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Human Rights Defense Center v. Will County, IL, Complaint, Public Records, 2022

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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE TWELFTH JUDICIAL
WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER,
Plaintiff,
v.
WILL COUNTY STATE’S
ATTORNEY’S OFFICE,
Defendant.

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)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)

Andrea Lynn Chasteen
Will County Circuit Clerk
Twelfth Judicial Circuit Court
Electronically Filed
2022CH000017
Filed
Date:
2/7/2022
2:20 PM
CIRCUIT,
Envelope: 16603192
Clerk: RLH

2022CH000017

COMPLAINT
NOW COMES Plaintiff, HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER (“HRDC”), by the
undersigned attorneys, Loevy & Loevy, and brings this suit to overturn Defendant WILL
COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE’s (“WCSAO”) willful violation of the Illinois
Freedom of Information Act in improperly asserting FOIA’s undue burden provision in response
to HRDC’s request for non-exempt records showing the payment of legal claims involving the
Will County Sheriff’s Office. While WCSAO had no statutory basis to combine multiple
separate requests into a single request, in an effort to avoid litigation, HRDC offered a 90calendar-day extension to WCSAO, but WCSAO refused. In support of the Complaint, HRDC
states as follows:
INTRODUCTION
1.

Pursuant to the fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of

government, it is the public policy of the State of Illinois that all persons are entitled to full and
complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of
those who represent them as public officials and public employees consistent with the terms of
the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). 5 ILCS 140/1.

 50$

2.

Restraints on access to information, to the extent permitted by FOIA, are limited

exceptions to the principle that the people of this state have a right to full disclosure of
information relating to the decisions, policies, procedures, rules, standards, and other aspects of
government activity that affect the conduct of government and the lives of the people. 5 ILCS
140/1.
3.

Under FOIA Section 1.2, “[a]ll records in the custody or possession of a public

body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying. Any public body that asserts that a
record is exempt from disclosure has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence
that it is exempt.” 5 ILCS 140/1.2.
PARTIES
4.

Plaintiff HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER (“HRDC”) is a non-profit

organization and made the FOIA request at issue in this case.
5.

Defendant WILL COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE (“WCSAO”) is a

public body located in Will County, Illinois.
BACKGROUND
6.

On September 14, 2021, HRDC submitted a FOIA request to WCSAO for “all

claims or lawsuits brought against Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will County Jail, and/or any
of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were disbursed from
either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016, to
present.”
7.

On September 17, 2021, WCSAO denied the request in full by stating that it is not

a proper request.
8.

HRDC obtained the case numbers and claim numbers that meet the above criteria

through a FOIA request to Will County Department of Finance.
-2-

SIX SEPARATE FOIA REQUESTS
9.

Between October 29, 2021, and November 11, 2021, HRDC submitted six

separate FOIA requests (collectively, the “Requests”) to WCSAO for 1) the “complaint or claim
form and any amended versions” and 2) the “verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement,
consent decree, or other paper that resolved the case” for various claims or lawsuits brought
against the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will County Jail, and/or any of their employees or
agents. To aid WCSAO’s search, HRDC provided a list with the Plaintiff’s or Claimant’s names
and the corresponding case or claim numbers. Each Request sought records for no more than
fifteen cases and claims. In total, HRDC sought records from 81 cases and claims. Group
Exhibit 1.
10.

For HRDC’s first three Requests, WCSAO sought an extension of five business

days, respectively on November 5, November 9, and November 12, 2021. Group Exhibit 2.
11.

On November 15, 2021, WCSAO combined HRDC’s Requests, denied all

Requests by claiming that they are “unduly burdensome,” and invited HRDC to confer about
narrowing the scope of the Requests. Exhibit 3.
12.

In this letter and its subsequent correspondences, WCSAO failed to acknowledge

HRDC’s November 10, 2021 Request and erroneously stated that there were five Requests at
issue. Compare Ex. 1 with Ex. 3.
13.

Even though WCSAO’s “undue burden” claim was improper because FOIA does

not authorize public bodies to combine multiple separate requests into a single request, HRDC
engaged in the confer and narrow process in an effort to avoid litigation.

-3-

14.

On November 19, 2021, HRDC asked WCSAO how much time it needs to

respond to the Requests and suggested that HRDC would extend the deadline for the Requests.
Exhibit 4.
15.

