Why Louis Meyer Filed the Pavlins’ Illegal Search & Seizure Case in Federal Court

Sheriff’s Deputies apparently forced themselves into Dr. Jerome and Carla Pavlin’s home in unincorporated Crystal Lake.

A commenter asked why Dr. Jerome and Carla Pavlin’s Fourth Amendment case against the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department was filed in Federal Court, rather that State Court (since the same right is contained in the Illinois State Constitution).

I asked their attorney Louis Meyer and here’s his reply:

“You can file these claims in both State and Federal Court.

“The reason most people file constitutional claims in Federal Court under Section 1983, is that the prevailing party is entitled to their attorneys’ fees and costs.

“You do not get attorneys’ fees in state court claims.

“If you file a Federal Civil Rights claim in state court, the Defendants can remove it to Federal Court.

“If you file just a state claim, they cannot remove.”

The last sentence in Meyer’s explanation wasn’t clear to me so I requested amplification.¬† It is below:

“What that means is that if you file a lawsuit and only alleges state law claims v. federal claim, the case will remain in state court pending a few exceptions.

“On the other hand, if you file a lawsuit in state court and allege federal claims (state courts can hear these cases) such as Section 1983 False Arrest or Section 1983 Illegal search, the Defendants can remove the case to federal court. Section 1983 is the Federal Statue that allows civilians to bring lawsuits against State/government¬†actors.”


Why Louis Meyer Filed the Pavlins’ Illegal Search & Seizure Case in Federal Court — 1 Comment

  1. Cal, thanks for looking into this.

    It makes sense given the system we currently have.

    I just wished we had a system that was Federalist in nature insteed of the Nationist one we have.

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