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Recent Blog Posts

AGs Center Immigration Brief on States Rights

Attorneys General from around the country are banding together to stop federal agents from arresting illegal immigrants at state courthouses. In an amicus brief filed in Seattle, they say that a federal policy of invading courtrooms to apprehend undocumented immigrants violates state sovereignty. The AG there is asking a district court judge to stop the… Read More »

Expectant Teachers Await Supreme Court Maternity Ruling

The Illinois Supreme Court is taking up the case of teacher who is seeking to recover pay for accrued sick leave that she used after the birth of a child. District officials in the western Chicago suburb of Wood Dale refused to grant Margaret Dynak’s request at the end of the school year in 2016… Read More »

Houston Affirmed as Boundary on Timeliness of Prison Filings

Citing the challenges inmates face when interacting with the judicial system, a federal appellate panel extended the US Supreme Court’s prison-mailbox rule for court filings to administrative actions under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In overturning a summary judgement, the US Court of Appeals Court for the 7th Circuit said that provisions in a second… Read More »

Petition Lets Prosecutors Bypass Pot Bust Bureaucracy

Prosecutors in Illinois are getting an end-around around a seemingly endless paper shuffle as they move to absolve low-level pot offenders in the era of legal weed. A provision for motions to vacate and expunge records contained in the guiding legislation for legalized recreational use of the drug lets state’s attorneys skip steps in clearing some… Read More »

Free Speech Upheld by Federal Court Injunction

A US District Court judge’s ruling on protected speech means that state and local cops for now must stop giving beggars the bum’s rush from Illinois curbsides. Robert Gettleman sided with two men who say that that cops in Downers Grove unfairly target them when they are exercising their Constitutional rights. He issued an order… Read More »

Does Legal Weed Affect Probable Cause?

Justices in the state Supreme Court are considering whether and how the decriminalization of cannabis possession changes rules that let police in Illinois execute on-the-spot searches absent a judicial warrant. The case, involving a man charged with cocaine possession after Marion County cops detected what they said was marijuana in his vehicle and executed a… Read More »

Appellate Court Reverses Course in Krankel Ruling

A Chicago man sentenced to seven years on drug offenses could get a new trial after judges in the 1st  District Appellate Court reversed their earlier ruling and said complaints indirectly reported to a lower court merited an inquiry into his defense. Cops said Alfred Dowling confessed to owning the two pounds of pot found… Read More »

Standards-Setting Appeal on Plain Error Fails in 7th Circuit

A federal appeals court denied a bid by a convicted murderer to rescind the confession that put him in prison or 96 months on a weapons charge. Charles Williams asked judges in the US Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit to set a new standard for plain-error review in light of a 2019 US… Read More »

Federal Judge Cites Probable Cause in Upholding Investigative Alerts

Failure to include more than his own case in a Civil Rights claim over the legality of the Chicago Police Department’s investigative alert policy isn’t enough to prove that cops acted maliciously when the arrested Robert Taylor on weapons charges in 2011. This according to a ruling in US District Court that deemed the CPD’s… Read More »

Judge Sides With Jury in CPD Civil Rights Case

A man who claims Chicago cops detained him illegally can move to collect $750,000 in damages after a judge in federal court said the determination of witness credibility lied with the jury that rendered the verdict in his civil rights claim. In denying a motion to dismiss the case as a matter of law, US… Read More »