On December 3, 2021, WCSAO stated that the issue is the “volume” as it would

be “difficult to pull all the files.” Exhibit 5.
16.

On December 10, 2021, in an effort to alleviate WCSAO’s burden, HRDC offered

to extend the deadline to respond to the Requests by 90 calendar days. HRDC also suggested
that WCSAO can start the search from the most recent period and work its way back in time.
Exhibit 6.
17.

On December 30, 2021, WCSAO claimed that “even with the extension of time,”

the Requests are “unduly burdensome.” WCSAO stated that it would take more than “1 hour per
file.” Exhibit 7.
18.

By WCSAO’s own calculation, it would take approximately 81 hours (1 hour for

each claim or case), which is approximately 10 business days, to process the Requests.
19.

HRDC’s extension of 90 calendar days, which is about 60 business days, would

take WCSAO less than7 hours per week to process the Requests. This is more than enough time
for WCSAO to comply with the Requests without burdening its day-to-day operations.
20.

Even though HRDC significantly reduced the Requests to manageable portions by

offering the extension, WCSAO refused to comply with the Requests and denied them.
21.

Further, the public interest in the documents is significant as the records

responsive to the Requests would show the use of public funds to pay claims alleging
misconduct by law enforcement officials.

-4-

22.

As of the date of this filing, WCSAO has not complied with FOIA and has

produced no records responsive to the Requests.
COUNTS I-VI: HRDC’S SIX FOIA REQUESTS,
FAILURE TO PRODUCE RECORDS
23.

The above paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

24.

WCSAO is a public body under FOIA.

25.

The records sought in the FOIA Requests are non-exempt public records of

WCSAO.
26.

CCSAO violated FOIA by failing to produce records responsive to the Requests.
COUNTS VII-XII: HRDC’S SIX FOIA REQUESTS,
FAILURE TO PERFORM AN ADEQUATE SEARCH

27.

The above paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

28.

WCSAO is a public body under FOIA.

29.

WCSAO bears the burden of proving beyond material doubt that it performed an

adequate search for records responsive to the Requests.
30.

WCSAO has failed to come forward with sufficient evidence to carry this burden.

31.

WCSAO has violated FOIA by failing to adequately search for records responsive

to the Requests.
COUNTS XIII-XVIII: HRDC’S SIX FOIA REQUESTS,
WILLFUL AND INTENTIONAL VIOLATION OF FOIA
32.

The above paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

33.

WCSAO is a public body under FOIA.

34.

The records sought in the FOIA Requests are non-exempt public records of

WCSAO.

-5-

35.

During the time period of October 29, 2021, to present, WCSAO’s FOIA Officer

was aware that FOIA does not allow public bodies to combine multiple separate requests into a
single request.
36.

During the time period of October 29, 2021, to present, WCSAO’s FOIA Officer

was aware that FOIA does not allow public bodies to assert Section 3(g) as a basis to deny the
Requests because it is “too difficult” to comply with the requests.
37.

Because WCSAO had no good faith basis to deny the Requests pursuant to

Section 3(g) even after HRDC offered 90 calendar days to comply with the Requests, WCSAO
willfully and intentionally, or otherwise in bad faith, failed to comply with FOIA.
WHEREFORE, HRDC asks that the Court:
i.

declare that WCSAO has violated FOIA;

ii.

order WCSAO to conduct an adequate search for records responsive to the
Requests;

iii.

order WCSAO to produce the records responsive to the Requests;

iv.

enjoin WCSAO from withholding non-exempt public records under FOIA;

v.

order WCSAO to pay civil penalties;

vi.

award HRDC reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs; and

vii.

award such other relief the Court considers appropriate.

