Case: Black Lives Matter v. Wolf

1:20-cv-04319 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: July 23, 2020

Closed Date: Feb. 22, 2021

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This complaint was filed on July 23, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The suit was filed by a number of political and legal organizations, as well as a news media organization. These groups included: Black Lives Matter Chicago; Black Abolitionist Network; Chicago Democratic Socialists of America; Good Kids/Mad City; #LetUsBreathe Collective; South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation; National Lawyers Guild Chicago; First Defense Legal Aid; and In Thes…

This complaint was filed on July 23, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The suit was filed by a number of political and legal organizations, as well as a news media organization. These groups included: Black Lives Matter Chicago; Black Abolitionist Network; Chicago Democratic Socialists of America; Good Kids/Mad City; #LetUsBreathe Collective; South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation; National Lawyers Guild Chicago; First Defense Legal Aid; and In These Times. The defendants were numerous federal agents, including Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Deputy Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matthew Albence, Attorney General William Barr, Director of Federal Protective Services L. Eric Patterson, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, among others. Plaintiffs were represented by private counsel and attorneys from Westside Justice Center, People's Law Office, as well as attorney-professors at Northwestern and University of Chicago.

The lawsuit followed the dispersal of federal agents to quell protests that occurred in Chicago after the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the spring of 2020. President Trump first sent federal agents to Portland in July, then to several other cities including Chicago later that month. The complaint did not allege that the federal troops had done anything in particular, but that their very presence was menacing. They argued that the presence of these federal agents represented violations of the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights to free speech and free protest as well as excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment. They also alleged conspiracy to deprive the plaintiffs of their rights. The plaintiffs requested declaratory relief that would deem the federal agents' actions illegal and injunctive relief prohibiting the policing of the protests by federal agents, ceasing the arrest of residents of Chicago, and to stop enforcing a policy of alleged "preemptive arrests."

On July 31, the plaintiffs submitted an amended complaint which added a count of violating the Tenth Amendment. They argued that the federal agents' conducting of law enforcement was an encroachment on the policing powers left to the state and local government.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the plaintiffs lacked standing and failed to state a claim on October 2. They argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing because the plaintiffs' alleged injuries that took place in other cities and statements by the President, Attorney General, and Acting Secretary of DHS, but failed to allege particular and concrete injuries their organizations in Chicago. In addition, even if the plaintiffs had standing, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under the Tenth Amendment because the plaintiffs did not cite that a specific federal law violated the Tenth Amendment or adequately allege the federal defendants encroached on a specific power reserved to the states.

On January 21, 2021, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice. The plaintiffs' claims were based on the Trump administration's alleged animus against Black Lives Matter and other groups protesting for racial justice. When Joe Biden was elected President, the change in administration mooted the plaintiffs' claims. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Jack Hibbard (8/4/2020)

Emily Kempa (3/11/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17375125/parties/black-lives-matter-chicago-v-wolf/


Judge(s)

Pallmeyer, Rebecca R. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Art, Steven Edwards (Illinois)

Bedi, Sheila A. (Illinois)

Brown, Ruth Z. (Illinois)

Donnell, Heather Lewis (Illinois)

Futterman, Craig B. (Illinois)

Hagy, Lindsay (Illinois)

Kleinhaus, Theresa (Illinois)

Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois)

Mogul, Joey L. (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Pallmeyer, Rebecca R. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Art, Steven Edwards (Illinois)

Bedi, Sheila A. (Illinois)

Brown, Ruth Z. (Illinois)

Donnell, Heather Lewis (Illinois)

Futterman, Craig B. (Illinois)

Hagy, Lindsay (Illinois)

Kleinhaus, Theresa (Illinois)

Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois)

Mogul, Joey L. (Illinois)

Owens, David B (Washington)

Rickert, Julia (Illinois)

Shiller, Brendan (Illinois)

Snow, Christian (Illinois)

Starr, Sean (Illinois)

Taylor, G. Flint (Illinois)

Thomson, Brad (Illinois)

Wang, Elizabeth C. (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cooney, Nigel B (Illinois)

Flannery, Kathleen M (Illinois)

Johnson, Patrick Walter (Illinois)

Lausch, John R. (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Black Lives Matter Chicago v. Wolf

