University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Koger v. Dart JC-IL-0051
Docket / Court 1:13-cv-07150 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On October 4, 2013, an inmate at the Cook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The inmate sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Sheriff of Cook County and the Cook County Department of Corrections. The inmate sought injunctive and ... read more >
On October 4, 2013, an inmate at the Cook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The inmate sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Sheriff of Cook County and the Cook County Department of Corrections. The inmate sought injunctive and monetary relief for violations of his First Amendment rights. The inmate alleged that the jail had prevented him from receiving a newspaper based on a formal written policy prohibiting newspapers. The Cook County Department of Correction's General Order 9.7.1 lists all "newspapers" as a form of "institutional contraband." A friend had sent him the newspaper, and the jail returned it to the friend without notifying the inmate.

The inmate alleged that the Cook County Department of Correction's policy of banning inmates from obtaining newspapers was overbroad, and violated his First Amendment rights. The inmate alleged that this policy unreasonably and irrationally censored and restricted his ability to read a large and important body of First-Amendment protected speech.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss. On March 3, 2013, Judge Kennelly denied the motion to dismiss.

Then, both parties moved for summary judgment. In an opinion, the court partly granted and partly denied both motions. On July 6, 2015, the court ruled that the inmate's request for injunctive relief was moot. Although the inmate filed suit while he was still incarcerated at the jail, and he had Article III standing to seek injunctive relief at that time, because he was released shortly thereafter, there was no evidence that he would suffer from the jail's newpaper policy in the future. The court held that the jail's ban on newspapers violated the First Amendment. The court awarded the inmate $1.00 in nominal damages. Outside of court, the parties settled the amount of attorneys fees, and that amount is not disclosed. With the resolution of the attorneys fees, the case was closed.






Rachel June-Graber - 11/13/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Mail
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cook County Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmate in the Cook County Jail who was not allowed to have a newspaper in jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
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)
1:13-cv-7150 (N.D. Ill.) 10/20/2015
JC-IL-0051-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection
Judges Kennelly, Matthew F. (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Edelson, Zisl Taub (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Nicholas, Adele D. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Weinberg, Mark G. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bryant, Brenden Rae (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Fleming, Conor Thomas (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Gallagher, Michael L. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Power, John M. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Syvertsen, Martin D. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Zecchin, Anthony E. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0051-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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