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 Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC.
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.
Two lawyers from Myron M. Cherry & Associates, LLC, Myron Cherry and Jacie Zolna, were appointed as class counsel in the case.