After reading the article by Mr. Haas in the Rockford Register Star paper, I was left with a thought to share. As a former pro se (plaintiff representing himself without a lawyer), and now a plaintiff in a constitutional “free speech” lawsuit against Winnebago County, I believe I have a unique perspective on the issues addressed in this article.
First of all, just filing the lawsuit does not result in trial or settlement. There is a long (years) process and numerous occasions for the court to throw out cases long before this stage. My motto would perhaps serve the county and its officials well, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Perhaps instead of worrying about deterring lawsuits by wasting state’s attorneys’ time (in years of discovery, and weeks of trial) the county officials should look into the CAUSES of these lawsuits and consider their actions or policies.
Most citizens do not relish the idea of state or federal lawsuits OR the time, stress and cost involved. A lawsuit is usually a last resort.
Again, I believe the county should look into prevention of the lawsuits, and admit that their actions or policies need changing. That’s an opinion from one citizen who has battled for over two years in federal court and will be heading for a trial soon. Readers of this letter are welcome to their opinions.
From the Sept. 11-17, 2013, issue