University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Newell v. City of Elgin JC-IL-0026
Docket / Court Docket Not Available ( State Court )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On September 27, 1973, a motorcyclist was allegedly run off the road by a squad car, strip searched, and then unlawfully imprisoned. He filed this case in state court against the city of Elgin, Illinois, and three other municipalities, and eight individual police officers for damages.

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On September 27, 1973, a motorcyclist was allegedly run off the road by a squad car, strip searched, and then unlawfully imprisoned. He filed this case in state court against the city of Elgin, Illinois, and three other municipalities, and eight individual police officers for damages.

The state trial judge (John S. Petersen, J., Circuit Court, Kane County) dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, but gave no grounds. However, he stated, incorrectly, in open court that the question of police officer immunity had not been decided, and that the plaintiff should take his case to a higher court. Plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second district, Second Division, (Judges Rechenmacher, Moran and Dixon) reversed and remanded. Newell v. City of Elgin, 34 Ill. App.3d 719 (Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, Second Division, 1976). Relying on Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the court stated that the plaintiff had alleged facts which amounted to willful and wanton negligence of the police officers. The court also held that while the eight individual defendants may be subject to exemplary damages, the four municipalities named as defendants would not be, as the limit of their potential liability would be actual damages. Finally, the court instructed that in consideration of the trial judge's statements, the case be reassigned to a different judge.

We have no further information about this case.

Denise Heberle - 03/22/2012
Richard Jolly - 10/25/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) City of Elgin
Plaintiff Description Motorcyclist who alleged that the reckless driving of Elgin police officers caused him to run off the road and resulting in physical injuries and who also alleges that he was unlawfully imprisoned and subject to unlawful search and seizure.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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Links Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion (340 N.E.2d 344)
JC-IL-0026-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/06/1976
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Rechenmacher, LeRoy L. (State Appellate Court)
JC-IL-0026-0001

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