Illinois Freedom of Information Request – Lake County, IL Sheriff’s Department – #001

18 February 2022

MEMORANDUM

From: Michael J. Merritt
PO BOX 294
Newton, IA 50208
‪(515) 446-8993‬
Active Duty Military Retired/Writer

To: Lake County, IL Sheriff’s Department
25 S Martin Luther King Jr Ave
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847)-377-4000

Info: Lake County, IL Board Office
18 North County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847)-377-2300

Subj: ILLINOIS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST – LAKE COUNTY, IL SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT – #001

Ref: 1. (5 ILCS 140/) Freedom of Information Act
2. Personal Email from Jon Buttler
3. Email from Correctional Officer Buttler of the Lake County, IL Sheriff’s Office

1. Introduction

The originator of this freedom of information request is investigating the concealment of his children in the State of Iowa from August 2019 – February 2020 from San Diego East County Court of California, which had jurisdiction over these children in accordance with The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) from January 2017-August 2021. Matthew E. Merritt and Sara N. Merritt of Ames, IA, concealed these children from court-ordered FCS Child Interviews in August 2019 ordered by San Diego East County Court on 05 JUN 2019 while they had custody of ***** *. ******* and ******* *. ******* from August 2019 – February 2020. This timeline is verified by the following:

  1. Claudia J. Bergman’s court filings in 2020 with San Diego East County Court articulating she transferred custody to someone from August 2019 – February 2020 after this transfer was executed and completed.
  2. Documents held by Ames, IA Community School District that were released to the originator of this memorandum by Whitefish, MT Public Schools showing Sara N. Merritt’s signature on school registration records for these two children as well as their records of attendance at Ames High School.
  3. Acknowledgment of this concealed transfer of custody and identity of whom she transferred custody to by Claudia J. Bergman communicated in the fall of 2021 in Talking Parents communication archives.

Correctional Officer Buttler (a distant cousin of the originator of this memorandum) was questioned regarding if he had any knowledge of this situation over social media (Facebook Messenger) in December 2020. Personal email addresses were exchanged, and for several days, no valuable testimony or evidence of involvement was found. Correctional Officer Buttler was then blocked with the expectation of no further contact or relationship because of previous family experience.

2. Purpose of Request

This State of Illinois Freedom of Information request is based purely on Correctional Officer Buttler’s choice to communicate this personal matter over a government (.gov) information system providing public access in accordance with the State of Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/) after being blocked on social media. Correctional Officer Buttler’s motive for contacting the originator of this request with his government email after being blocked on social media displays a possible motive to promote authority while attempting to intimidate the recipient of Reference 3 with his response regarding this personal matter. Correctional Officer Buttler had already established contact with Reference 2 via personal email; the use of his government account was unnecessary. The use of his government email after being blocked on social media also displays Lake County, Illinois, information system assets being utilized by one of its employees as a workaround to contact someone who had executed action expressing a desire for no future contact. This behavior suggests complacency within the administrative policy of Lake County, IL, with executing a training program for county employees regarding the use of their information system assets.

Reference 3 shows that Correctional Officer Buttler utilizes county information system assets for personal communications. The purpose of this request is to ascertain the existence of any additional personal emails from his Lake County, IL information systems account that may shed further light on this situation. Any further response or retaliation from any employee of Lake County, Illinois not directly related, authorized, or issued as the official response to this request will immediately be referred to the Newton, IA Police Department referencing Iowa Code 708.7.

3. Requested Information

(a.) All Correctional Officer Jon Buttler’s transmitted/received electronic mail/attachments, including (To/From/CC/BCC/Message Body) the names ***** *******, ***** * *******, ***** *. *******, ***** ****** *******, ******* *******, ******* * *******, ******* *. *******, ******* ****** *******, ******* *******, ******* * *******, ******* ******* *******, ******* *******, ******* * *******, ******* *. *******, ******* ******* *******, ******* ********, ******* * ********, ******* *. ********, ******* ******* ********, ***** *******, ***** * *******, ***** *. *******, ***** ***** *******, Michael Merritt, Michael J Merritt, Michael J. Merritt, Patricia Buttler, Patricia A Buttler, Patricia A. Buttler, Patricia Ann Buttler, Tricia Buttler, Tricia A Buttler, Tricia A. Buttler, Tricia Ann Buttler, Trisha Buttler, Trisha A Buttler, Trisha Ann Buttler, Matthew Merritt, Matthew E Merritt, Matthew E. Merritt, Matthew Edward Merritt, Matt Merritt, Matt E Merritt, Matt E. Merritt, Matt Edward Merritt, Sara Merritt, Sara N Merritt, Sara N. Merritt, Sara Nicole Merritt, *** *******, *** * *******, *** *. *******, *** *** *******, ****** *******, ****** * *******, ****** *. *******, ****** *** *******, ***** *******, *** *****, ***** *****, or any other individuals with the last name “Buttler” from 25 DEC 2016 at 0001 Local Time through 18 February 2022 at 2359 Local Time.

(c.) The desired format of requested data: Portable Document Format/Thumb drive (at the Lake County published rate):

(d.) The originator of this request is not responsible for any costs generated by the production or organization of this data if the clerical, professional, clerical staff, legal fees, or any other required actions or cost exceed 10 hours or $1000 (whichever comes first) without prior coordination and approval from the originator of this request.

(e.) Distribution of Requested Data: Priority Mail sent to the originator of this request.

Respectfully,

Michael J. Merritt
PO BOX 294
Newton, IA 50208
‪‪(515) 446-8993‬‬
https://phoenixharbor.com/category/foia/


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