Settlement in Anti-War Class Action Gets Court Approval

Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit Against City of Chicago Gets Preliminary Approval

We have good news to report to you regarding the settlement of the class action lawsuit, Vodak v, City of Chicago, et al., stemming from the March 20, 2003 anti-Iraq war protest.

On Monday, May 14, District Court Judge Virginia Kendall granted preliminary approval of the class action settlement. Now, it is up to the Chicago City Council to approve the settlement and it is scheduled for a vote in June, 2012.

Assuming City Council approves the settlement, potential Class members will be mailed information this summer about how a class member can claim her or his award from the Claims Administrator, Class Action Administration, Inc. Within the next six weeks class members should receive, via regular mail or e-mail or both, a description of the claims process, the forms they will need to fill out and instructions on where to mail them once they have filled them out. It is important that class members timely complete the forms and mail them in, because if they do not, they will not receive an award.

This settlement results from the actions of Chicago Police in responding to a protest on March 20, 2003 against the war in Iraq. On that evening, Chicago Police established police lines on Chicago Avenue, just east of Michigan Avenue, detaining over 700 people, including several hundred who were taken to a police station.

On February 10, 2012, we announced that we had reached a settlement with the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department Defendants to settle the class action lawsuit for a total of $6.2 million (excluding attorneys’ fees and litigation costs).

The class is broken into three subclasses; each of the three subclasses will receive different levels of compensation based on the nature and length of their detention. We expect the breakdown of payments to class members to be as follows:

A-3 subclass: those who were arrested, charged, went to court and had the charges dismissed, will receive up to $15,000.

A-2 subclass: those arrested, detained at a police station and released without being charged, will receive up to $8,750.

A-1 subclass: those who were held on the street for over 90 minutes, will receive up to $500.

Individuals who were charged and pled guilty or individuals who previously opted out of the class action are not considered class members and cannot receive any of the proceeds from the settlement.

If you are a class member who has moved over the last few years and you think we may not have your current mailing address please email us at or call (773) 235-0070.

For more information regarding the terms of the settlement, check out:

• The District Court’s order of granting Preliminary Approval

• The Plaintiffs’ Memo in Support of the Proposed Settlement

• The Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement (the settlement agreement)

For more information on the settlement in Vodak v. City of Chicago, visit the Settlement in Class Action Lawsuit section of this web site.

For more information about People’s Law Office’s work representing activists, visit Defending Free Speech