Dated: February 7, 2022

-6-

RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED,
/s/ Merrick J. Wayne
Attorneys for Plaintiff,
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER
Matthew Topic, ARDC #6290922
Josh Loevy, ARDC #6327897
Merrick Wayne, ARDC #6330610
Shelley Geiszler, ARC #6335917
LOEVY & LOEVY
311 North Aberdeen, 3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607
312-243-5900
foia@loevy.com

-7-

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Attachments:

FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Friday, October 29, 2021 11:01 AM
saofoia@willcountyillinois.com
Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
Will County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (1 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 10-29-21.pdf

To the Freedom of Information Officer:
Attached, please find a public records request from the Human Rights Defense Center; the text of this request is
duplicated in the body of this message.
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5
ILCS 140/1.
HRDC seeks the below specified records in 15 claims or lawsuits brought against the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will
County Jail, and/or any of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were disbursed from
either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016 to the present. These
payments include but are not limited to settlements, damages, attorney fee awards, and sanctions, irrespective of the
identity of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, HRDC requests records in the following cases, provided in electronic
native format where possible, and otherwise in electronic format:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Timothy Carter, claim no. 180315W037
Quinntin Gilber, claim no. 200508W010
Euron Matthews, case no. 14CV6003, claim no. 141201W006
Eboni Dockery, claim no. 180627W018
Ronald Johnson, claim no. 180627W018
Michael Bulger, claim no. 181023W002
Michael Hollis, claim no. 190617W008
James Davis, case no. 19CV3395, claim no. 190529W015
Gordon Dickson, claim no. 180227W005
Aaron Ortiz, claim no. 181004W035
Howard Cryer, claim no. 160407W015
Nathan Musur, claim no. 190516W018
Joseph Mescall, claim no. 160318W003
David Krivickas, claim no. 170324W003
Frank Orsini, claim no. 180227W005

For each case or claim detailed above, please include:


The complaint or claim form and any amended versions;



The verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, consent decree, or other paper that resolved the case.

If this request is denied in whole or part, please justify all denials by reference to specific exemptions. If any records
responsive to this request are denied in part, release all segregable portions of those records. Additionally, please outline
any administrative appeals process available.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $50. However, I
would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest
and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operation of the Will County Sheriff’s Office and how
local government manages taxpayer money. HRDC is a member of the news media and publishes two monthly
1

Exhibit 1

magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News. This request is being made for news gathering purposes. This
information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
Please contact me via email at FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org should you require any additional information.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Sincerely,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

2

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Attachments:

FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 9:28 AM
saofoia@willcountyillinois.com
Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
Will County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (2 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 11-2-21.pdf

To the Freedom of Information Officer:
Attached, please find a public records request from the Human Rights Defense Center; the text of this request is
duplicated in the body of this message.
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5
ILCS 140/1.
HRDC seeks the below specified records in 15 claims or lawsuits brought against the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will
County Jail, and/or any of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were disbursed from
either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016 to the present. These
payments include but are not limited to settlements, damages, attorney fee awards, and sanctions, irrespective of the
identity of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, HRDC requests records in the following cases, provided in electronic
native format where possible, and otherwise in electronic format:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

William Clark, claim no. 181217W007
Andrea Dunn, claim no. 200211W023
Jose Sanchez, claim no. 180628W022
Anna Faveron, claim no. 200302W002
Andrea Dunn, claim no. 180927W013
Winfred Richter, claim no. 191111W006
John Stroh, claim no. 180713W022
Myzekial Taylor, claim no. 190225W009
Violet Petkus, claim no. 170515W037
Arthur Unger, claim no. 190327W002
Amya Roberts, claim no. 160808W036
Jose Vasquez, claim no. 171016W036
Louise Goodman, claim no. 190418W001
Domonique Chamos, claim no. 160808W036
Christopher Ramirez, claim no. 160808W036, case no. 17L657

For each case or claim detailed above, please include:


The complaint or claim form and any amended versions;



The verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, consent decree, or other paper that resolved the case.

If this request is denied in whole or part, please justify all denials by reference to specific exemptions. If any records
responsive to this request are denied in part, release all segregable portions of those records. Additionally, please outline
any administrative appeals process available.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $50. However, I
would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest
and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operation of the Will County Sheriff’s Office and how
local government manages taxpayer money. HRDC is a member of the news media and publishes two monthly
1

magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News. This request is being made for news gathering purposes. This
information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
Please contact me via email at FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org should you require any additional information.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Sincerely,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

2

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Attachments:

FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Thursday, November 4, 2021 9:03 AM
saofoia@willcountyillinois.com
Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
Will County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (3 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 11-4-21.pdf

