Requesting identification is not a Fourth Amendment violation but telling people they are not free to leave until checks are run could constitute a seizure that requires particularized suspicion of criminal activity. No Monell liability.

Police officers stopped the plaintiffs in this civil suit numerous times for violating an ordinance while they were panhandling in Chicago. During these stops, the officers asked the plaintiffs to produce identification and then used the provided ID cards to search for outstanding warrants for their arrest or investigative alerts. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983, claiming that these checks unnecessarily prolong street stops and that the delays constitute unreasonable detentions in violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the Monell claims. Officers may execute a name check on an individual incidental to a proper stop under Terry v. Ohio, as long as the resulting delay is reasonable. The issue of whether a seizure took place when officers told individuals they were not free to leave was a question of fact that could not be resolved on a motion for summary judgment.

To read or download the full decision CLICK HERE