Federal Judge Certifies Class Action Brought Against the Sheriff of Cook County on Behalf of Inmates Who Were Allegedly Unlawfully Detained After Being Acquitted

Suit Alleges That Sheriff Continues to Detain Inmates at the Cook County Jail Despite Being Acquitted of the Charges Brought Against Them

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Defendants have a policy or practice under which it shackles, transports and detains acquitted individuals to change back into their prison jumpsuit and be processed back into the general prison population

Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) September 03, 2014

On September 2, 2014, a Federal Judge in Chicago granted class action status in a case brought against the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois on behalf of inmates who were allegedly unlawfully detained after being acquitted of the charges brought against them. The plaintiff and the class are being represented by Myron Cherry and Jacie Zolna of the Chicago law firm of Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC, which specializes in contingent fee business litigation and selective class actions.

According to the decision, the lawsuit alleges that the Sheriff's Office does not have any procedures in place to differentiate between inmates who were found not-guilty or otherwise acquitted and all other inmates over whom the Sheriff’s Office has a continued right to detain. As a result, “Defendants have …[a] policy or practice under which it shackles, transports and detains acquitted individuals to change back into their prison jumpsuit and be processed back into the general prison population,” according to the suit. Furthermore, the suit alleges that similarly situated female acquitted inmates are not subject to such practices and are segregated from other inmates and are not required to return to their jail cell. The lawsuit claims that these practices violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, as well as the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In granting class action status, the Federal Judge concluded that “[a] class action is the superior procedure for litigating these claims because the Court can determine the legality of the alleged practice and procedure in one proceeding. The proposed class might include hundreds, if not thousands of members, many of whom are unlikely to pursue their claims on their own.”

The lawsuit, entitled Otero v. Dart, et al., was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Case No. 12-CV-3148.

Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC is a trial law firm specializing in contingent fee business litigation and selective class actions and has a track record for aggressively taking on unique and difficult cases and obtaining favorable results for its clients. Two lawyers from Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC, Myron Cherry and Jacie Zolna, were appointed as class counsel in the case.

For further information, please contact Myron M. Cherry at (312) 372-2100 or mcherry(at)cherry-law(dot)com.


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