Disposition of Claims
Filing a Claim
Downloadable Claim Forms
Click on the links in the following list to download claim forms:
- Pre-SRO Claim Form (Form DCA-100)
- Release of Claims Against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Form (Form DCA 101)
- Opt-Out Request form (Form DCA 102)
Important: The deadline for filing a claim is 4:40 P.M. on July 6, 2009
If you believe you were subjected to unlawful political discrimination in connection with hiring, promotion, overtime or for any other term or aspect of employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, between June 1, 2005 and March 5, 2009, you may submit a completed and notarized SRO Claim Form (Form DCA-100) and a signed and notarized Release of Claims Against the Forest Preserve District (Form DCA 101) by the deadline of July 6, 2009 to be considered for possible money damages.
Signed and notarized claims should be sent to:
District Compliance Administrator
69 W. Washington Street, Suite 1416
Chicago, IL 60602
Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP
111 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60606
Submitting an SRO Claim Form does not guarantee a monetary award.
Do I Have A Claim
If you applied for a job or have a job with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and believe that you were subjected to unlawful political discrimination in connection with any employment decision by the District that occurred between June 1, 2005 and March 5, 2009, you may be eligible to receive a cash award under the settlement agreement in Shakman, et al. v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al.
“Employment decision” includes, but is not limited to, any decision involving hiring, firing, promotion, job assignment, transfer, disciplinary action or overtime. Claimants may also recover compensation if they are required to perform the work duties of a politically connected co-worker or are subjected to harassment by a politically protected co-worker or supervisor. If you have questions about whether your situation might qualify as a Shakman violation visit the “Provide Information to the DCA” section of our web site (cookfpshakman.com) or call us at 312-603-8915.
“Unlawful political discrimination” means the making of any employment decision by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County because of any political reason or factor such as an individual’s political affiliation, political support or activity, political financial contributions, promises of such political support, activity or financial contributions, or political sponsorship or recommendations.
If you have already released any claim(s) against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County for alleged violations that occurred between June 1, 2005 and March 5, 2009, through either litigation or settlement, then you are NOT eligible for relief through this process.
Instructions for Completing the Claim Form
To be considered for a monetary award you must complete the SRO Claim Form (Form DCA-100) and the SRO Release of Claims Against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County Claim Form (Form DCA 101). No claim can be considered by the District Compliance Administrator if you do not file the proper forms, i.e. the Claim and Release forms.
The Claim forms should include as much detail as possible showing the evidence supporting your claim that you were subjected to unlawful political discrimination in connection with any term or aspect of employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.
Anyone submitting a Claim form must attach any supporting documentation in his/her possession that will validate their claim. This includes documentation supporting any claim for damages. If you do not have any documents in your possession, your claim will still be evaluated on its merits. Documents may be submitted at a later date, but only for good cause and with the permission of the District Compliance Administrator.
You may only submit one SRO Claim form, but you may allege facts supporting more than one claim as part of your submission. The District Compliance Administrator will evaluate all of the claims included in your claim form.
This information should not be construed as legal advice. The District Compliance Administrator is not able to provide legal advice about whether an individual should remain a member of the class or about whether an individual has a claim. Any individual considering submitting a claim may consult with a lawyer of his/her choosing. Class Counsel in the Shakman case (that is, the lawyers who represent the named plaintiffs and classes of plaintiffs in that case) are not able to provide individual legal advice to persons who may wish to file claims. You may consult with a lawyer of your choice, at your own expense, about whether to file a Claim or Opt Out of the settlement procedures to pursue whatever rights you may have.
Class Counsel recommend that Claimants send their completed SRO Claim Form and Release of Claims Against the Forest Preserve District of Cook County to the District Compliance Administrator via certified mail, return receipt requested, and that you keep a copy of everything you have submitted for your own records.
If Your Claim Took Place Before June 1, 2005 & Other Important Notes
If your claim involves some or all events that occurred prior to June 1, 2005, you must explain in your claim why you could not have discovered and/or raised the claim prior to June 1, 2005.
If your Claim involves alleged unlawful political discrimination that took place after March 5, 2009, do not use the SRO Claim Form (Form DCA-100). Claims that arise from events occurring after March 5, 2009 should be reported to our office or to the office of the Complaint Administrator at 312-603-8907.
Relief under this claims process is limited to monetary awards. No injunctive relief, such as reinstatement or promotion, is available through the claims process. Such injunctive relief may be available through a legal action filed in a court of law. If you would like to pursue injunctive relief, you must submit an Opt-Out Request Form (Form DCA 102) to the District Compliance Administrator before July 6, 2009.
Any person who is a member of the Settlement Classes who elects to pursue a remedy outside the SRO should act quickly to protect whatever rights he/she may have.
Claim Review Process
The District Compliance Administrator and his staff will review all claims filed with his office by the deadline of July 6, 2009, to determine whether the Claimant is entitled to a damage award. As part of the review, the District Compliance Administrator may request additional information from Complainants and the District to help him identify valid claims and eliminate those that are not. During the claims review process, you must provide any information and documents reasonably requested by the District Compliance Administrator.
Within 90 days of the July 6, 2009, claim filing deadline, the District Compliance Administrator (DCA), in his sole discretion and after consideration of all of the evidence, will determine whether each Claimant is eligible for recovery and, if so, will assign a monetary award to Claimants based on the relevant information presented to the DCA. Claimants should provide all evidence, information and documents known to them in as much detail as possible to assist the DCA in assessing claims.
If the District Compliance Administrator (DCA) needs additional time to evaluate the merits of the claim, the DCA will inform the Claimant of his need for more time and will set a date by which the review will be completed. The DCA will notify each Claimant of the decision with respect to their claim by sending a Notice of Determination to each Claimant within 30 days of the determination of all claims . The Notice of Determination will tell the Claimant whether they are entitled to a damage award and, if so, the amount of the award.
The District Compliance Administrator’s Decision Is Final, and Not Subject To Appeal.
Within 30 days following the District Compliance Administrator’s determination of all claims, the DCA shall provide the District’s General Counsel with a list of Claimants eligible for an award, Claimants last known mailing address, the Social Security number of any non-employee, and the amount of the award.
Within 60 days of the receipt of the District Compliance Administrator’s list of Claimants and awards, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County will mail a check in the amount of the award to each Claimant who has received an award at his/her last known mailing address.
If you submit an SRO Claim Form you thereby agree to have your claim for damages resulting from alleged political discrimination in connection with employment with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County decided by the District Compliance Administrator. By submitting an SRO Claim Form, you agree to waive your right to file your own lawsuit and to have your claim decided by a court.
Submitting an SRO Complaint Form does not guarantee you any relief.
Date to Remember:
July 6, 2009
SRO Claim Form Deadline; Opt-Out Deadline (the date by which a person must inform the Court in writing that he/she elects to be excluded from the settlement and claims procedure described above).