University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hart v. Sheahan JC-IL-0045
Docket / Court 1:03-cv-01768 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On March 11, 2003, Plaintiffs filed a civil rights action against the superintendent of the Cook County Jail in Chicago ("Jail") and Cook County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago Division. The controversy arose from a now discontinued ... read more >
On March 11, 2003, Plaintiffs filed a civil rights action against the superintendent of the Cook County Jail in Chicago ("Jail") and Cook County under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Chicago Division. The controversy arose from a now discontinued practice in the Jail. Once a month, the Jail is locked down--the inmates are kept inside their cells to enable the correctional officers to search for weapons and contraband. The lockdowns occurred on weekends and lasted about 48 hours, a long time to be confined to a cell.

Plaintiffs are current and former female pretrial detainees at the Jail who had been subjected to the lockdowns. They complained that Defendants, by exposing them to dangerous and degrading conditions of confinement, are depriving them of their liberty without due process of law and thus violating the Fourteenth Amendment. They sought both an injunction and damages.

On December 18, 2003, the District Court (Judge James B. Zagel) granted Defendants' motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs appealed, and on February 1, 2005, in a published opinion by Judge Richard A. Posner, the Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court's decision and remanded the case. 396 F.3d 887 (2003).

On remand, Defendants filed an updated motion for summary judgment, which the District Court granted in part and denied in part on July 24, 2008. After the completion of discovery, the case went on trial in March 2011. The jury found for the plaintiffs; Judge Zagel denied defedants' request that he overrule or vacate the verdict. Defendants are currently appealing these decisions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Xin Chen - 01/03/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
General
Restraints : physical
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Cook
Sheriff of Cook County
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs were either current or former female pretrial detainees at the Cook County Jail who had been subjected to the lockdowns.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2011
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 ]

Docket(s)
1:03-cv-01768 (N.D. Ill.) 04/13/2012
JC-IL-0045-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint 04/14/2003
JC-IL-0045-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint 05/08/2003
JC-IL-0045-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Response to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 10/02/2003
JC-IL-0045-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order and Opinion 12/18/2003 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0045-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of Plaintiffs-Appellants 09/14/2004
JC-IL-0045-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Brief of Plaintiffs-Appellants 09/30/2004
JC-IL-0045-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
7th Circuit Opinion 02/01/2005 (396 F.3d 887)
JC-IL-0045-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of their Motion for Class Certification 07/06/2005
JC-IL-0045-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgment 09/13/2005
JC-IL-0045-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fifth Amended Complaint 07/13/2007
JC-IL-0045-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Minute Entry: Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is Granted in Part and Denied in Part. 07/24/2008 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0045-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Minute Entry: Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification is Denied. 08/14/2008 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0045-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Supplemental Motion for Class Certification 09/24/2008
JC-IL-0045-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law, or Alternatively, Motion for a New Trial 05/16/2011
JC-IL-0045-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/13/2012
JC-IL-0045-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Posner, Richard Allen (Seventh Circuit)
JC-IL-0045-0006
Zagel, James Block (FISC, N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0045-0012 | JC-IL-0045-0013 | JC-IL-0045-0014 | JC-IL-0045-0015 | JC-IL-0045-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Farley, Robert Hugh Jr. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-0001 | JC-IL-0045-0003 | JC-IL-0045-0004 | JC-IL-0045-0005 | JC-IL-0045-0007 | JC-IL-0045-0008 | JC-IL-0045-0010 | JC-IL-0045-9000
Morrissey, Thomas Gerard (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-0001 | JC-IL-0045-0003 | JC-IL-0045-0004 | JC-IL-0045-0005 | JC-IL-0045-0007 | JC-IL-0045-0008 | JC-IL-0045-0010 | JC-IL-0045-9000
Scanlon, Stacey L. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Driscoll, Patrick T. Jr. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-9000
Frey, Kevin William (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-9000
Hannon, Maureen O'Donoghue (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-9000
Hegeman, Louis R. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-9000
Puiszis, Steven M. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-0002 | JC-IL-0045-0009 | JC-IL-0045-9000
Quinn, Bernard E.J. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-9000
Smith, Patrick Stephen (Illinois)
JC-IL-0045-0011 | JC-IL-0045-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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