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Suit Claims Longer Courthouse Wait for Out-of-County Attorneys Is Unconstitutional

Posted Dec 20, 2011 11:37 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A lawyer in LaSalle County southwest of Chicago sees a constitutional violation in his long courthouse wait in suburban Will County.

Gary Peterlin claims in a federal class action suit (PDF) that he is forced to endure longer courthouse waits because of his out-of-county status in what amounts to a violation of the equal protection clause, Courthouse News Service reports. His suit names the sheriff and the bar association in Will County as defendants.

Peterlin says he was forced to buy a membership in the Will County Bar Association so he could bypass courthouse security procedures and bring his cell phone into the courthouse. “The distinction between the two groups of lawyers bear no rational relationship to promoting and securing courthouse safety or any other legitimate governmental purpose,” the suit claims.

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