Expert Report of Martin M. Shapiro with Exhibits 1-8
PN-IL-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/15/1999
Report and Recommendation (1999 WL 417364) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0018.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/04/1999
Memorandum Order (1999 WL 417363 / 1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 9054) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/07/1999
Report and Recommendation of Magistrate Judge Edward A. Brobick (1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 9145) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0019.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/15/1999
Source: LexisNexis
Declaration of Martin M. Shapiro
PN-IL-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/12/1999
Declaration of James Ginger
PN-IL-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/12/1999
Memorandum and Order (1999 WL 515483 / 1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11176) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/15/1999
Memorandum Opinion and Order (1999 WL 592187 / 1999 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11976) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/02/1999
Memorandum and Order (2000 WL 91918 / 2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 650) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/19/2000
Opinion (251 F.3d 612)
PN-IL-0003-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/23/2001
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bauer, William Joseph (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
Bobrick, Edward A. (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0005 | PN-IL-0003-0007 | PN-IL-0003-0014 | PN-IL-0003-0018 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021
Flaum, Joel Martin (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ill.)
Kanne, Michael Stephen (Seventh Circuit, N.D. Ind.)
Manning, Blanche M. (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0003-0002 | PN-IL-0003-0005 | PN-IL-0003-0007 | PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0015 | PN-IL-0003-0016 | PN-IL-0003-0017 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-0022 | PN-IL-0003-0023 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Auerbach, Nicole Nehama (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Baum, Jonathan Klee (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Blum, Rachel M. (Illinois)
Chiphe, Imani (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Grossman, Harvey (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0012 | PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Helwig, Ted S. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Johnson, David Brian (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Murphy, Clyde E. (Illinois)
O'Brien, Richard J. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Schwartz, Adam D. (Illinois)
Whicher, Jane M. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Andalman, Robert M. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Bryant, Beverly (Illinois)
Flahaven, Roger Philip (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Ioppolo, Thomas A. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0012 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Johnson, Iain D. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Margolis, Jeremy D. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0012 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-9000
McNally, Edward E. (Illinois)
Rego, Charles Anthony (Illinois)
Sampen, Don R. (Illinois)
Solberg, Patrick J. (Illinois)
Watts, Darren Brett (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Barker, William T. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021
Levin, Jennifer (District of Columbia)
Pascal, Roger (Illinois)
PN-IL-0003-0013 | PN-IL-0003-0019 | PN-IL-0003-0020 | PN-IL-0003-0021

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