Melrose Park, IL. (ECWd) –
This Criticism contains allegations of violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, focused harassment, racist language utilized by the Mayor throughout public assembly, and extreme fines, amongst others (article accommodates vulgar language from the Criticism).
On February 22, 2021, Plaintiffs (two 80 12 months outdated Illinois residents and their caregiver) filed go well with in United States District Courtroom for the Northern District of Illinois in opposition to the Village of Melrose Park (“VMP”) and its Mayor, Ronald Serpico, after the 80 12 months outdated couple had been cited by the City for placing up Christmas Lights this previous vacation season.
The plaintiffs had been additionally cited for putting garden chairs on the entrance garden of their house and on their entrance porch.
From the Criticism:
- Two Melrose Park octogenarian residents. They discovered themselves on the middle of a coordinated marketing campaign of harassment by sure VMP officers. Defendants issued Plaintiffs over 53 bogus tickets and quite a few parking tickets in retaliation for asserting sure constitutional rights. These tickets occurred on a close to each day foundation since
December 2020. Plaintiffs now face over $26,000.00 in fines together with a property lien for $15,500.00. Plaintiff’s son Michael has acquired threatening telephone calls and his automobile was vandalized. The VMP has demonstrated no indication that it intends to halt its code enforcement in opposition to Plaintiffs
- The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the significance of socially distant types of expression, making the appropriate to have chairs on one’s private property much more poignant. COVID-19 continues to influence the nation and has been particularly impactful in Prepare dinner County. COVID-19 additionally has disproportionately impacted senior residents.
- All through the pandemic, Vincent and Angeline’s garden chairs have been the most secure solution to socially distance themselves from others with out turning into socially remoted or uncovered to Covid-19.
VMP additionally complained in regards to the Plaintiff’s flag, political signal, and spiritual decorations, issuing two tickets totaling $1000.
Plaintiffs tried to adjust to the tickets, however had been unsuccessful in assembly with the Code Enforcement Officer. A neighbor tried to help, however was informed by Code Enforcement Officer to “keep out of the matter.”
- Confronted with few choices, Michael started to attend varied public conferences in Melrose Park and put up public Fb movies and statements to convey consideration to those grievances and criticize the VMP’s remedy of his mother and father.
- In response to Plaintiffs’ purported non-compliance and public grievances, Defendants started a focused marketing campaign to bully, harass, and retaliate in opposition to them for asserting their constitutional rights.
- The acts constituting harassment and retaliation by the Defendants embody repeatedly issuing Plaintiffs tickets, ringing their doorbell to ship tickets on Saturdays and Sundays, leaving warning notes, improperly surveilling and patrolling Plaintiffs’ home, placing a lien on their property, and threatening Michael with bodily violence.
Round December 1, 2020, Plaintiffs adorned their entrance yard for Christmas, and had been met later that day with Code Enforcement Officers demanding they “put that muddle away” as a result of their boss had acquired nameless complaints about their chairs, political signal, political flag, and Christmas decorations.
Alleged parking violations and extra tickets quickly adopted, with a minimum of 53 extra $500 per offense municipal code violations citations. These totaled greater than $26,000.
Later, verbal assaults by cops and village staff had been lodged in opposition to Plaintiffs, together with as soon as when a an worker drive by, slowed down, rolled his window down, and stated “you are fortunate I do not get out of this automobile and beat your ass.”
Plaintiffs acquired loss of life threats – one from 312-480-8765, and the opposite from a restricted quantity:
- “Wait until I see you. I’m splitting your curly wig, you lifeless beat Cunt. That is my neighborhood; you finest get the fuck out earlier than we make you get out.”
- “Pay attention, you sheep head motherfucker. I’m going placing to place a bit behind your motherfucking cranium. I’m going to fuck your mom and your father. Get the fuck out of Melrose Park earlier than you catch a fucking beating. Do you perceive me, you fucking cunt motherfucker? Do you’ve gotten any concept who the fuck you’re fucking with? You’ll be lifeless, you motherfucker. I’m telling you one time. Final fucking time I’m going to
name you, you piece of shit cunt motherfucker.”
Plaintiff’s automobile window was then damaged on Dec twentieth.
The Mayor refused to allow Plaintiff to talk throughout public remark at an open public assembly in January, 2021.
Whereas refusing his proper to speak, Mayor Serpico started a profanity-laden and racial tirade as said beneath:
Serpico: Let me inform you one thing, you’re fortunate . . . I’m going to inform you one thing, you’re actually reaching me. So, do me a fucking favor and sit down and shut the fuck up. How’s that? You little fucking prick. Go on, shake your fucking head. You’re nothing however a fucking punk.
Serpico: Since you’re a jag off!
Michael: What did I do to you?
Serpico: YOU’RE A JAG OFF! You appear to be a fucking shine on fifth [ave] since you’re doing it to bust fucking balls. That’s what you’re doing. So, go fuck your self! GO FUCK YOURSELF!
Michael: You guys are busting my balls. Do you know my window bought damaged?
Serpico: I give a fuck about your window. Like I fear about your fucking home once I drive previous it. Now do me a favor and go sit down and shut up.
Michael: Clearly, you do.
Serpico: Yeah, since you dwell like a bit of shit. You’re like a fucking hillbilly. You’re like a hillbilly!
Michael: There’s chairs exterior. We’re not bothering no one [sic].
Serpico: Oh Mike, you’re doing it on goal, please. Belief me, you might be.
Learn the Criticism (HERE), or beneath, it will get worse…