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Kids can file suit over filming of ‘Empire’ at detention center

Relatives of two juveniles say filming for the TV series "Empire" essentially put the Cook County juvenile detention center on lockdown. | FOX

An Illinois federal judge on Thursday ruled that two minors (through their legal guardians) “can sue Twentieth Century Fox Television for alleged psychological damage … as a result of a few weeks of filming at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center” in 2015, according to a report on They allege that officials at the center “put the place on lockdown so it could be used to film episodes of the Fox series ‘Empire,'” which is filmed in Chicago.

According to the judge’s opinion order, the plaintiffs in their suit (originally filed in 2016) allege that during the filming, “JTDC officials ‘placed off limits’ certain areas that are essential to the JTDC’s mission of educating and rehabilitating the hundreds of juveniles housed there, including the JTDC’s school, its facilities for family visits, the outdoor recreation yard, the library, the infirmary, and the chapel …. [placing] these areas off limits so the FOX Defendants’ agents and employees could use these areas to stage and film the television show.”

The states: “U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve writes in an opinion order that the plaintiffs have “plausibly stated” a claim. The judge does trim the lawsuit, the story goes on to say, and while St. Eve decided the plaintiffs “have failed to sufficiently allege that the Fox Defendants and any of the state actor/government Defendants reached an understanding to deny the juvenile detainees’ constitutional rights,” she is allowing them “to try again against Fox, particularly in regard to a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Read the full story here.