Case: Ledford v. City of Highland Park, Illinois

1:00-cv-04212 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: July 12, 2000

Closed Date: 2005

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 12, 2000, Michael and Karen Ledford, African-Americans, filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for alleged unconstitutional racial profiling by the City of Highland Park, Illinois Police Department [HPPD]. The Ledfords were represented by attorneys from ACLU and private counsel. Plaintiffs alleged violations of their rights as secured by the Fourth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI. Shor…

On July 12, 2000, Michael and Karen Ledford, African-Americans, filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for alleged unconstitutional racial profiling by the City of Highland Park, Illinois Police Department [HPPD]. The Ledfords were represented by attorneys from ACLU and private counsel. Plaintiffs alleged violations of their rights as secured by the Fourth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI. Shortly after the initial filing, plaintiffs moved for class certification and the parties filed a joint motion for entry of a consent decree.

The origin of the case was an employment action, Watt v. Highland Park Police Department, No. 98-cv-8123 (N.D. Ill.). The Watt plaintiffs initially alleged a host of retaliatory actions directed against officers for union activities, and also that they were encouraged to engage in racial profiling. The accusations of discrimination were highly publicized and produced significant public concern. In response, the City retained former U.S. Attorney Tom Sullivan to conduct an independent race discrimination investigation.

According to a summary of it at http://www.aele.org/zoufal.html, the Sullivan investigation concluded that there was not a widespread practice of racial profiling or discriminatory conduct and that no such practice was taught or encouraged by the department or its command staff. The report did conclude, however, that at least one officer and possibly others was likely involved in profiling Hispanics for traffic stops. It also concluded that the command staff was "remiss in not directly addressing the subject of racial profiling giving clear direction to all officers. . . [and] ensuring compliance with those directions. . . " Independent Counsel's Report at p. 177.

The same summary states that the report made a number of recommendations, including:

1) issuance of a general order prohibiting profiling activities in specific and discriminatory practices in general;

2) sensitivity training for officers;

3) creation of a preprinted card to be issued whenever an officer makes a stop (vehicular or pedestrian) with instructions and a "hot line" number for lodging a citizen's complaint;

4) amendment of traffic citation forms to require recording of the "apparent race" of the person cited, together with recordkeeping concerning every stop or frisk conducted, the age, race and gender of persons stopped, whether a search was conducted, and whether consent was given;

5) statistical analysis of all stops and review on a quarterly basis to determine whether or not racial profiling is occurring;

6) use of in-car video to record all traffic stops; and

7) enhanced community outreach.

The report also included recommendations to increase efforts toward minority recruitment in hiring and a specific recommendation for an internal human relations program for the department, as well as recommendations on promotional and disciplinary issues.

This lawsuit was filed a few months later, simultaneously with a proposed class settlement/consent decree.

On July 31, 2000, the District Court (Judge William T. Hart), granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The District Court also granted in part and denied in part the joint motion for entry of the consent decree and set the matter for a fairness hearing. Ledford v. City of Highland Park, 2000 WL 1053967 (N.D.Ill. July 31, 2000).

A modified consent decree was filed on August 2, 2000, which the District Court preliminarily found to be a fair and reasonable settlement. Plaintiffs filed class notice documents including a Spanish-language version of class notice.

On September 27, 2000, a fairness hearing was held. The District Court granted the defendant's motion to amend the proposed consent decree and overruled objections to the settlement that were filed by individual class members. The individual objectors appealed. On January 16, 2001, the Seventh Circuit dismissed the appeal for failure to prosecute.

The terms of the consent decree included:

• A prohibition of racial profiling and racial discrimination of any kind by HPPD officers;

• Documentation of various information (including race) for every incident involving a stop, detention, interrogation and/or search by HPPD;

• Installing audio and video equipment in each HPPD patrol vehicle;

• Implementation of a citizen complaint system;

• Training officers in cultural diversity issues.

The parties agreed that the Consent Decree would terminate five years after its date of entry, or two years earlier if the department was in compliance with various provisions and there had not been any racial profiling during the term of the decree, or plaintiffs' attorneys considered the response to any such allegation "effective, timely and adequate."

The terms of this Consent Decree were incorporated by reference into the Memorandum of Agreement that ended the U.S. Department of Justice's similar investigation into the same department. See related cases, below.

