Court Security

Lawyer Is Criminally Charged, Accused of Causing Disturbance While Making Courthouse Filing

Updated: An Illinois lawyer has been criminally charged for allegedly behaving in “a loud or aggressive manner” while making a filing Wednesday at the Lake County Courthouse.

Lee Fainman, 37, who practices in the Chicago area, was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of a police officer, according to the Chicago Tribune.

However, all charges were subsequently dropped against Fainman, as a later post details.

Sgt. Sara Balmes of the Lake County Sheriff’s department told the newspaper soon after Fainman’s arrest that a court clerk pushed a panic button at 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday as Fainman was filing paperwork at the court concerning a personal matter and that the lawyer refused to give sheriff’s deputies identification. Arrested over the incident, Fainman was released on $5,000 bond after posting 10 percent, the Tribune says.

“It is unusual for us to arrest an attorney, but considering the fact that he alarmed the clerks … that was a concern for us,” said Balmes. “We have pretty good relationships with everyone who works in the courthouse, but we do have to ensure safety.”

Fainman told the newspaper he caused no disruption and was simply trying to make a filing to seek a substitute judge. He said the clerk refused to make the filing because she thought he hadn’t done it right, which exceeded the parameters of her job.

He said he spent eight hours at the county jail before he was bonded out by a family member, the Tribune reports.

“Before I knew it there were five police officers with guns around me,” said Fainman. “I was shocked. I said, ‘Is there really a reason for officers with guns?’ ”

Updated on Jan. 2 to include comments made by Fainman after the Tribune initially published its article online and on March 6 to include information about the charges against Fainman being dropped.

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