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Ellis v. City of Chicago

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
667 F.2d 606 (7th Cir. 1981)


Frank Kusar (defendant), a police officer for the City of Chicago (City) (defendant), entered the home of the Ellis family (plaintiffs) after receiving a tip. Kusar shot and killed the Ellises’ dog. The Ellises sued Kusar and the City for damages. At trial, the Ellises called Officer Calandra and Sergeant Holub as witnesses. Calandra and Holub had worked for the City at all times relevant to the litigation. The district court denied the Ellises’ request to ask the witnesses leading questions during direct examination. During direct examination, Calandra and Holub were not evasive or hostile. The district court ruled in favor of the defendants. The Ellises appealed, arguing that the district court had abused its discretion by prohibiting the examination of Calandra and Holub with leading questions. The Ellises did not indicate what additional testimony could have been garnered by leading questions.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Cudahy, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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