Jan. 22, 2021 Docket
1

Complaint

Black Lives Matter Chicago v. Wolf

July 23, 2020 Complaint
9

First Amended Complaint

Black Lives Matter Chicago v. Wolf

July 31, 2020 Complaint
19

Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss

Black Lives Matter Chicago v. Wolf

Oct. 2, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17375125/black-lives-matter-chicago-v-wolf/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
7

Fifth Amended General Order 20-0012 IN RE: CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 PUBLIC EMERGENCY Signed by the Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer on July 10, 2020. This Order does not extend or modify any deadlines set in civil cases. No motions may be noticed for in-person presentment; the presiding judge will notify parties of the need, if any, for a hearing by electronic means or in-court proceeding. See attached Order. Signed by the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer on 7/10/2020. Mailed notice. (rp, ) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 10, 2020 PACER
1

COMPLAINT filed by National Lawyers Guild Chicago, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, #LetUsBreathe Collective; Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0752-17244262.(Kleinhaus, Theresa) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 RECAP

case assigned

July 23, 2020 PACER
2

CIVIL Cover Sheet (Kleinhaus, Theresa) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 PACER
3

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Jonathan I. Loevy (Loevy, Jonathan) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 PACER
4

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Steven Edwards Art (Art, Steven) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 PACER
5

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Elizabeth C. Wang (Wang, Elizabeth) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 PACER

CASE ASSIGNED to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer. Designated as Magistrate Judge the Honorable Heather K. McShain. Case assignment: Random assignment. (jn, )

July 23, 2020 PACER
6

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Heather Lewis Donnell (Donnell, Heather) (Entered: 07/23/2020)

July 23, 2020 PACER
8

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Brendan Shiller (Shiller, Brendan) (Entered: 07/26/2020)

July 26, 2020 PACER

SUMMONS Issued as to Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, Richard K. Cline, Alysa Erichs, Regina Lombardo, Mark A. Morgan, L. Eric Patterson, Timothy J. Shea, Donald W. Washington, Chad Wolf, Christopher Wray, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Attorney General (dxb, )

July 27, 2020 PACER

summons issued as to USA

July 27, 2020 PACER
9

AMENDED complaint by National Lawyers Guild Chicago, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, #LetUsBreathe Collective against All Defendants (Kleinhaus, Theresa) (Entered: 07/31/2020)

July 31, 2020 PACER
10

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Brad Thomson (Thomson, Brad) (Entered: 08/03/2020)

Aug. 3, 2020 PACER
11

ATTORNEY Appearance for Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit by Sheila A Bedi (Bedi, Sheila) (Entered: 08/04/2020)

Aug. 4, 2020 PACER
12

SUMMONS Returned Executed by National Lawyers Guild Chicago, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, #LetUsBreathe Collective as to Matthew T. Albence served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; William Barr served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Richard K. Cline served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Alysa Erichs served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Regina Lombardo served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Mark A. Morgan served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; L. Eric Patterson served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Timothy J. Shea served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Donald W. Washington served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Chad Wolf served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020; Christopher Wray served on 7/28/2020, answer due 9/28/2020 (Art, Steven) (Entered: 08/26/2020)

Aug. 26, 2020 PACER
13

DESIGNATION of Nigel B Cooney as U.S. Attorney for Defendants Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, Richard K. Cline, Alysa Erichs, Regina Lombardo, Mark A. Morgan, L. Eric Patterson, Timothy J. Shea, Unknown Agents and Officers of the United States 1-10, Donald W. Washington, Chad Wolf, Christopher Wray (Cooney, Nigel) (Entered: 09/29/2020)

Sept. 29, 2020 PACER
14

DESIGNATION of Kathleen Marie Flannery as U.S. Attorney for Defendants Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, Richard K. Cline, Alysa Erichs, Regina Lombardo, Mark A. Morgan, L. Eric Patterson, Timothy J. Shea, Donald W. Washington, Chad Wolf, Christopher Wray (Flannery, Kathleen) (Entered: 10/01/2020)

Oct. 1, 2020 PACER
15

MOTION by Defendants Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, Richard K. Cline, Alysa Erichs, Regina Lombardo, Mark A. Morgan, L. Eric Patterson, Timothy J. Shea, Donald W. Washington, Chad Wolf, Christopher Wray for leave to file excess pages (Unopposed) (Flannery, Kathleen) (Entered: 10/01/2020)