The docket does not include any further entries, so presumably the matter was closed in 2005.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/10/2007)

Related Cases

DOJ 14141 investigation of Highland Park Police (Illinois), No Court (2000)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5102504/parties/ledford-v-highland-pk-cty-of/


Judge(s)

Hart, William Thomas (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baldwin, Roger (Illinois)

Fischer, Matthew (Illinois)

Greenwalt, Paul E. III (Illinois)

Grossman, Harvey (Illinois)

Morehouse, Carolyn (Illinois)

Morgan, Keevan David (Illinois)

Schwartz, Adam D. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carr, James R. (Illinois)

Elrod, Steven M. (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Hart, William Thomas (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baldwin, Roger (Illinois)

Fischer, Matthew (Illinois)

Greenwalt, Paul E. III (Illinois)

Grossman, Harvey (Illinois)

Morehouse, Carolyn (Illinois)

Morgan, Keevan David (Illinois)

Schwartz, Adam D. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carr, James R. (Illinois)

Elrod, Steven M. (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:00-cv-04212

Docket (PACER)

Ledford v. the City of Highland Park, Illinois

March 3, 2003

March 3, 2003

Docket
1

1:00-cv-04212

Complaint

Ledford v. the City of Highland Park, Illinois

July 12, 2000

July 12, 2000

Complaint

1:00-cv-04212

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Ledford v. the City of Highland Park, Illinois

2000 WL 1053967, 2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11101

July 31, 2000

July 31, 2000

Order/Opinion

1:00-cv-04212

Consent Decree

Ledford v. the City of Highland Park, Illinois

Oct. 5, 2000

Oct. 5, 2000

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5102504/ledford-v-highland-pk-cty-of/

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT - Civil cover sheet - Appearance(s) of Harvey Michael Grossman and Adam D. Schwartz as attorney(s) for plaintiffs (original and one copy of summons(es) issued.) (Documents: 1-1 through 1-3). (srb) (Entered: 07/14/2000)

July 12, 2000

July 12, 2000

RECEIPT regarding payment of filing fee paid; on 7/12/00 in the amount of $150.00, receipt #1067508. (srb) (Entered: 07/14/2000)

July 12, 2000

July 12, 2000

6

MOTION by plaintiffs for certification of plaintiff class (Attachment); Memorandum in support; Notice (ar) (Entered: 07/24/2000)

July 12, 2000

July 12, 2000

7

JOINT MOTION by plaintiffs and defendant for entry of consent decree (Attachments); Notice (ar) (Entered: 07/24/2000)

July 12, 2000

July 12, 2000

2

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for plaintiffs by Paul Edwin Greenwalt III, Matthew J. Fischer, Carolyn L. Morehouse (ar) (Entered: 07/18/2000)

July 17, 2000

July 17, 2000

3

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for defendant by Steven M. Elrod and James Roland Carr ; Notice (las) Modified on 07/19/2000 (Entered: 07/19/2000)

July 18, 2000

July 18, 2000

4

MINUTE ORDER of 7/19/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : Leave given plaintiffs' to file, instanter, additional appearance of attorneys Paul E. Greenwalt, Matthew J. Fischer and Carolyn L. Morehouse, of Schiff Hardin & Waite. No notice. (las) (Entered: 07/20/2000)

July 19, 2000

July 19, 2000

5

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for plaintiffs by Paul E. Greenwalt, Matthew J. Fischer and Carolyn L. Morehouse (las) (Entered: 07/20/2000)

July 19, 2000

July 19, 2000

8

MINUTE ORDER of 7/19/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : Plaintiffs' motion for certification of plaintiff class [6-1] and joint motion for entry of consent decree [7-1] are entered and continued. Ruling on said motions will be by mail. Mailed notice (ar) (Entered: 07/24/2000)

July 19, 2000

July 19, 2000

10

CONSENT DECREE by parties ; Notice (las) (Entered: 08/04/2000)

Aug. 2, 2000

Aug. 2, 2000

11

MINUTE ORDER of 8/4/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : The modified consent decree filed on 8/2/00 is preliminarily found to be a fair and reasonable settlement. Paragraph 10's waiver of costs, expenses, and fees is construed as being limited to costs, expenses, and fees in the present case. It does not waive any unnamed class member's claim for costs, expenses, or fees in any suit for damages. Mailed notices by judge's staff. (las) (Entered: 08/07/2000)

Aug. 4, 2000

Aug. 4, 2000

12

MOTION by defendant for modification of 7/27/00 order (Attachments); Notice (las) (Entered: 08/17/2000)

Aug. 14, 2000

Aug. 14, 2000

13

AGREED MOTION by plaintiffs to file spanish-language version of class notice (Attachment); Notice (las) (Entered: 08/17/2000)

Aug. 14, 2000

Aug. 14, 2000

14

AMENDMENT by defendant to its motion for modification of 7/27/00 order [12-1] (Attachment) (las) (Entered: 08/17/2000)

Aug. 16, 2000

Aug. 16, 2000

15

MINUTE ORDER of 8/16/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : Agreed motion to file spanish-language version of class notice is granted [13-1]. Defendant's motion for modification of the 7/27/00 order is granted [12- 1]. Counsel to submit draft order. No notice. (las) (Entered: 08/17/2000)

Aug. 16, 2000

Aug. 16, 2000

16

OBJECTIONS by certain class members' Lorenzo Rodriguez, Roberto Calderon, James Lockhart and Lee Pratt to proposed settlement (Attachments) ; Notice (las) (Entered: 09/13/2000)

Sept. 12, 2000

Sept. 12, 2000

18

RESPONSE by plaintiffs to the objectioons to the proposed consent decree of Lorenzo Rodriguez, Roberto Calderon, James Lockhart and Lee Pratt [16-1](Attachment); Notice. (cem) (Entered: 09/26/2000)

