Update: Negotiations Continue On Lawsuit Against DeKalb County

May 2, 2013

A lawsuit filed last summer against DeKalb County is still alive. But most of the action is happening behind closed doors.

DeKalb County violates the state and federal constitutional rights of arrested people in many ways, according to a lawsuit filed by attorney Sheldon Nagelberg. He represents Adrian Chaney, who was arrested in July 2010 on a drug charge. According to the lawsuit, there were numerous violations of Chaney’s constitutional rights, including illegal search and seizure, by DeKalb County and Sycamore law enforcement during the arrest. Then Chaney was held, first in jail, and then under electronic surveillance, for nearly a year before he was given a preliminary hearing. That, the lawsuit says, violated Chaney’s right under the state constitution to a prompt hearing.

Nagelberg further alleges in the lawsuit that these actions were common practice under then DeKalb County State’s Attorney Clay Campbell, and sought class action status for the suit.

The only public actions since the suit was filed have been status hearings in federal court. The judge granted continuances as the case was being prepared, and Nagelberg began talks with Campbell about the possibility of a settlement. 

At the latest hearing held March 20 in Rockford, the judge granted another stay while Nagelberg and current State’s Attorney Richard Schmack continue negotiations toward a settlement. Neither side will give any details about those negotiations, other than to acknowledge that they are taking place.