Truly Amazing What People Do: Parents, Sheriff and States Attorney Found Liable In Federal Court Tri
Truly amazing to read and consider the facts set out in the following article from the March 2, 2018 edition of the Chicago Daily law Bulletin. In view of the newsworthy contents, I’ve pasted the article in full because you have to read it to believe it.
“Parents owe $970K to daughter in civil rights suit
By Jordyn Reiland Law Bulletin staff writer
A downstate federal jury has awarded nearly $1 million to a Lawrenceville woman who claimed her mother and stepfather conspired with local law enforcement to take away her child.
Plaintiff Jade Green filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Illinois in July 2016 against her mother, Angela Howser, stepfather, Jack Howser, Lawrence County Sheriff Russell Adams and then-Lawrence County State’s Attorney Christopher M. Quick.
Adams and Quick settled with Green for $75,000 prior to trial, according to Green’s attorney H. Kent Heller of Heller, Holmes & Associates in Mattoon.
In August 2014, Green lived with her daughter and husband in a home owned by her mother and stepfather. When Green told her parents they planned to move out of the home, they tried to get custody of Green’s daughter, Heller said.
He said Green’s parents threatened to publish inappropriate pictures of their daughter in The Disclosure, a Calhoun-based newspaper they own.
They filed several orders of protection against Green that wouldn’t let her see with her daughter and pursued criminal charges against her in Richland, Lawrence and Saline Counties.
The lawsuit alleged Quick and Adams conspired with the Howsers and, on Nov. 5, 2014, Adams allegedly told his deputies to arrest Green at 2 a.m. on theft charges.
Heller said that at the time of the arrest Quick ordered his department to place Green’s daughter in the custody of the Howsers.
At the trial in East St. Louis, Heller argued his client was denied her right to due process when her child was taken away from her and placed in the custody of her parents without her consent.
As a result of this instance, Heller said his client had to pay significant attorney fees while she worked to get her daughter back.
The defense argued at trial that Green consented to her daughter being placed with the Howsers, Heller said.
Jurors awarded the $970,000 verdict on Feb. 22 after a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Stephen C. Williams of the Southern District of Illinois.
The verdict comprised $250,000 in pain and suffering; $100,000 for loss of companionship; $120,000 for attorney fees and $500,000 in punitive damages.
Heller said his client was pleased with the result and looks forward to returning to her life.
“I think like everybody they are just glad to get through this chapter and get on with other matters,” he said.
Jack and Angela Howser were represented by Morgan Scroggins of Scroggins Law Office Ltd. in Granite City. He could not be reached for comment.
The case in the Southern District of Illinois is Jade Green v. Chris Quick, et al., No. 16 C 863.”