Sept. 20, 2000

Sept. 20, 2000

23

MOTION by defendant City of Highland Park to amend proposed consent decree by defendant City of Highland Park (Attachment); Notice (hp) (Entered: 10/02/2000)

Sept. 20, 2000

Sept. 20, 2000

17

RESPONSE by defendant to certain class members' objections to proposed settlement [16-1]; Notice. (mw) (Entered: 09/25/2000)

Sept. 21, 2000

Sept. 21, 2000

19

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for plaintiffs by Keevan David Morgan. (cem) (Entered: 09/26/2000)

Sept. 25, 2000

Sept. 25, 2000

21

MINUTE ORDER of 9/25/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : Objectors are given leave to file side-bound the Report of Thomas P. Sullivan to the Highland Park City Council. No notice (rmm) Modified on 09/28/2000 (Entered: 09/28/2000)

Sept. 25, 2000

Sept. 25, 2000

22

REPLY by class members' Lorenzo Rodriguez, Roberto Calderon, James Lockhart, Lee Pratt in support of their settlement objections [16-1]; Notice. (cem) (Entered: 09/29/2000)

Sept. 26, 2000

Sept. 26, 2000

24

MINUTE ORDER of 9/27/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : Fairness hearing held. Defendant's motion to amend proposed consent decree is granted. [23-1] Parties are to submit signature order. Mailed notice (hp) (Entered: 10/02/2000)

Sept. 27, 2000

Sept. 27, 2000

25

MINUTE ORDER of 10/5/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : (Entered Consent Decree.) terminating case Mailed notice by judge's staff (tlm) (Entered: 10/06/2000)

Oct. 5, 2000

Oct. 5, 2000

26

NOTICE OF APPEAL by objectors Lorenzo Rodriquez, Roberto Calderon, James Lockhart, Lee Pratt from order terminating case [25-1], minute order [25-2] ( $105.00 PAID) (mak) (Entered: 11/01/2000)

Oct. 27, 2000

Oct. 27, 2000

27

LETTER regarding docketing statement acknowledged by counsel for objectors (mak) (Entered: 11/01/2000)

Oct. 27, 2000

Oct. 27, 2000

RECEIPT No 1045955 in the amount of $105.00 payment of appeal (mak) (Entered: 11/01/2000)

Oct. 27, 2000

Oct. 27, 2000

TRANSMITTED to the 7th Circuit the short record on appeal [26-1] . Mailed notice to all counsel. (mak) (Entered: 11/01/2000)

Nov. 1, 2000

Nov. 1, 2000

28

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of receipt of short record on appeal [26-1] USCA 00-3863. (mw) (Entered: 11/07/2000)

Nov. 6, 2000

Nov. 6, 2000

29

CIRCUIT Rule 3(b) Notice (las) (Entered: 11/08/2000)

Nov. 8, 2000

Nov. 8, 2000

TRANSMITTED to the 7th Circuit the long record on appeal no. 00- 3863 consisting of one volume of pleadings and one volume loose pleadings on appeal [26-1] Mailed notice to all counsel. (mak) (Entered: 11/17/2000)

Nov. 17, 2000

Nov. 17, 2000

30

COPY of Order dated 1/16/01 from the 7th Circuit. It is ordered that this appeal is dismissed for failure to prosecute( 00-3863). (las) (Entered: 01/19/2001)

Jan. 18, 2001

Jan. 18, 2001

31

CERTIFIED COPY of order from the 7th Circuit: It is ordered that this appeal is dismissed for failure to prosecute [26-1] . ( 00-3863) (yap) (Entered: 02/09/2001)

Feb. 7, 2001

Feb. 7, 2001

32

LETTER from the 7th Circuit returning the record on appeal no. 00-3863 consisting of 1 volume of pleadings and 1 volume of pleadings (yap) (Entered: 02/09/2001)

Feb. 7, 2001

Feb. 7, 2001

9

MINUTE ORDER of 7/27/00 by Hon. William T. Hart : Plaintiffs' motion for certification of plaintiff class is granted [6-1] in part and denied in parat. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(2), a class is certified. Joint motion for entry of consent de cree is granted [7-1] in part and denied in part. The notice contained in the Appendix to this opinion shall be published (see Opinion for particulars). Fairness hearing set for 1:30 p.m. on 09/27/00. By 09/22/00, plaintiffs shall file with the court all comments of class members that they have received. Any response to comments or objections that a party desires to file shall be filed by 09/2/200. Entered Memorandum Opinion and Order. (Attachment) Notices mailed by judge's staff (jmp)

July 27, 2000

July 27, 2000

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 12, 2000

Closing Date: 2005

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All persons who have in the past and are likely in the future to be subjected to any policy, practice or custom which has the result of or requires HPPD officers to target persons for stops, detentions, et., on the basis of race or ethnicity.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of Highland Park, Illinois Police Department (City of Highland Park, Illinois ), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2000 - 2005

Issues

General:

Racial profiling

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination