Illinois Hall of SHAME!, p5

(Last updated September 1, 2005)

Disclaimer:  Legal information is not legal advice.  Only a lawyer can provide you with legal advice.

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If you have been mistreated by the Courts in this way, or if you know of others that have, Please click on the letter to e-mail me and share your story!

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Monique Mitchell, a 4+ months pregnant African-American woman from South Holland, Illinois was summoned for jury duty by the Cook County Circuit Court in May 2005.  She was picked to serve on a jury.  Soon after, Monique was feeling ill, and was told by her doctor not to go to the second day of  her jury duty.  She telephoned the court and said she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be able to report as ordered.

The judge issued a warrant for Monique’s arrest.  Monique was arrested on May 31, 2005, taken from her home, wearing only her nightgown, and jailed!!  She spent three days in jail, held with no bond. 


William Hooks, one of Monique’s attorneys, said the judge sentenced her without summoning her for a hearing to see if he should hold her in contempt of court.


After she was released on a $25,000 signature bond, Monique was ordered to report to the judge’s courtroom on Monday, June 13, 2005, to face a citation for contempt of court.  When the date of the hearing arrived, congregants from the Trinity United Church of  Christ  (Monique’s South Side church) packed the courtroom and overflowed into the hallway.  The courtroom had several tense moments, and sheriffs deputies were called to restore calm.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge dismissed a contempt of court citation.

Later, he offered an apology, but had the nerve to stress the importance of jurors’ taking their civic duty seriously!. 


“Judge Admits Error, Apologizes”, by Tom Rybarczyk, Chicago Tribune, June 14, 2005

“Judge Apologizes For Jailing Pregnant Woman who called in sick for Jury Duty”, The Associated Press

“Juror who took hike freed from Cook jail”, by Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune, June 4, 2005

Trinity United Church of Christ Church Bulletin, June 12, 2005

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