To the Freedom of Information Officer:
Attached, please find a public records request from the Human Rights Defense Center; the text of this request is
duplicated in the body of this message.
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5
ILCS 140/1.
HRDC seeks the below specified records in 15 claims or lawsuits brought against the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will
County Jail, and/or any of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were disbursed from
either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016 to the present. These
payments include but are not limited to settlements, damages, attorney fee awards, and sanctions, irrespective of the
identity of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, HRDC requests records in the following cases, provided in electronic
native format where possible, and otherwise in electronic format:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Erin Taylor, claim no. 170601W006
DeShawn Smith, claim no. 190115W028
Stephen Kimak, claim no. 131218W013
Vincent Shelby, claim no. 170315W026
Marques Hinton, claim no. 180823W013
Elisha Reichling, claim no. 180731W007
Santos Loza, Jr, claim no. 170222W023, case no. 16CV8111
Justin Wojtkowski, claim no. 140625W027
Michael Carey, claim no. 180215W008, case no. 17CV9297
Robert Troester, claim no. 180521W030
David Fonza, claim no. 170425W024
Joshua Jackson, claim no. 170124W032, case no. 17CV300
Dreiana Loggins, claim no. 170810W019, case no. 17CV7489
Rikia Fadir, claim no. 171107W013
Wincie Collins, claim no. 151007W029

For each case or claim detailed above, please include:


The complaint or claim form and any amended versions;



The verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, consent decree, or other paper that resolved the case.

If this request is denied in whole or part, please justify all denials by reference to specific exemptions. If any records
responsive to this request are denied in part, release all segregable portions of those records. Additionally, please outline
any administrative appeals process available.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $50. However, I
would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest
and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operation of the Will County Sheriff’s Office and how
local government manages taxpayer money. HRDC is a member of the news media and publishes two monthly
1

magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News. This request is being made for news gathering purposes. This
information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
Please contact me via email at FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org should you require any additional information.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Sincerely,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

2

Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Mon 11/8/2021 2:10 PM
To: States Attorney FOIA <saofoia@willcountyillinois.com>

To the Freedom of Information Officer:
Attached, please find a public records request from the Human Rights Defense Center; the text of this
request is duplicated in the body of this message.
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information
Act, 5 ILCS 140/1.
HRDC seeks the below specified records in 15 claims or lawsuits brought against the Will County Sheriff’s Office,
the Will County Jail, and/or any of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were
disbursed from either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016 to the
present. These payments include but are not limited to settlements, damages, attorney fee awards, and sanctions,
irrespective of the identity of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, HRDC requests records in the following cases,
provided in electronic native format where possible, and otherwise in electronic format:

1. Cleveland Grimes, claim no. 151028W037
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Denzil Lawrence, claim no. 170210W007, case no. 16CV9337
Robert Goldsmith, claim no. 140717W008
Robert Goldsmith, claim no. 160418W002
Martez R. Nabors Jr., claim no. 170206W006
Josh Fazio, claim no. 131014W011
Robert Moore, claim no. 161025W022, case no. 16CV8945
Whitley Klingler, claim no. 160725W003
John Norris, claim no. 160316W003, case no. 15CV7306
Eric Tremaine Heard, claim no. 160609W026
Cheryl Wilson, claim no. 1105160012
Kerwin Doss, claim no. 0905280009
Matthew Mangold, claim no. 170227W015
Euron Matthews, claim no. 150327W035, case no. 14CV6002
Viridian Galvan, claim no. 170425W014

For each case or claim detailed above, please include:
·
The complaint or claim form and any amended versions;
·
The verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, consent decree, or other paper that resolved the
case.
If this request is denied in whole or part, please justify all denials by reference to specific exemptions. If any
records responsive to this request are denied in part, release all segregable portions of those records. Additionally,
please outline any administrative appeals process available.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $50.
However, I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in
the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operation of the Will County
Sheriff’s Office and how local government manages taxpayer money. HRDC is a member of the news media and
publishes two monthly magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News. This request is being made for

news gathering purposes. This information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
Please contact me via email at FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org should you require any additional
information. Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Sincerely,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Attachments:

FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 9:12 AM
saofoia@willcountyillinois.com
Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
Will County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (5 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 11-10-21.pdf

To the Freedom of Information Officer:
Attached, please find a public records request from the Human Rights Defense Center; the text of this request is
duplicated in the body of this message.
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5
ILCS 140/1.
HRDC seeks the below specified records in 15 claims or lawsuits brought against the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will
County Jail, and/or any of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were disbursed from
either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016 to the present. These
payments include but are not limited to settlements, damages, attorney fee awards, and sanctions, irrespective of the
identity of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, HRDC requests records in the following cases, provided in electronic
native format where possible, and otherwise in electronic format:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.

