County Settles Case Against Sheriff’s Department for Violating Dr. and Mrs. Jerome Pavlin’s Fourth Amendment Search Protections

You may remember that McHenry County Sheriff’s Department deputies were found by Federal Judge Frederick Kapola to have violated the U.S. Constitutional rights of Dr. Jerome and Carla Pavlin.

The Fourth Amendment to be specific.

Here’s what that part of the U.S. Constitution 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.”

He made that finding in his decision to allow major parts of the case to go to trial.

The Sheriff’s Department’s attorneys appealed the decision, but that motion to reconsider was denied.

They entered the couple’s home on March 14, 2008, without a search warrant and hurt both husband and wife.

The Pavlins’ entryway after the illegal search. Photo credit: McHenry County Sheriff’s Department.

And who was arrested?

The Pavlins.

This is the case in which information supplied by Zane Seipler, which he heard before he was fired by Sheriff Keith Nygren, led McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi to dismiss charges brought by the Sheriff’s Department.

This is also the case the State Police investigated, finding nothing amiss. The State Police did not interviewed the Pavlins or Seipler.  Seipler was listening over the radio to the incident.

“I can tell you my clients are happy with the settlement,” winning attorney Louis Meyer said.

“As the record stands the Deputies violated the Pavlins’ Fourth Amendment Rights to be free from unreasonable searches. There is a Federal Court Decision that states that.

“The Deputies will now all have that decision out there in the public where the Judge ruled they violated the Pavlins’ constitutional rights.

“This was a large settlement in my opinion.”

Settlements were reached with both Carla and Jerome Pavlin.

Mrs. Pavlin will get $200,000.

Mr. Pavlin $100,000.

Chicago Tribune reporter Bob McCoppin broke the story and found that local taxpayers only have to foot $100,000.

As of mid-June, 2011, the legal fees only exceeded that amount.

The rest is paid by an insurance policy.

No admission of liability on the part of any of the defendants, of course.

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

You can read a summary of the case here.

The County summarizes it like this:

“Plantiff alleges false arrest, excessive force, failure to intervene, illegal search, of home civil conspiracy, malicious persecution.”

The case, as it was filed in July of 2009 is here.

You can read the settlement with Carla Pavlin below:

Dr. Jerome Pavlin’s settlement is below:


County Settles Case Against Sheriff’s Department for Violating Dr. and Mrs. Jerome Pavlin’s Fourth Amendment Search Protections — 7 Comments

  1. The amount they got did not include what the lawyers were paid . That will be separate.

  2. Bruketta was involved in this too?

    Who the hell is this guy?

    Is he still a deputy?

  3. “Chicago Tribune reporter Bob McCoppin broke the story and found that local taxpayers only have to foot $100,000″ (of the $300,000 settlement). …”The rest is paid by an insurance policy.”

    I grow weary of this oft-repeated refrain: “We’re really only paying $X, because insurance is covering $Y”. It is patently incorrect.

    Insurance companies are not charities. Their executives are not philanthropists. If, over time, they pay out more than they take in, then they go broke.

    In other words — insurance settlements are not benevolent gifts. They’re not free money.

    Payouts are predicated on premiums. And citizens surely are paying handsomely for the county’s insurance coverages.

    Look at it this way: we the taxpayers pay full freight, no matter what the circumstance. In this instance, McHenry County will pay $100,000 directly to the Pavlins. $200,000 will be disbursed to the couple indirectly in what amounts to a roll-off against the county’s insurance premiums.

    Ain’t no free lunch. Ever.

  4. Oscar, yes Bruketta is still a deputy.

    So is the ever famous Greg Pyle, indicted in 10 counts of predatory sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14.

    These are just some of the favorites employed by Nygren.

  5. Would the expensive shenanigans by the sheriff end if Jack gets his way?

  6. More tax dollars wasted because of incompetent people and nothing is changed. Someone should be fired for wasting $300k of tax dollars due to them breaking the law!

    I totally agree with Scott’s point…in the long run (with the premium hikes) this will cost the taxpayers WAY more than $300k!

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