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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
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Judge Boots Chicago’s Proposed Class Action

CHICAGO - A federal judge on Monday denied the City of Chicago's request for class certification in a countersuit aimed at anti-war protesters. Judge Virginia M. Kendall ruled that the city lacked the commonality and predominance criteria required for class certification. more

Judge Kendall wrote, "The City seeks to recover expenses for resources utilized as a result of Plaintiffs' violations of the law ... The Court finds that the City cannot point to standardized unlawful conduct by the class members that would justify certification of a class in this case."

The case centers on a March 2003 anti-war protest. Eleven protestors filed a class action against the City of Chicago, it Police Department and several police officers who surrounded them during the protest. Protestors claimed that police pinned them at the corner of Michigan and Chicago Avenues for hours and prevented them from peacefully assembling, speaking freely or leaving the area. The court certified the protestors' class action in April 2006.

The City of Chicago filed a counterclaim in May 2006, based on an ordinance that states, "Any person who causes the city or its agents to incur costs in order to provide necessary services as a result of such person's violation of any federal, state or local law ... shall be liable to the city for those costs. This liability shall be collectible in the same manner as any other personal liability." The court denied the protestors' previous request to dismiss the city's claim in August 2006; this ruling denied the city's request for class certification under the ordinance.

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