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False arrest?

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To whom it may concern,

I was arrested for trespassing in June of 1996. At the time I was on no medication, but would later be informed by a psychiatrist that on the evening of the arrest I was having a manic-depressive episode. I was under the paranoid belief that people meant to harm me on the evening of the arrest was following me, and I drove a friends’ car to a theater. I asked a security guard at an adjacent building to the theater, if my friend was there. The security guard instructed me to enter the theater via the exit door. I did as I was instructed, entered the theater via the exit, where I found myself in a narrow hallway with a full-length mirror hanging on the wall. I began to brush up my messy appearance, when another security guard asked me what I was doing. In my delusional state of mind I informed the security guard that there was an award ceremony at the theater that night for me, and that I was preparing. Yet another guard arrived and informed me that I was on private property. Sensing that I was at fault, I told the guard that I did not realize that I was trespassing, and that I would leave immediately. The guard told me not to worry and to come with him. The guard then asked me to wait in the theater lobby. Soon police arrived and I was arrested for trespassing. The police told me that I would be released in ten to fifteen minutes. I spent the next twelve hours, in maniacal terror, as I tried to come to grips with what had happen to me. I assumed that someone had slipped me a drug to alter my consciousness to such a severe degree of paranoia and fear. I was released the next morning; my contacts had been lost in prison so I walked the streets of Chicago with little visual accuracy. My pants were falling down because my belt was in the property bag that I was clutching to around my waste. I had no money, was starving, and had no idea what was real and what was fictional. As a result of this incident I appeared in court in 1996 and was charged with trespassing on private property. I am uncertain at this time what the name of my court appointed lawyer was for the court appearance. I am also uncertain as to whether or not I signed anything that promised that I would never sue the persons who had had me arrested. I was not well at the time, even for the trial, but I can now in retrospect recall the events clearly and objectively. I am currently being treated for bipolar disorder, and am feeling very well. I was in school at the time of the arrest, and as a result of the arrest, was traumatized to the point of becoming clinically depressed. I gained 75 pounds, had to quit my job, and nearly failed out of school. I am now an honor roll student, with a healthy out look on life. I was wondering what legal action I can now take against those who falsely arrested me. After all I was invited onto the property by one of their security guards. And after offering to peacefully leave the property I was invited by yet another guard to stay on the property. Is it to late after four years to legally sue the theater and/or its security staff for falsely accusing me? The repercussions of the event were both psychologically and physically damaging, and I suffered embarrassment and harm to my life as a result. I would appreciate your legal advice as to what legal action I can take at this point.

Yours truly,
Kevin Cosgrove



I am a law school graduate. What I offer is mere information, not to be construed as forming an attorney client relationship.

. 745 ILCS 10/ Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act

725 ILCS 5/ Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963
http://www.legis.state.il.us/scripts/oop/searchilcsqsumrhit.htw?CiWebHitsFile=/ilcs/ch65/ch65act5articles/ch65act5sub114.htm&CiRestriction=%20statute%20of%20limitations%20&CiQueryF ile=/scripts/searchilcs.idq&CiBeginHilite=%3CB%20CLASS=HIT%3E&CiEndHilite=%3C/B%3E&CiUserParam3=../searchilcs.html

The statute of limitations may be 5 years. If you feel you were falsely arrested, etc., may I suggest you hire an attorney who has experience with suing civil officers for false arrest or the like.

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