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CAMBIST FILMS, INC. v. STATE OF ILLINOIS

October 16, 1968

CAMBIST FILMS, INC., A NEW YORK CORPORATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STATE OF ILLINOIS, GEORGE SANGMEISTER, STATE'S ATTORNEY OF WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS, MARTIN JACKSON, SHERIFF OF WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS AND DENNIS JASKOVIAK, CHIEF DEPUTY SHERIFF OF WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Will, District Judge.

FINDINGS OF FACT and CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

This is an action brought under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in which plaintiff, Cambist Films, seeks injunctive relief from the seizure of a motion picture and from a criminal prosecution based on the alleged offense of obscenity. The Court, having considered the pleadings, exhibits and statements of counsel, and after having viewed the motion picture film entitled "Aroused", hereby enters the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

Findings of Fact

1. Plaintiff, Cambist Films, is a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York, and owns, licenses, distributes and makes moving picture films.

2. The individual defendants, George Sangmeister, Martin Jackson, and Dennis Jaskoviak are citizens of the State of Illinois and officials of the State of Illinois.

3. This Court has jurisdiction of the subject matter of this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

4. On or about June 1, 1968, defendant George Sangmeister, together with Will County Circuit Judge Michael A. Orenic, Will County Magistrate Thomas Wilson, and defendant Dennis Jaskoviak viewed the film "Aroused", as patrons of the Princess Theatre, 62 North Chicago Street, in Joliet, Illinois.

5. After viewing the film "Aroused" and without notice to the owner of the film, Cambist Films, or to the exhibitor, Princess Theatre, or to its Manager, Aaron E. Tribbett, and without their consent, and without affording said persons an opportunity to be heard or be present, on June 1, 1968 defendant Jaskoviak signed a criminal Complaint asserting that he had viewed the film, that the film was obscene, and that the film was showing at the Princess Theatre in Joliet, Illinois.

6. Pursuant to the filing of said criminal Complaint, a warrant for the arrest of Aaron E. Tribbett, Manager of the Princess Theatre, was issued on June 1, 1968, by Thomas Wilson, Magistrate in the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial District, Will County, and a search warrant was also issued directing that the Princess Theatre in Joliet, Illinois be searched and that all prints of the film "Aroused'" found therein be seized.

6. On June 1, 1968, defendants Jaskoviak, Sangmeister and other persons entered onto the premises of the Princess Theatre, 62 North Chicago Street, Joliet, Illinois, and seized the print of the moving picture "Aroused" consisting of four reels of film, pursuant to the search warrant issued by Magistrate Wilson. Defendants also arrested Aaron E. Tribbett, Manager of the Princess Theatre, pursuant to the Warrant of Arrest issued by Magistrate Wilson.

7. The seizure of the film "Aroused", and the arrest of Mr. Tribbett, were accomplished without any prior adversary hearing on the question of obscenity.

8. In Metzger v. Illinois, Civil No. 67 C 2194 (N.D.Ill. filed June 19, 1968), a judge of this court enjoined the seizure of the film "I, A Woman" and related criminal prosecution by officials of the State of Illinois, on the ground that there had been no adversary hearing on the question of obscenity prior to the seizure and arrest. On October 3, 1968, defendant Sangmeister was joined as party defendant in the Metzger case and was ordered to return the film "I, A Woman" to the persons from whom it had been seized, and was restrained from taking any further steps, other than to ask for dismissal, in the criminal prosecution entitled People v. Margaret Scalan, W 67 C-47, which was then pending in the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial District, Will County, Illinois.

Conclusions of Law

1. The Court has jurisdiction of the subject matter ...


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