Chicago Police DepartmentSpecial Order S08-04
Disseminating Information in Civil or Criminal Legal Actions and in Civil Suits Against Department Members
Issue Date:13 December 2002Effective Date:14 December 2002
Rescinds:S02-20
Index Category:Professionalism
I.Purpose
This directive establishes procedures for Department members to follow:
  • A.prior to disseminating information pertaining to civil or criminal legal actions.
  • B.when civil suits are brought against members as a result of actions taken while in the performance of their official duties.
II.Policy Regarding the Dissemination of Department Information
Persons who are not members of official governmental agencies may seek to obtain oral or written statements from Department members regarding traffic accidents and other matters of police concern. Department rules and regulations prohibit members from disseminating information relating to police matters, except as provided for by Department directive. Additionally, in the absence of a subpoena or a court order, members will not disseminate information when:
  • A.the City of Chicago may be liable for damages (such as when a citizen is injured because of a broken sidewalk, a malfunctioning street light, a hole in the street, or as a result of an injury occurring under similar circumstances).
  • B.the member is unwilling to give a statement.
III.Witness Statements
  • A.The General Counsel to the Superintendent will be responsible for coordinating subpoenas, oral or written requests for appearances, and required notifications.
  • B.The Records Services Division will assist the General Counsel to the Superintendent in coordinating subpoenas, oral or written requests for appearances, and required notifications, as directed by the General Counsel.
  • C.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify before any grand jury, members will:
    • 1.immediately notify their unit commanding officer.
    • 2.except in those instances when the member is the arresting or investigating officer, forward a copy of the subpoena or request and a To-From-Subject report, indicating the grand jury number, date, time, and the reason an appearance is required, to the Superintendent of Police, Attention: General Counsel to the Superintendent, through the appropriate chain of command.
  • D.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify for the defense in a criminal prosecution within Cook County on behalf of any person, corporation, or business firm, members will immediately notify:
    • 1.their unit commanding officer.
    • 2.the Chief, Felony Trial Division, Cook County States Attorneys Office.
  • E.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify for the defense or a plaintiff in any criminal case outside Cook County, members will:
    • 1.immediately notify their unit commanding officer.
    • 2.submit a copy of the subpoena or request and a To-From-Subject report, indicating the date, time, a brief summary of the case, and the reason an appearance is required, to the Superintendent of Police, Attention: General Counsel to the Superintendent, through the appropriate chain of command.
  • F.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify for the plaintiff or defense on behalf of any person, corporation, or business firm suing or making a claim against the City of Chicago (or any of its agencies) and prior to making any appearance at any deposition, trial, or hearing, or before discussing any of the facts of the case with any claimant or party suing the City of Chicago (or any of its representatives) members will notify:
    • 1.the Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel, Individual Defense Litigation Division, if the letter "C" appears in the case docket number.
    • 2.the Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel, Torts Division, if the letter "C" does not appear in the case docket number.
    • 3.the Office of Legal Affairs.
  • G.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify in any civil case in which they are to appear in their official capacity as representatives of the Chicago Police Department and a claim is not being made against the City or any of its agencies, members will:
    • 1.immediately notify their unit commanding officer.
    • 2.submit a copy of the subpoena or request and a To-From-Subject report, indicating the date and time of the anticipated appearance and a brief summary of the case, to the Commanding Officer, Office of Legal Affairs, through the appropriate chain of command.
  • H.District / unit commanding officers will ensure that the Assistant Corporation Counsel assigned to a civil matter involving the City is immediately notified when a member is unable to attend an arbitration or court hearing.
  • I.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify before the License Appeals Commission, members will immediately notify:
    • 1.their unit commanding officer.
    • 2.the Commanding Officer, License Investigation Unit, Vice Control Section.
    • 3.the Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel, Municipal Prosecutor, Mayors License Commission Division.
  • J.When Department members are subpoenaed or requested to testify in any civil or criminal case in a jurisdiction outside the State of Illinois, members will notify the Extradition Officer for guidance in the members required response to an out-of-state subpoena and the procedures to follow with respect to the members assignment status, court attendance, travel arrangements, and related Department directives, and:
    • 1.if it is a civil case, comply with the procedures outlined in Item III-G.
