University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Harper v. Sheriff of Cook County JC-IL-0043
Docket / Court 1:07-cv-02393 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On May 1, 2007, detainees confined in the Cook County Jail filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Cook County and the Cook County Sheriff. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for ... read more >
On May 1, 2007, detainees confined in the Cook County Jail filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Cook County and the Cook County Sheriff. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for damages, claiming that they were unconstitutionally held after posting bond violating the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs specifically alleged that they had posted bond, but still went through the intake process at the Cook County Jail, which involved assigning an identification number, taking a picture and fingerprints, collecting personal property, undergoing a medical and psychiatric evaluation, and a strip search.

On May 29, 2008, the Court (Judge John W. Darrah) granted class action certification. 2008 WL 4686148 (N.D. Ill. May 29, 2008). The Defendants appealed this decision, and on September 8, 2009, Judge William J. Bauer of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed class certification and remanded the case. Judge Bauer held that whether the length of delay for release was reasonable would be an individualized issue. Harper v. Sheriff of Cook Cnty., 581 F.3d 511 (7th Cir. 2009)

The parties settled the case for undisclosed terms, and on August 10, 2010, Judge Darrah dismissed the case with prejudice.

Jessica Kincaid - 04/05/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Over/Unlawful Detention
Sanitation / living conditions
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cook County Sheriff
Plaintiff Description Detainees confined in the Cook County Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:07−cv−02393 (N.D. Ill.) 08/10/2012
JC-IL-0043-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/01/2007
JC-IL-0043-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Motion to Certify Case as a Class Action] 05/29/2008 (2008 WL 4686148) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0043-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
USCA Opinion [Vacating District Court's Class Certification and Remanding Case] 09/08/2009 (581 F.3d 511)
JC-IL-0043-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal 08/09/2010
JC-IL-0043-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bauer, William Joseph (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit)
JC-IL-0043-0003
Darrah, John W. (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0043-9000
Sykes, Diane S. (Seventh Circuit)
JC-IL-0043-0003
Tinder, John Daniel (S.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit)
JC-IL-0043-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Flaxman, Kenneth N. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0043-0001 | JC-IL-0043-0002 | JC-IL-0043-0004 | JC-IL-0043-9000
Morrissey, Thomas Gerard (Illinois)
JC-IL-0043-0001 | JC-IL-0043-0002 | JC-IL-0043-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hannon, Maureen O'Donoghue (Illinois)
JC-IL-0043-0004 | JC-IL-0043-9000
Heil, John Paul Jr. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0043-9000
Shippee, Richard Seth (Illinois)
JC-IL-0043-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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