Oct. 1, 2020 PACER
16

DESIGNATION of Patrick Walter Johnson as U.S. Attorney for Defendants Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, Richard K. Cline, Alysa Erichs, Regina Lombardo, Mark A. Morgan, L. Eric Patterson, Timothy J. Shea, Unknown Agents and Officers of the United States 1-10, Donald W. Washington, Chad Wolf, Christopher Wray (Johnson, Patrick) (Entered: 10/02/2020)

Oct. 2, 2020 PACER
17

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer: Defendants' unopposed motion for leave to file brief in excess of 15 pages 15 is granted to 20 pages. Notice mailed by judge's staff (ntf, ) (Entered: 10/02/2020)

Oct. 2, 2020 PACER
18

MOTION by Defendants Alysa Erichs, Christopher Wray, Donald W. Washington, Timothy J. Shea, Richard K. Cline, Mark A. Morgan, Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, L. Eric Patterson, Unknown Agents and Officers of the United States 1-10, Regina Lombardo, Chad Wolf to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. (Flannery, Kathleen) (Entered: 10/02/2020)

Oct. 2, 2020 PACER
19

MEMORANDUM by Matthew T. Albence, William Barr, Richard K. Cline, Alysa Erichs, Regina Lombardo, Mark A. Morgan, L. Eric Patterson, Timothy J. Shea, Unknown Agents and Officers of the United States 1-10, Donald W. Washington, Chad Wolf, Christopher Wray in support of motion to dismiss/lack of jurisdiction, 18 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1-3)(Flannery, Kathleen) (Entered: 10/02/2020)

1 Exhibit 1-3

View on PACER

Oct. 2, 2020 RECAP
20

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer: Defendants' motion to dismiss 18 is taken under advisement. Plaintiffs' response shall be filed by 11/10/2020. Defendants' reply in support shall be filed by 12/1/2020. Notice mailed by judge's staff (ntf, ) (Entered: 10/06/2020)

Oct. 6, 2020 PACER
21

MOTION by Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit for extension of time to file response/reply as to motion to dismiss/lack of jurisdiction, 18 (Kleinhaus, Theresa) (Entered: 11/09/2020)

Nov. 9, 2020 PACER
22

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer: Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for extension of time to respond 21 is granted. Date for Plaintiffs to respond to the motion to dismiss is extended to November 24, 2020. Reply date is extended to December 15, 2020. Notice mailed by judge's staff (ntf, ) (Entered: 11/10/2020)

Nov. 10, 2020 PACER
23

MOTION by Plaintiffs #LetUsBreathe Collective, Black Abolitionist Network, Black Lives Matter Chicago, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, First Defense Legal Aid, Good Kids/Mad City, National Lawyers Guild Chicago, South Siders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Washington Baltimore News Guild, CWA Local 32035, In These Times Unit for extension of time to file response/reply as to motion to dismiss/lack of jurisdiction, 18 (Art, Steven) (Entered: 11/24/2020)

Nov. 24, 2020 PACER
24

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer:Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for extension of time to respond to Defendants' pending motion to dismiss 23 is granted as follows: Plaintiffs' response shall be filed by 1/21/2021. Defendants' reply in support shall be filed by 2/18/2021. Notice mailed by judge's staff (ntf, ) (Entered: 11/25/2020)

Nov. 25, 2020 PACER
25

STIPULATION of Dismissal (Kleinhaus, Theresa) (Entered: 01/21/2021)

Jan. 21, 2021 RECAP
26

MINUTE entry before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer: Pursuant to the parties' stipulation of dismissal 25, this case is dismissed with prejudice. Defendants' motion to dismiss 18 is terminated. Civil case terminated. Notice mailed by judge's staff (ntf, ) (Entered: 01/22/2021)

Jan. 22, 2021 PACER

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Policing

Special Collection(s):

Police Violence Protests

Litigation Against Federal Police (2020)

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 23, 2020

Closing Date: Feb. 22, 2021

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Several activist groups, a news organization, a DSA of Chicago, and National Lawyers Guild

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

Loevy & Loevy

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matthew Albence, Federal

Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan, Federal

Attorney General William Barr, Federal

Director of Federal Protective Services L. Eric Patterson, Federal

Director of U.S. Marshals Service Donald Washington, Federal

Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Christopher Wray, Federal

Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency Timothy Shea, Federal

Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Regina Lombardo, Federal

Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1985

Constitutional Clause(s):

Petitions clause

Unreasonable search and seizure

Federalism (including 10th Amendment)

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Excessive force

False arrest

Over/Unlawful Detention

Pepper/OC spray