    • 2.if it is a criminal case, comply with the procedures outlined in Item III-D.
  • K.When a defense attorney requests an interview with a Department member regarding a criminal case, the member will notify the Assistant States Attorney assigned to the case, if known, or otherwise seek the advice of the Chief, Felony Trial Division, as outlined in Item III-D-2.
  • L.If a member receives a check for a court hearing scheduled for a future date, the member will retain the check until the actual court date and:
    • 1.if notified by the subpoenaing attorney that an appearance is not required, return the check to the Office of Legal Affairs, along with a photocopy of the subpoena and a To-From-Subject report, indicating the reason an appearance is not required.
    • 2.after appearing in court, endorse the check and print "FOR DEPOSIT ONLY-CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT" and forward it to the Finance Division, along with a photocopy of the subpoena, through the appropriate chain of command.
      NOTE:
      The provisions outlined in Item III-L-2 apply when a member has appeared in court during regular duty hours or has been compensated with either time or money by the Department for a court appearance.
  • M.If a district / unit receives a subpoena requiring a court appearance for a member who is on furlough or who is on the medical roll and is not ambulatory, the members district / unit secretary, or an authorized designee of the district / unit commanding officer, will return the subpoena to the Office of Legal Affairs indicating the members expected date of return to duty.
IV.Department Member Named as a Defendant in a Civil Suit
  • A.Personal service of a summons is the delivery of a notice by an authorized person to a member who is officially notified of a legal proceeding in which the member is involved.
    • 1.Personal service of a summons and complaint is required before a court can assert jurisdiction over a defendant in a civil suit.
    • 2.In an action in state court, the Illinois Rules of Civil Procedure state that personal service is made when a copy of a summons is left with the member or at the members residence with a family member over the age of twelve, and the service is accompanied by an explanation of the contents of the summons.
    • 3.In an action in federal court, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure state that personal service is made when a summons is mailed to the member or the conditions outlined in Item IV-A-2 are met.
  • B.While being served with a subpoena, Department members will cooperate with any attorney, sheriff, bailiff, or other person authorized by a court to serve the subpoena.
  • C.The command staff member of the Human Resources Division, will provide persons authorized by a court with the home address of a member who is going to be served with a summons.
    NOTE:
    The Office of Legal Affairs may be contacted for guidance when determining whether or not a person is authorized to serve a summons.
  • D.Procedures
    • 1.Members who are served with a summons in which the member is named as a defendant as a result of actions taken while in the performance of their official duties will immediately submit a photocopy of the complaint and summons and a To-From-Subject report indicating the date, time, and manner in which the summons and complaint were received to:
      • a.the Superintendent of Police, Attention: General Counsel to the Superintendent; and
      • b.the Chief, Internal Affairs Division.
    • 2.Within twenty-four hours after receiving a summons and complaint in which a member is named as a defendant in matters related to police employment, the member will submit to the district/unit commanding officer:
      • a.photocopies of the complaint and summons.
      • b.a To-From-Subject report, indicating the date, time, and manner in which the summons and complaint were received.
      • c.photocopies of relevant case reports, arrest reports, and related documents.
    • 3.When a member is served a summons by mail concerning a federal lawsuit, the member will comply with the procedures outlined in Item IV-D-1 and:
      • a.sign the receipt acknowledging service of the summons.
      • b.mail the receipt to the plaintiffs attorney.
      • c.attach a photocopy of the signed receipt to the To-From-Subject report.
    • 4.When more than one member is named as a defendant, all named defendants will submit individual To-From-Subject reports, as outlined in Item IV-D-1.
  • E.District / unit commanding officers will ensure that the requirements of this directive are met and will indicate their review and approval by signing the To-From-Subject report and forwarding it along with its attachments to the Superintendent of Police, Attention: General Counsel to the Superintendent.
  • F.Members are advised to retain copies of relevant documents and reports.
Terry G. Hillard
Superintendent of Police
02-004 VPT [PMD]