Will Co. (ECWd) -
Will County Judge Harvey ordered John Norton to stay 1,000 feet away from a Wilmington resident in a no stalking/no contact case. We have been told that Norton has violated the 1000 foot restriction and that the local police failed to enforce the order. Such a failure to perform their duty was not taken lightly by the resident's attorney who basically put the police department on notice that they could face a federal civil rights case if such failures continue.
"Please be advised that I represent Connie Forsythe, Petitioner in the above-entitled action. Ms. Forsythe has been granted a plenary no stalking/no contact order that prohibits John Norton from being within 1,000 feet of Ms. Forsythe. Nevertheless, it has come to my attention that officers from your department refused to enforce the Circuit Court's order because Mr. Notion has a convenient excuse as to why he elected to undertake action against the language of the Court's order. It is not the province of uniformed officers to make legal assumptions or refuse to enforce an order that calls for enforcement of the order.
"In fact, the failure of your officers to enforce the court's order may give rise to a complaint against your department for violating the civil rights of Ms. Forsythe pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 et seq."
"Accordingly, and with respect to you and your officers, it is a reasonable assumption that the officers will enforce the plenary order as promulgated by the Circuit Court. To the extent that there is further refusal to enforce the terms of the plenary order, I will advise my client to exercise her rights."
When a court issues an order the public needs to be able to trust that the order will be enforced by the police. When the police fail to do their job, the public trust is lost and the person who should be stopped from violating the order becomes emboldened to violate the order again and potentially putting the victim at further risk of harm.
A copy of the letter can be viewed below or downloaded at this link.
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