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Case Name Otero v. Dart CJ-IL-0007
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-03148 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On April 4, 2012, a pre-trial detainee in the Cook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff sued the Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court ... read more >
On April 4, 2012, a pre-trial detainee in the Cook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff sued the Sheriff of Cook County and Cook County under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, claiming violations the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The plaintiff claimed that Cook County had a practice of “holding in custody or imprisoning free citizens following a trial” at which the citizen is found not guilty or acquitted. Such individuals were often returned to the general jail population and the plaintiff Otero alleged he was beaten up by other inmates who learned he would soon be released.

The plaintiff made a motion for class certification of those who had similarly been unlawfully detained. This motion was denied on December 20, 2013. The plaintiff amended his complaint to add a count for violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The plaintiff argued that female inmates were treated differently, as they were not returned to the general jail population after acquittal. After class certification discovery into the policies and practices of Cook County Jail, the plaintiff was granted class certification on September 2, 2014.

On October 30, 2015 both parties made motions for summary judgment. On January 7, 2016, Judge St. Eve denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim, Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim and Equal Protection claim. Judge St. Eve granted Cook County’s motion for summary judgment with respect to plaintiffs' Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim. The court denied plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

Discovery lasted several years, and the parties reached a settlement on February 18, 2016—the eve of trial. The settlement involved comprehensive injunctive relief and monetary damages to class members. Cook County agreed to implement a new policy that provides mechanisms for identifying potential discharges and ensures they are not returned to the general jail population. Within 90 days, the defendants had to implement these changes and file a status report to the court. The court retained jurisdiction over the implementation and enforcement of these procedures for 9 months. The class members were each awarded $100, the original plaintiff received $15,000 in a service award, and the attorneys were awarded $2,000,000.

This settlement was approved and ordered on August 11, 2016 and the 9-month injunction period is ongoing.

Abigail DeHart - 09/29/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Failure to supervise
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cook County
Plaintiff Description All male inmates who while being detained by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office were found not guilty, were acquitted, or had charges brought against them dismissed, and for whom the Sheriff’s Office no longer had any legal right to detain from April 27, 2010 through the present.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2016 - 2017
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:12-cv-03148 (N.D. Ill.) 08/31/2016
CJ-IL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/27/2012
CJ-IL-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Motion to Dismiss] 10/18/2012 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Class Certification] 12/20/2013 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint 01/15/2014
CJ-IL-0007-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Motion to Modify Class] 09/02/2014 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Awarding Attorney's Fees] 09/22/2015 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Summary Judgment] 01/07/2016 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement 07/20/2016
CJ-IL-0007-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Final Approval & Dismissal of Lawsuit 08/11/2016 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion to Waive Fees] 08/17/2016 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges St. Eve, Amy J. (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0001 | CJ-IL-0007-0003 | CJ-IL-0007-0004 | CJ-IL-0007-0005 | CJ-IL-0007-0006 | CJ-IL-0007-0007 | CJ-IL-0007-0009 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chavez, Kathleen Currie (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Cherry, Myron Milton (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Currie, Peter Lawrence (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Dzananovic, Dario (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Foote, Robert M. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Herman, Matthew J. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Mielke, Craig S (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Nickow, Alexandra Leigh (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Werner, Christopher J. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Wong, Michael D (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002
Zolna, Jacie C. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Benjamin, Stacy Ann (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Gallagher, Michael L. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Huff, Andrea Lynn (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Power, John M. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Pullos, James Charles (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Rock, John Joseph (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Zecchin, Anthony E. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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