Miguel Gonzalez, claim no. 160831W018, case no. 16CV8045
Alejandro Lara-Leyva, claim no. 160518W015
Mario Cooperwood, claim no. 160119W005
Brian Trainauskas, claim no. 150121W004, case no. 14CV4437
Derek Walsh, claim no. 150415W002, case no. 14CV6966
Peter McCloud, claim no. 160615W026, case no. 15CV7438
Daniel Fox, claim no. CL1-0018274
Bennie Gipson Jr., claim no. 151210W005
Tammy Butwil, claim no. 160623W008
Jennifer Raitt, claim no. 140807W007
Coretta Coleman, claim no. 0905280007
Blanca Haro, claim no. 1302250008
Dakota Lenzie, claim no. 151028W038
DeShawn Smith, claim no. 160226W003
Magda Markowska, claim no. 160127W021

For each case or claim detailed above, please include:

The complaint or claim form and any amended versions;

The verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, consent decree, or other paper that resolved the case.
If this request is denied in whole or part, please justify all denials by reference to specific exemptions. If any records
responsive to this request are denied in part, release all segregable portions of those records. Additionally, please outline
any administrative appeals process available.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $50. However, I
would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest
and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operation of the Will County Sheriff’s Office and how
local government manages taxpayer money. HRDC is a member of the news media and publishes two monthly
magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News. This request is being made for news gathering purposes. This
information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
1

Please contact me via email at FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org should you require any additional information.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Sincerely,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

2

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Attachments:

FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Friday, November 12, 2021 10:00 AM
saofoia@willcountyillinois.com
Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
Will County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (6 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 11-12-21.pdf

To the Freedom of Information Officer:
Attached, please find a public records request from the Human Rights Defense Center; the text of this request is
duplicated in the body of this message.
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5
ILCS 140/1.
HRDC seeks the below specified records in 6 claims or lawsuits brought against the Will County Sheriff’s Office, the Will
County Jail, and/or any of their employees or agents in which payments totaling $1,000 or more were disbursed from
either the Sheriff’s Office or its insurers to resolve claims against it between January 1, 2016 to the present. These
payments include but are not limited to settlements, damages, attorney fee awards, and sanctions, irrespective of the
identity of the plaintiff or claimant. Specifically, HRDC requests records in the following cases, provided in electronic
native format where possible, and otherwise in electronic format:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Ernest Lopez, claim no. 150423W026
Ernest Lopez Sr., claim no. 150423W026
Steven Chavez, claim no. 150423W026
Concepcion Lopez, claim no. 150423W026
Edward Green, claim no. 130917W011
Liam Cunningham, claim no. 140102W027

For each case or claim detailed above, please include:

The complaint or claim form and any amended versions;

The verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, consent decree, or other paper that resolved the case.
If this request is denied in whole or part, please justify all denials by reference to specific exemptions. If any records
responsive to this request are denied in part, release all segregable portions of those records. Additionally, please outline
any administrative appeals process available.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me if the cost will exceed $50. However, I
would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest
and will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of the operation of the Will County Sheriff’s Office and how
local government manages taxpayer money. HRDC is a member of the news media and publishes two monthly
magazines, Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News. This request is being made for news gathering purposes. This
information is not being sought for commercial purposes.
Please contact me via email at FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org should you require any additional information.
Thank you for your time and attention in this matter.
Sincerely,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
1

Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

2

JAMES W. GLASGOW
STATE'S ATTORNEY OF WILL COUNTY

Will County Court Annex

57 North Ottawa Street, Joliet, Illinois 60432
815-727-8453

November 5, 2021
Samantha Beauvais
Human Rights Defense Center
P.O. Box 1151
Lake Worth, FL 33498
Via E-mail to: FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org
Re:

