Northfield resident and former Chicago Board Options Exchange trader Steve Fanady was dismissed of all charges relating to a 2012 case involving alleged forged divorce documents. Fanady was charged with forging a fraudulent document by the Cook County State’s attorney’s office. His attorney, Cook County defense lawyer Joel Brodsky, presented such strong evidence to the State’s Attorney that the prosecution against Fanady was violating the First Amendment mandates of freedom of religion and separation of church and state, that the all charges against Mr. Fanady were dismissed with prejudice, a feat rarely seen in modern-day court proceedings.
Brodsky argued that the charges were a violation of his client’s First Amendment rights. Fanady was accused of forging the stamp of a judge and signature of an attorney on divorce documents in order to obtain an ecclesiastical divorce. Brodsky stressed that prosecution by the State violated his client’s rights to religious privacy and religious freedom by the state as a citizen.With strong connections to the Greek Orthodox Church, the separation of Church and State was the leading principle guiding Fanady in his quest for dismissal.
Since the State cannot constitutionally interfere with religious affairs, and vice versa, the prosecution dismissed the charges with prejudice, meaning that the case was dismissed permanently. A case “dismissed with prejudice” is over and cannot be brought back to court. Fanady cannot be tried again by the State of Illinois for this alleged crime.
Brodsky regards this case dismissal as simply but vigorously protecting his client’s rights as a U.S. citizen. Though Brodsky and Fanady were willing to fight the case through the judicial system grounded on this principle, the State was not prepared to violate the religious rights of Fanady or the Greek Orthodox Church to manage its own internal affairs. The matter did not go to trial and was completely dismissed.
Cook County criminal attorney Joel Brodsky is considered “a battler who answers almost every knock with a legal counterpunch” (Chicago Tribune). For the last 30 years, he has provided aggressive legal representation to clients charged in criminal matters across Illinois. If you are in need of a capable criminal defense lawyer, call attorney Joel Brodsky at 312-541-7000 or visit his office located at 8 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 3200, in Chicago.