Major Portions of Pavlins’ Case against Sheriff’s Department Going to Trial

The stained glass door at the Pavlins' unincorporated Crystal Lake home was shattered.

Major parts of the case filed July 17, 2009, by Crystal Lake senior citizens Jerome and Carla Pavlin against McHenry County has withstood attempts to have it dismissed and will go to trial in Federal Judge Frederick Kapala’s new Rockford courtroom.

Pavlin attorney Louis Meyer summarizes the decision:

“The Court ruled that the entry into the Pavlin home was a constitutional violation.

“We won that count. That was a big reason that Bianchi’s office dismissed the criminal charges (with prejudice). The Federal Judge agreed with Bianchi’s office that the officers did not have legal authority to barge into the Pavlin’s home to arrest their son who did not live there.”

The defendants were

  • JEREMY BRUKETTA, Star 1909
  • KYLE MANDERNACK, Star 1726
  • TREVOR VOGEL, Star 1773
  • RYAN LAMBERT, Star 1941
  • GREG PYLE, Star 1672
  • DAVID SHEPHERD, Star 142

During last year’s election against Democrat Mike Mahon, Sheriff Keith Nygren got the Illinois State Police to write a report that cleared his deputies of wrongdoing.

Going against the wishes of Sheriff Nygren, McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi refused to prosecute the Pavlins for the felonies with which they were charged. based at least in part on what then-Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler told him about what he knew of the incident.  (Seipler’s involvement is mentioned in the decision.)

In June of last year Nygren’s new Undersheriff Andy Zinke used the exculpatory State Police report to attack McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi in the Northwest Herald.  It resulted in this sharply-worded retort from Bianchi.

November 10, 2011, Judge Frederick Kapala entered a decision on requests for summary judgments from both sides of the lawsuit.

Glass fragments litter the entryway of the Pavlins' home.

He explains, quoting a court case, that summary judgment can only be entered “if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”

The judge decided the following Pavlin claims can go to trial:

  • whether unlawful entry occurred
  • whether Deputy Kyle Mandernack had probable cause to arrest Jerome and Carla
  • whether the excessive force claim against Jerome by Kyle Mandernack and Tevor Vogel is valid
  • whether the defendants conspired to violate the Pavlins’ Fourth Amendment rights

Louis J. Meyer of Meyer & Kiss is representing the Pavlins. Stephen E. Balogh represents the Sheriff’s Deputies.

The entire decision can be found here.
= = = = =
The Fourth Amendment says,

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


Major Portions of Pavlins’ Case against Sheriff’s Department Going to Trial — 5 Comments

  1. And we keep paying for these shots back and forth between these two political camps…It really is getting old.

  2. I don’t understand how we are paying for the shots back and forth between these political camps.

    I read all the pages that Skinner posted and all I see is that there is evidence to show that the Pavlins were victims of bad cops.

    Bianchi should be proud that he didn’t just go along with the felony charges.

    The most telling part of the judges decision is where he talks about the unlawful entry and says you can’t escape INTO a house.

    You have to escape OUT OF a house.

    Do they not teach that idea in the academy anymore?

    I think these deputies should start worrying that they one day may have to escape into their jail cells.

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