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$327,500 to 77-Year-Old for Civil Rights Violations

by Christopher Zoukis

An elderly Chicago woman was awarded $327,500 in damages for the violation of her civil rights by overzealous and misinformed Chicago police officers. The June 28, 2013 verdict awarded damages for embarrassment and humiliation, injury to reputation and emotional distress.

Merien Macon and her 83-year-old husband were approached by Cook County, Illinois sheriff's deputies attempting to serve a warrant on their son for unpaid child support. The officers pointed their weapons at the elderly couple and demanded information about the whereabouts of their son. When Merien Macon invoked her right to remain silent, she was arrested for obstruction of justice. She was handcuffed, frisked, booked, and spent five hours in the Cook County, Illinois jail.

Had the officers bothered to check, they would have seen that a court had deemed Macon's son not to be the father of the child in question.

Macon sued the sheriff officers for violating her civil rights and causing her to suffer humiliation, damages to reputation, emotional distress and anxiety. After a five day trial, the jury came in for Macon, awarding her $150,000 for embarrassment and humiliation, $37,500 for injury to her reputation, and $140,000 for anxiety and emotional distress.

Macon was represented by Elizabeth Kaveny and Brian Monico of the Chicago law firm Burke Wise Mahoney Kaveny LLC.

Case: Macon v. Anthony, et al., Cook County, Illinois County Court, Case No. 10 L 12835 (June 28, 2013).

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Related legal case

Macon v. Anthony



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