Case: Newell v. City of Elgin

Docket Not Available | Illinois state trial court

Filed Date: 1976

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 27, 1973, a motorcyclist was allegedly run off the road by a squad car, strip searched, and then unlawfully imprisoned. He filed this case in state court against the city of Elgin, Illinois, and three other municipalities, and eight individual police officers for damages.The state trial judge (John S. Petersen, J., Circuit Court, Kane County) dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, but gave no grounds. However, he stated, incorrectly, in open court that the question …

On September 27, 1973, a motorcyclist was allegedly run off the road by a squad car, strip searched, and then unlawfully imprisoned. He filed this case in state court against the city of Elgin, Illinois, and three other municipalities, and eight individual police officers for damages.

The state trial judge (John S. Petersen, J., Circuit Court, Kane County) dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim, but gave no grounds. However, he stated, incorrectly, in open court that the question of police officer immunity had not been decided, and that the plaintiff should take his case to a higher court. Plaintiff appealed.

On appeal, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second district, Second Division, (Judges Rechenmacher, Moran and Dixon) reversed and remanded. Newell v. City of Elgin, 34 Ill. App.3d 719 (Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, Second Division, 1976). Relying on Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the court stated that the plaintiff had alleged facts which amounted to willful and wanton negligence of the police officers. The court also held that while the eight individual defendants may be subject to exemplary damages, the four municipalities named as defendants would not be, as the limit of their potential liability would be actual damages. Finally, the court instructed that in consideration of the trial judge's statements, the case be reassigned to a different judge.

We have no further information about this case.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (3/22/2012)

Richard Jolly (10/25/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Rechenmacher, LeRoy L. (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Rechenmacher, LeRoy L. (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

74-444

Opinion

Illinois state appellate court

340 N.E.2d 344

Jan. 6, 1976

Jan. 6, 1976

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1976

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Motorcyclist who alleged that the reckless driving of Elgin police officers caused him to run off the road and resulting in physical injuries and who also alleges that he was unlawfully imprisoned and subject to unlawful search and seizure.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Elgin (Elgin), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Search policies

Strip search policy

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run