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Law School Case Brief

Hobley v. Burge - 225 F.R.D. 221 (N.D. Ill. 2004)


The United States Supreme Court finds no room in the privilege against self-incrimination for classifications of people so as to deny it to some and extend it to others.


Plaintiffs Hobley and Patterson sued defendants, including a former police lieutenant, Jon Burge, and the city of Chicago. Several non-party deponents are former Chicago Police Department detectives who worked at Area 2 with or for Burge or other defendants. Apparently, Plaintiffs' counsel have taken or are in the process of taking the Movants' depositions in discovery in those cases. The Movants state that, as a result of the on-going investigation by the Special Prosecutor appointed by the Circuit Court of Cook County regarding allegations of abuse at Area 2, they have been required to assert their Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions in their depositions. The non-party deponents sought protective order and asserted their Fifth Amendment right to decline to answer questions in their depositions considering that news stations showed portions of those videotaped depositions.


Are the non-party deponents entitled to protective order and the assertion of their Fifth Amendment rights?




The court determined that the non-party deponents had standing to bring the motion based upon their interests in a fair trial and in seeing that their assertion of the Fifth Amendment was not excessively burdened or "costly." Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c), they  showed good cause for the entry of a protective order.

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