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Case Name Illinois v. Chicago PN-IL-0022
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-06260 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Policing
Case Summary
On August 29, 2017, the state of Illinois filed this lawsuit against the City of Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The state brought this action on behalf of ... read more >
On August 29, 2017, the state of Illinois filed this lawsuit against the City of Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The state brought this action on behalf of the people of Illinois to ensure that the City enacted comprehensive, lasting reform of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA), and the Chicago Police Board (Police Board). It sought declaratory and injunctive relief as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. The case was assigned to Judge Robert M. Dow, Jr. and Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.

The state claimed that, through acts and omissions, the City and its agents maintained policies, customs, or practices of police officers that violated the Fourth Amendment. The complaint alleged that some of these policies, customs, or practices had a disparate impact on African Americans and Latinos in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 and the Illinois Human Rights Act. It further contended that these policies, customs, or practices were reflected in, and caused by, the City’s failure to effectively train, supervise, and support law enforcement officers, and the City’s failure to establish reliable programs to detect officer misconduct and administer effective discipline.

On August 31, 2017, the parties filed a joint motion to stay proceedings in order to continue settlement negotiations. The parties stipulated that, if successful, the result of the negotiations would take the form of a consent decree. On September 5, 2017, the court granted the joint motion.

On June 6, 2018, the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge No. 7 (FOP), the police union, filed a motion to intervene in the action. The FOP argued that it had a substantial interest in the subject of the litigation, as it could impair or impede its ability to protect the collective bargaining interests of the Chicago police officers that it represents. Both the State and the City opposed intervention.

Meanwhile, the parties engaged in extensive settlement negotiations from June through August of 2018 to draft the terms of a consent decree. On July 27, 2018, the State and the City released a draft consent decree for public review, inviting comments prior to submitting a proposed consent decree to the court. The draft consent decree covered a broad range of topics, including: community policing; impartial policing; crisis intervention; use of force; recruitment; hiring and promotion; training; supervision; officer wellness and support; accountability and transparency; data collection, analysis and management; and implementation, enforcement and monitoring.

The FOP opposed the draft consent decree. It thought that certain provisions interfered with the collective bargaining agreement statutory rights. However, on August 16, 2018, the court denied the FOP's motion to intervene. The court held that, in light of the FOP's delay in moving to intervene, prejudice to existing parties, and prejudice to the FOP, the FOP's motion to intervene was not timely and therefore must be denied. The FOP subsequently appealed the court's decision on its motion to intervene.

On September 13, 2018, the State and the City reached an agreement on a final consent decree and filed a joint motion for the court's approval. On September 19, 2018, the court set a public fairness hearing for the end of October 2018 and opened a written comment period. Throughout October, various parties have submitted written comments on the proposed consent decree.

On October 12, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a statement of interest opposing the proposed consent decree. The DOJ argued that the consent decree would function like an earlier November 2015 settlement agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union to curb stop and frisk abuses, which it argued has excessively restrained the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and significantly contributed to the rise in homicides and violent crime from 2015 to 2016.

The DOJ cited four main problems with the consent decree:

(1) it goes beyond remedying specific violations of federal law cognizable in federal court and micromanages police department procedures and policies;
(2) it strips the superintendent of his duty and ability to administer the CPD;
(3) it turns over long-term budgetary control of the CPD to the federal court and the monitor through vague mandates that there must be sufficient funding and staff to fulfill the consent decree and implement programs; and
(4) it says that the court will retain jurisdiction until the City has fully complied with the consent decree for two consecutive years, but does not give clear guidelines as to what constitutes compliance.

The DOJ expressed concern that such consent decrees strip local government officials of the flexibility required in addressing evolving law enforcement issues and deprive citizens of their ability to control policies through the democratic process. To this end, the DOJ expressed concern that the consent decree would be signed by an outgoing mayor who was not seeking reelection. In this statement of interest, the DOJ further announced that it would send five additional federal prosecutors to Chicago to establish a new Gun Crimes Prosecution Team.

The case is ongoing. A fairness hearing on the proposed consent decree is scheduled for October 24 and 25, 2018.

Jake Parker - 06/04/2018
Eva Richardson - 10/15/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Race discrimination
Assault/abuse by staff
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Pattern or Practice
Racial profiling
Search policies
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
State law
Defendant(s) City of Chicago
Plaintiff Description The state of Illinois on behalf of the people of Illinois.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
1:17−cv−06260 (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0022-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/17/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-IL-0022-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit A: "Recommendations for Reform" [ECF# 1-1]
PN-IL-0022-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 88] (2018 WL 3920816) (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0022-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 107-1] (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0022-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
United States' Statement of Interest Opposing Proposed Consent Decree [ECF# 160]
PN-IL-0022-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Dow, Robert Michael Jr. (N.D. Ill.)
PN-IL-0022-0003 | PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arenz, Patrick M (Minnesota)
Bass Ehler, Karyn L. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Caplan, Gary Steven (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Flores, Cynthia Lorena (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Hendrickson, Cara (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Lockner, Anna M. (Michigan)
Lueck, Martin R. (Illinois)
Madigan, Lisa (Illinois)
Meghjee, Munir (Minnesota)
Pryor, Shareese N (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Purdon, Timothy Q. (North Dakota)
Richie, Leigh J. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Roberg−Perez, Sharon Elizabeth (Minnesota)
Stratton, Brent Douglas (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0001 | PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Thelwell, Mikiko A. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Verticchio, Thomas J (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Wells, Christopher Graham (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Babbitt, Elizabeth Erin (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Jackson, Heather Ann (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Schaller, Rachel L. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Slagel, Allan T. (Illinois)
PN-IL-0022-0004 | PN-IL-0022-9000
Other Lawyers Gore, John M. (District of Columbia)
Lausch, John R. (Illinois)
Sessions, Jeff (District of Columbia)

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