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Case Name Calvin v. Sheriff of Will County, Illinois JC-IL-0006
Docket / Court 1:03-cv-03086 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On May 8, 2003, an individual mistakenly arrested on an erroneous warrant filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated by the Sheriff of Will County in that he had been ... read more >
On May 8, 2003, an individual mistakenly arrested on an erroneous warrant filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, alleging that his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated by the Sheriff of Will County in that he had been unlawfully detained at the Will County Jail after being ordered released by a judge. On August 8, 2003, an amended complaint was filed, adding a second named plaintiff and adding Will County, Illinois as a defendant. The amended complaint also added allegations challenging the Jail's shackling and strip search policies and seeking class certification. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that the Sheriff's "strip search/ shackling" policy deprived them of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and sought certification of two subclasses: (1) all persons who were handcuffed, shackled, and strip searched at the Will County Jail after being ordered to be immediately released by a judge; and (2) all individuals who were held at the Will County Jail on a recalled or already executed warrant issued after they complained that they were being wrongfully held in custody. Plaintiffs sought class certification, declaratory judgment, compensatory damages, and costs. A second amended complaint adding a third named plaintiff was filed on February 12, 2004.

On May 12, 2004, the District Court (Judge Robert W. Gettleman) certified the case as a class action, establishing two subclasses: (1) all individuals who, between May 8, 2001 and the date of the judgment, were arrested for failure to appear in a misdemeanor or traffic case and, who, upon arrival at the Will County Jail, were strip searched without any individualized finding of reasonable suspicion or probable cause that he or she was concealing contraband or weapons (the "post-arrest strip search" subclass); and (2) all traffic or misdemeanor arrestees who, between May 8, 2001 and the date of the judgment, became entitled to release from the Will County Jail, and who, while being processed out of the Sheriff's custody, were strip searched without any individualized finding of reasonable suspicion that he or she was concealing contraband or weapons (the "post-release strip search" subclass). The court refused to certify a third subclass consisting of those arrested on "bad warrants" because it found that the numerosity requirement had not been met. Calvin v. Sheriff of Will County, 2004 WL 1125922, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8717 (N.D.Ill. May 12, 2004).

Plaintiffs subsequently moved for summary judgment. On December 16, 2005, the District Court (Judge Gettleman) granted the Plaintiffs' motion, holding that both (1) the blanket policy of strip searching persons arrested for failure to appear in misdemeanor or traffic cases, and (2) the blanket policy of strip searching persons who were returned to jail for processing after being ordered released on traffic or misdemeanor charges violated Fourth Amendment. Calvin v. Sheriff of Will County, 405 F.Supp.2d 933 (N.D.Ill. Dec 16, 2005). On April 14, 2006, the Court, at the request of Defendants, amended its December 16 order to make it immediately appealable. Calvin v. Sheriff of Will County, 2006 WL 1005141, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27341 (N.D.Ill. Apr 14, 2006).

While the case was on interlocutory appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the parties settled the lawsuit. Under the Settlement Agreement, Will County agreed to pay $2.15 million into a common fund to settle all claims for damages, expenses, and attorneys' fees. Attorneys' fees and expenses were to be paid from the fund and were not to exceed 40% of the total payout. Each of the three named plaintiffs was to receive $25,000 as an incentive payment. The remainder of the fund would be used to pay class claims. It was anticipated that each class member would receive about $700.

On September 20, 2006, the District Court (Judge Virginia M. Kendall) preliminarily approved the settlement. After holding a November 17, 2006 fairness hearing, the Court issued a November 27, 2006 order finally approving the settlement. Subsequent proceedings established the procedure for the final distribution of settlement funds. No further proceedings are apparent from the docket.

Dan Dalton - 03/02/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Will County Sheriff
Will County, Illinois
Plaintiff Description Individuals strip-searched by the Will County Sheriff. 2 certified subclasses: (1) misdemeanor arrestees strip searched upon arrival; (2) those strip searched after ordered released by Court.
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 Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2006 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2006
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 ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
06-8015 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 04/26/2006
JC-IL-0006-9001 PDF | Detail
06-2487 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 01/25/2007
JC-IL-0006-9002 PDF | Detail
1:03-cv-03086 (N.D. Ill.) 04/11/2007
JC-IL-0006-9003 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Notice of Hearing on Settlement of Class Action 05/07/2001
JC-IL-0006-0009 PDF | Detail
Complaint 05/08/2003
JC-IL-0006-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 08/08/2003
JC-IL-0006-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 02/13/2004
JC-IL-0006-0010 PDF | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 05/17/2004 (2004 WL 1125922 / 2004 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 8717) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0006-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment on Liability 08/31/2005
JC-IL-0006-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order 12/16/2005 (405 F.Supp.2d 933) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0006-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 04/14/2006 (2006 WL 1005141 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27341) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0006-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Class Settlement Agreement 09/15/2006
JC-IL-0006-0006 PDF | Detail
Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement 09/15/2006
JC-IL-0006-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Memorandum In Support of Approval of Proposed Settlement 11/16/2006
JC-IL-0006-0008 PDF | Detail
Judges Gettleman, Robert William (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0006-0003 | JC-IL-0006-0005 | JC-IL-0006-0010
Kendall, Virginia Mary (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0006-0006 | JC-IL-0006-0007 | JC-IL-0006-0008 | JC-IL-0006-0009 | JC-IL-0006-0011 | JC-IL-0006-9001 | JC-IL-0006-9002 | JC-IL-0006-9003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Flaxman, Kenneth N. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-0001 | JC-IL-0006-0002 | JC-IL-0006-0004 | JC-IL-0006-0006 | JC-IL-0006-0007 | JC-IL-0006-0008 | JC-IL-0006-0010 | JC-IL-0006-9001 | JC-IL-0006-9002 | JC-IL-0006-9003
Defendant's Lawyers Clancy, Kevin J. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-0006 | JC-IL-0006-0007 | JC-IL-0006-0008 | JC-IL-0006-9001 | JC-IL-0006-9002 | JC-IL-0006-9003
Haberkord, Gerald (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
Kubalanza, Joan Marie (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
Leahy, Edward Joseph (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
McManaman, Martin W. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
O'Shea, Shannon F. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
Pavlovich, Jeffrey S. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
Ross, Marsha K (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
Woods, Daniel Robert (Illinois)
JC-IL-0006-9003
Other Lawyers None on record

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