FOIA Request dated October 29, 2021

Ms. Beauvais,
We are in receipt of your FOIA request dated October 29, 2021 and received by our
office on October 29, 2021 regarding your request for complaints, settlement agreements
and other records from fifteen different claims or lawsuits.
This letter is to inform you that we are extending the time to respond to your
request an additional five business days, pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/3(e), as the requested
records may be stored in whole or in part at other locations, the request requires the
collection of a substantial number of specified records, the request is couched in
categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it, the
requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the necessary
competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt or should be revealed only with
appropriate deletions, and the request for records cannot be complied with by us within the
time limits prescribed by 5 ILCS 140/3(d) without unduly burdening or interfering with the
operations of our office.
You should expect a further communication to be mailed or e-mailed by November
12, 2021.
Sincerely,

J. Daniel McGrath, Jr.
Assistant State’s Attorney

Exhibit 2

JAMES W. GLASGOW
STATE'S ATTORNEY OF WILL COUNTY

Will County Court Annex

57 North Ottawa Street, Joliet, Illinois 60432
815-727-8453

November 12, 2021
Samantha Beauvais
Human Rights Defense Center
P.O. Box 1151
Lake Worth, FL 33498
Via E-mail to: FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org
Re:

FOIA Request dated November 4, 2021

Ms. Beauvais,
We are in receipt of your FOIA request dated November 4, 2021 and received by
our office on November 4, 2021 regarding your request for complaints, settlement
agreements and other records from fifteen different claims or lawsuits.
This letter is to inform you that we are extending the time to respond to your
request an additional five business days, pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/3(e), as the requested
records may be stored in whole or in part at other locations, the request requires the
collection of a substantial number of specified records, the request is couched in
categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it, the
requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the necessary
competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt or should be revealed only with
appropriate deletions, and the request for records cannot be complied with by us within the
time limits prescribed by 5 ILCS 140/3(d) without unduly burdening or interfering with the
operations of our office.
You should expect a further communication to be mailed or e-mailed by November
19, 2021.
Sincerely,

J. Daniel McGrath, Jr.
Assistant State’s Attorney

JAMES lry. GLASGOW
STATE'S ATTORNEY OF WILL COUNTY
57 N. Ottawa Street . Joliet, Illinois 60432
TELEPHONE: 815-727-8453

.

FAX: 815-727-8405

November 15,2021
Samantha Beauvais

Human Rights Defense Center
foia@humanri ghtsdefensecenter. org

Via email
Re: FOIA

Ms. Beauvais,
This letter is in response to your October 29, November 2, 4, 8, and 12,2O2l FOIA's for
complaints, amended complaints, and "papers that resolved the case" for 86 separate cases. your
request is denied as unduly burdensome. 5 ILCS ru\BG). Your 5 letters for multiple cases both
individually and in the aggregate would disrupt the other statutory duties of this office by
requiring this office to locate the responsive files, identify what material may be responsive to
youl request, redact any exempt material, and then reproduce documents to provide them to you.
This would consume multiple days of staff time, which greatly would outweigh any benefit to
the public interest. We would be more than happy to consult with you and consider any ideas you
may have to reduce the burden of your request.

If you wish to contest this response you may do so judicially (under

$ 1 1 of this Act) or by
requesting review from a Public Access Counselor within 60 days (under
$9.5 of this Act). The
Public Access Counselor may be reached at I-877-299-3642 or Public Access Counselor, Office
of the Attomey General, 500 s. 2nd Street, Springf,reld,Illinois 62701.

Kevin Meyers
Assistant State's Attorney
GIS;"*-;PHHL49

Exhibit 3

RE: Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
To: States Attorney FOIA <saofoia@willcountyillinois.com>

Fri, Nov 19, 2021 at 9:26 AM

Good Morning,

I have reviewed your letter and would like to extend the deadline for production in order to make the requests less burdensome.
How long would you need to respond to these requests in a more convenient way? Do you have any other suggestions on how to
reduce the administrative burden?

Best regards,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

From: Kevin Meyers <kmeyers@willcountyillinois.com> On Behalf Of States Attorney FOIA
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2021 5:06 PM
To: FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Subject: RE: Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center

Please see the attached.

