This is a conditions of confinement suit brought by the putative class of prisoners at the Vienna Correctional Center ("Vienna"), a minimum security Illinois state prison, against the Illinois Department of Corrections. The case was filed by private counsel and the Uptown People's Law Center, on ...
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This is a conditions of confinement suit brought by the putative class of prisoners at the Vienna Correctional Center ("Vienna"), a minimum security Illinois state prison, against the Illinois Department of Corrections. The case was filed by private counsel and the Uptown People's Law Center, on June 13, 2012. It alleges disgusting and crowded conditions in violation of the Eighth Amendment-1900 prisoners housed in a facility meant for 925, rampant vermin, contaminated food, heat and ventilation problems, and endemic mold and mildew.
By April 2013, the parties had engaged in settlement discussions. In August of 2013, the Plaintiffs filed an unopposed motion for class certification for settlement purposes. However, the District Court (Judge J. Phil Gilbert) held that, as the named Plaintiffs had all been released from Vienna, the proposed class was not adequately represented by the current named Plaintiffs. The Court reserved ruling on the motion until Plaintiffs either found a suitable class representative, or made a compelling argument to the Court that the current named Plaintiffs were adequate class representatives. Boyd v. Godinez, Civil Action No. 3:12-cv-704-JPG-PMF, 2013 WL 5230238 (S.D. Ill. Sept. 16, 2013).
Plaintiffs subsequently amended their complaint to add a named Plaintiff who was currently incarcerated at Vienna, but also argued that the "inherently transitory" exception to the mootness doctrine should apply in this case. The District Court (Judge Gilbert) held that the Plaintiffs had not adequately explained their inherently transitory argument, especially in light of the fact that they had successfully found a putative class representative and added him to their complaint. Nevertheless, having secured an adequate class representative, the Court granted Plaintiffs' unopposed motion to certify a class for settlement purposes.
In light of the progress made toward settlement, the District Court vacated the pretrial schedule in December 2013. As of October 2014, the parties were still engaged in settlement discussions.Margo Schlanger - 06/29/2012
Dan Whitman - 10/28/2014