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Jury Instructions

7th Circuit Court of Appeals

Case Name: Robert S. Farnik, et al., v. City of Chicago, et al.,

Case No.: 19-2104

Officials: BRENNAN, SCUDDER, and KIRSCH, Circuit Judges.

Focus: Jury Instructions

Robert Farnik was arrested in 2013 for alleged animal cruelty after Chicago Police were contacted about a sickly dog making desperate sounds in Farnik’s backyard. Following the arrest, Farnik produced veterinary records for the dog, which he had adopted as a stray and cared for, and his state criminal charge was dismissed. Farnik and his wife, Andzelika Jastrzebska, then sued the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Officer Marian Horan under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging wrongful arrest and excessive force along with various state law claims. The case eventually proceeded to trial, and the jury returned a verdict for the defendants on all counts. The district court denied Farnik’s motion for a mistrial during the trial and later denied a post-trial motion for a new trial. Farnik asks us to reconsider those denials and seeks a new trial because, he asserts, the district court made various legal errors related to the handling of voir dire, trial scheduling, closing arguments, and jury instructions. Because the district court did not err in any of these respects or by denying his mid-and post-trial motions, we affirm.


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Derek A Hawkins is Corporate Counsel, at Salesforce.

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