Exhibit 4

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:

Kevin Meyers <kmeyers@willcountyillinois.com> on behalf of States Attorney FOIA
<saofoia@willcountyillinois.com>
Friday, December 3, 2021 10:29 AM
FOIA General Mailbox
RE: Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center

Follow Up Flag:
Flag Status:

Follow up
Flagged

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. The main issue is the volume in my estimation, it would be exceeding
difficult to pull all the files (some which are many years old, and would have to be traced to see if they had been
destroyed in accordance with state record laws) and then go through what might be fairly voluminous files looking for
the responsive record. Some of these cases may have been handled by outside counsel which would increase the
expense and burden.
Is there a general area of information you are looking to gather data on, that I may be able to approach this from in a
different direction?
From: FOIA General Mailbox [mailto:FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org]
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2021 9:26 AM
To: States Attorney FOIA <saofoia@willcountyillinois.com>
Subject: RE: Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center

CAUTION: This email originated from outside your organization. Exercise caution when opening attachments
or clicking links, especially from unknown senders.
Good Morning,
I have reviewed your letter and would like to extend the deadline for production in order to make the requests less
burdensome. How long would you need to respond to these requests in a more convenient way? Do you have any other
suggestions on how to reduce the administrative burden?
Best regards,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

Exhibit 5

Samantha Beauvais
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:
Attachments:

FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Friday, December 10, 2021 1:42 PM
States Attorney FOIA
RE: Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
Will County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (1 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 10-29-21.pdf; Will
County States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (2 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 11-2-21.pdf; Will County
States Attorney - 2016-2021 V&SI (3 of 7) - HRDC Records Request 11-4-21.pdf

Good Afternoon,
Thank you for your response. I believe that the original request was very clear and I don’t see a way to narrow it further.
That being said, I am willing to extend the period of time to respond to the request by 90 calendar days in order to reduce
the administrative burden. If it would help, you can also start the records search by looking for the more recent
cases/complaints (originally requested on 10/29, 11/2, and 11/4). I’ve attached the original requests here for reference.
Best regards,

Samantha Beauvais
Public Records Manager &
Development Coordinator
Human Rights Defense Center
Prison Legal News
M: 561-305-4643

From: Kevin Meyers <kmeyers@willcountyillinois.com> On Behalf Of States Attorney FOIA
Sent: Friday, December 3, 2021 10:29 AM
To: FOIA General Mailbox <FOIA@humanrightsdefensecenter.org>
Subject: RE: Public Records Request from the Human Rights Defense Center
I apologize for not getting back to you sooner. The main issue is the volume in my estimation, it would be exceeding
difficult to pull all the files (some which are many years old, and would have to be traced to see if they had been
destroyed in accordance with state record laws) and then go through what might be fairly voluminous files looking for
the responsive record. Some of these cases may have been handled by outside counsel which would increase the
expense and burden.
Is there a general area of information you are looking to gather data on, that I may be able to approach this from in a
different direction?

Exhibit 6

JAMES lry. GLASGOW
STATE'S ATTORNEY OF WILL COUNTY
57 N. Ottawa Street . ]oliet, Illinois 60432
TELEPHONE: 815-727

-8453' FAX: 815'727-8405

December 30,2021
Samantha Beauvais

Human Rights Defense Center
foia@humanri ghtsdefens ecenter. org

Via email
Re: FOIA

Ms. Beauvais,
This letter is in response to your October 29, November 2,4, 8, and 12,2021FOIA's for
complaints, amended complaints, and "papers that resolved the case" for 86 separate cases. After
our denial of November 15, 2021,you and I have corresponded about narrowing the scope, and
you indicated that you could not narrow it in any appreciable way. Therefore, even with the
extension of time you allowed us, this request is unduly burdensome. To comply, we would have
to locate the archived files (as they are not stored electronically), review each file, find the
documents to make sure that we provided exactly what you were seeking, and then copy them in
whatever format you would accept. At a minimum I would expect that this would take more than

I hour per file. As

such, your request is denied.

response you may do so judicially (under $ 1 1 of this Act) or by
requesting review from a Public Access Counselor within 60 days (under $9.5 of this Act). The
Public Access Counselor may be reached at l-877-299-3642 or Public Access Counselor, Off,rce
of the Attorney General, 500 S. 2nd Street, Springfield,Illinois 62701.

If you wish to contest this

Kevin Meyers
Assistant State'
6rGp.E

prsPLAq

s

Exhibit 7

Attorney
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