University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Drew v. Brierton PC-IL-0012
Docket / Court 73-2911 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
An inmate at the Illinois Correctional Institution brought a pro se section 1983 suit against prison officials alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment rights. An attorney was appointed for the inmate, and the complaint was amended to seek relief for a class of all current and former inmates ... read more >
An inmate at the Illinois Correctional Institution brought a pro se section 1983 suit against prison officials alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment rights. An attorney was appointed for the inmate, and the complaint was amended to seek relief for a class of all current and former inmates who had been subjected to the allegedly unlawful searches of their cells.

On April 22, 1977, the matter was settled with entry of a consent decree. The decree enjoined defendants to observe and enforce inmates' Fourth Amendment rights, to observe and enforce provisions of Administrative Regulation 401 of the Department of Corrections, and to provide each inmate whose cell had been searched the identity of the officer who conducted the search and a list of any seized items.

In this case, plaintiffs' attorney petitioned for an award of attorneys' fees in the Northern District of Illinois. Defendants contended that the plaintiff class was not a prevailing party under the Civil Rights Attorney's Fees Award Act of 1976 because the relief obtained was de minimus. In addition, the defendant argued that the court should use it's discretion to prevent funds for prisoner rehabilitation from being used for attorneys' fees, that the requested rate of compensation was too high, and that plaintiffs' counsel should not be compensated for work she did while affiliated with a large Chicago law firm.

The district court (Judge Marshall) held that the plaintiff class was the prevailing party despite no actual finding or admission by the defendants that inmates' Fourth Amendment rights had been violated. Likewise, the court held that the remedy was not de minimus, but a substantial protection of the inmates' Fourth Amendment rights. The court did exclude from its award hours plaintiffs' counsel worked while associated with a Chicago law firm whose practice was not to accept fee awards in similar cases, but found the remaining time devoted to the case while in private practice and the rate claimed to be reasonable. The final judgment was an award of $7,900.00 in attorneys fees and $183.21 in out-of-pocket expenses for a total of $8,083.21. Drew v. Brierton, 443 F.Supp 389 (N.D. Ill. 1978).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent court opinion, dated January 16, 1978.

Sherrie Waldrup - 08/29/2005


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
General
Search policies
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Stateville Correctional Center
Plaintiff Description inmates at the Illinois Correctional Institution
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1977 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum Decision 01/16/1978 (443 F.Supp. 389) (N.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0012-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Marshall, Prentice Henry (N.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0012-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Jenkins, Martha M. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0012-0001
Defendant's Lawyers McKoski, Raymond (Illinois)
PC-IL-0012-0001
Scott, William J. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0012-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -