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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Harrington v. Devito JC-IL-0003
Docket / Court 74-3290 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Mental Health (Facility)
Case Summary
Pretrial detainees, incarcerated in Cook County, Illinois, were in need of mental health care and brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging that state and county officials failed to provide their necessary mental health care. After ... read more >
Pretrial detainees, incarcerated in Cook County, Illinois, were in need of mental health care and brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §1983 alleging that state and county officials failed to provide their necessary mental health care. After several years of negotiations under court supervision, the parties settled the case by consent order. On October 19, 1979, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Judge Frank J. McGarr) awarded the plaintiffs $25,000 in attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §1988. Judge McGarr held that the pretrial detainees had prevailed against all of the defendants. After subsequent litigation to determine the allocation of payment of the attorneys' fees, the district court ordered Cook County to pay 80% and the state to pay 20% of the fee award.

Illinois officials appealed, arguing that the allocation of 20% of the attorneys' fee award against the state constituted an abuse of discretion. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Wilbur Frank Pell, Jr.) affirmed the district court's decision, holding that the state Department of Mental Health had participated in the settlement agreement and had taken certain steps to alleviate deficiencies in the mental health treatment of pretrial detainees as a result of their lawsuit. Harrington v. DeVito, 656 F.2d 264 (7th Cir. 1981). Therefore, the pretrial detainees had prevailed against the state defendants, justifying the award of attorneys' fees. The Court also found that the apportionment of 20% of the attorneys' fee award against the state did not constitute an abuse of discretion.

The docket for the early part of the case was not available on PACER, and accordingly, we do not have further information on that part of the litigation.

The PACER docket begins in 1997, by which time the case was before Judge James B. Zogel. It shows litigation from 1997 through 2000 concerning compliance with the court's order and attorney fee awards. In 2003, the State Department of Human Services moved to terminate the part of the consent decree that governed its conduct. This motion was granted on July 7, 2004. Oddly, there is a subsequent entry of attorney's fees in the plaintiff's favor and then nothing more appears in the docket.

Kristen Sagar - 05/24/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Devito
Plaintiff Description Mentally ill pre-trial detainees at the Cook County Jail challenging the conditions of the jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 2004
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 ]

  Judicial Policymaking and Juvenile Detention Reform: A Case Study of Jimmy Doe et al. v. Cook County
By: Emily N. Winfield (University of Iowa)
Citation: 12 J. Gender Race & Just. 225 (Fall 2008)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
74-3290 (N.D. Ill.) 11/30/2011
JC-IL-0003-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reported Opinion 08/10/1981 (656 F.2d 264)
JC-IL-0003-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Plaintiffs' Agreed Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs, Pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act 09/21/2004
JC-IL-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion [by Defendant Michael Sheahan to dismiss - Defendants' Motion for an Order] 06/02/2011
JC-IL-0003-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Tentatively approving the voluntary dismissal of Duran and Harrington as fair, reasonable and adequate] 06/08/2011 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0003-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [by Gary Harrington Respecting the Proposed Voluntary Dismissal] 08/12/2011
JC-IL-0003-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response [by Defendant Michael Sheahan to memorandum 49 - Defendants' Joint Response to Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of the Proposed Voluntary Dismissal of These Cases and Reply to the Responses of Plaintiff Class Members] 08/17/2011
JC-IL-0003-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice [by Michael Sheahan re Response, 51 - Defendants' Joint Response to Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of the Proposed Voluntary Dismissal of These Cases and Reply to the Responses of Plaintiff Class Members] 08/17/2011
JC-IL-0003-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Signed by the Honorable Virginia M. Kendall] 11/30/2011 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0003-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kendall, Virginia Mary (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0003-0005 | JC-IL-0003-0008 | JC-IL-0003-9000
Pell, Wilbur Frank Jr. (Seventh Circuit)
JC-IL-0003-0002
Zagel, James Block (FISC, N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dienner, John A. III (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0002
Elson, Sally T. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0002
Lehrer, Robert E. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0001 | JC-IL-0003-0007 | JC-IL-0003-9000
McConnell, Stephen J. (Pennsylvania)
JC-IL-0003-9000
Redleaf, Diane L. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0001 | JC-IL-0003-9000
Yannella, Phillip Neil (Pennsylvania)
JC-IL-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Blanchard, Patrick Malone (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0003 | JC-IL-0003-0006 | JC-IL-0003-9000
Gallagher, Daniel Francis (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0003 | JC-IL-0003-0004 | JC-IL-0003-0006 | JC-IL-0003-9000
Konieczny, Karen (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-0002 | JC-IL-0003-0003 | JC-IL-0003-0006
Other Lawyers Ioppolo, Thomas A. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0003-9000

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