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Case Name Westefer v. Snyder PC-IL-0023
Docket / Court 3:00-cv-00162-GPM ( S.D. Ill. )
Additional Docket(s) 09-03780  [ 09-3780 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
10-02957  [ 10-2957 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
12-03608  [ 12-3608 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
13-01918  [ 13-1918 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Uptown People's Law Center
Case Summary
On March 7, 2000, prisoners in Illinois' supermax prison, Tamms Correctional Center, brought this action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The prisoners sued the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, alleging that their ... read more >
On March 7, 2000, prisoners in Illinois' supermax prison, Tamms Correctional Center, brought this action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The prisoners sued the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, alleging that their selection by prison officials for transfer to and continued confinement at Tamms violated their rights to petition the government, to due process, and to freedom of association, as well as the ex-post facto clause. They also alleged that defendants engaged in illegal retaliation. Represented by the Uptown People's Law Center, the prisoners sought injunctive relief to prevent retaliation and violation of their constitutional rights, and asked, as well, for transfer into more appropriate prison facilities. The plaintiffs also sought both compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorneys' fees. The case was assigned to Judge Patrick Murphy.

Specifically, the prisoners alleged that IDOC severely restricted their movement and isolated inmates through the usage of self-contained individual cells, leaving inmates solitary for 23-24 hours a day. Plaintiffs claimed the punishment was imposed in retaliation for filing grievances and complaints and against the prison system and that the plaintiffs were not given a meaningful opportunity for a hearing before their transfer. Some of the plaintiffs also alleged violations of their First Amendment rights because they had been transferred to Tamms based on their membership in groups or gangs.

On July 18, 2003, the judge granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, finding that plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies because their initial grievance had not notified defendants that plaintiffs were put into supermax in response to litigation activities.

Plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Seventh Circuit on August 27, 2003. The Seventh Circuit decided the appeal on September 9, 2005, and reversed and remanded the case for all but one plaintiff on due process and retaliation claims. 422 F.3d 570. The Seventh Circuit upheld summary judgment for the defendants on the First Amendment claims.

Back in the district court, on February 7, 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a class. On June 14, 2006, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint which incorporated their class action allegations. Plaintiffs sought a class of all inmates who have been transferred to Tamms Correctional Center since January 1, 1998, and all prisoners who will be transferred to Tamms in the future. On September 12, 2006, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion, adopting their proposed class definition and appointing the Uptown People's Law Center as class counsel. 2006 WL 2639972.

On December 6, 2006, the court affirmed the findings of a magistrate judge and denied plaintiffs' discovery motion to compel inspection of confidential prison information. 472 F.Supp.2d 1034. On January 8, 2008, the court denied a plaintiff's motion for appointment of separate counsel. One plaintiff had withdrawn from class representation, and the court ruled that under these circumstances he should proceed pro se, and was not entitled to the appointment of his own attorney. 2008 WL 131166

On September 4, 2009, the court denied the class plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and granted in part defendants' motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the court granted defendants' motion on qualified immunity to damages for the due process claim and on the retaliation claims by the plaintiffs who were assigned to Tamms before the current director of the IDOC took his position. 2009 WL 2905548.

On January 15, 2010, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment on the claim of exhaustion of administrative remedies. 2010 WL 235003. Specifically, the court found that no administrative remedy had ever existed to challenge placement in supermax.

On July 20, 2010, after a bench trial, the court awarded injunctive relief. 725 F. Supp. 2d 735. The injunctive relief required review of all transfers into Tamm and notice of reason for transfer to all inmates and hearings as a part of the review procedure. The hearings were to receive internal review and were appealable within the IDOC. The relief was granted for two years unless further relief was found to be necessary. On August 19, 2010, defendants appealed the injunction to the Seventh Circuit.

On October 12, 2010, the district court denied a stay of the injunction and also denied the defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law. Specifically, the court found defendants did not have a high chance of succeeding on the merits and that harm to defendants by transferring prisoners out of supermax was small. 2010 WL 4000599.

But on June 6, 2012, the Seventh Circuit vacated the injunction and required a new injunction more narrowly tailored to the scope of the constitutional right. 682 F.3d 679. Specifically, the Seventh Circuit found the requirements on reporting guidelines and timing of reports were broader than constitutionally required. The PLRA required that relief be more narrowly drawn. On June 20, 2012, the district court required the defendant to submit a new proposed injunction. Defendants appealed this to the Seventh Circuit.

However, in the interim, Illinois governor Pat Quinn vetoed all state budget appropriations for Tamms, effectively shutting the facility down. On March 27, 2013, the district court proposed a grant of defendant's motion to vacate the injunctive relief on the grounds there were no longer any prisoners in the facility. 2013 WL 1286971. On April 3, 2013, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court's decision to vacate the injunction due to the lack of prisoners at the facility. However, on remand the district court upheld its award of $297,848.60 in attorney's fees for the plaintiff. The case is now closed.

David Smellie - 04/19/2017
Nathaniel Flack - 03/15/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Grievance Procedures
Recreation / Exercise
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Illinois Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmates who were confined in Illinois' supermax prison, Tamms Correctional Center, alleging that their selection by prison officials for transfer to and continued confinement at Tamms violates their rights to petition the government and to due process.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Uptown People's Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Prison closed by governor
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Order Duration 2010 - 2013
Filing Year 2000
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:00-cv-00708-GPM-DGW (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:00-cv-00162-GPM-DGW (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum and Order (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2000
Order (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2002
Judgment in a Civil Case (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/28/2003
Order Affirming in Part and Denying in Part (422 F.3d 570)
PC-IL-0023-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/06/2005
Source: Westlaw
Notice of Issuance of Mandate
PC-IL-0023-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2005
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Certify Class
PC-IL-0023-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/07/2006
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Answer to Count 3 of Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint for Injunction, Declaratory Judgment, and Damages
PC-IL-0023-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2006
Order Consolidating Case (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2006
Second Amended Complaint
PC-IL-0023-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/14/2006
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 156] (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/12/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 179] (2008 WL 131166) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0023.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/09/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 310] (2009 WL 2905548) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/04/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 531] (2010 WL 235003) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/15/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 534] (2010 WL 331733) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/25/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 540] (725 F.Supp.2d 73) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/20/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment in a Civil Case [ECF# 541] (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/20/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 578] (2010 WL 4000446) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0018.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/12/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 579] (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 599] (2011 WL 1935) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0020.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/01/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 610] (2011 WL 766188) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0021.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/25/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (Vacating Injunction and Remanding) (682 F.3d 679)
PC-IL-0023-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/06/2012
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 655] (2013 WL 1286971) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0023-0022.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/27/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Bauer, William Joseph (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0010
Cudahy, Richard Dickson (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0005 | PC-IL-0023-0012
Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0010
Evans, Terence Thomas (E.D. Wis., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0005 | PC-IL-0023-0012
Gilbert, John Phil (S.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0007
Murphy, G. Patrick (S.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0002 | PC-IL-0023-0003 | PC-IL-0023-0004 | PC-IL-0023-0005 | PC-IL-0023-0009 | PC-IL-0023-0013 | PC-IL-0023-0014 | PC-IL-0023-0015 | PC-IL-0023-0016 | PC-IL-0023-0017 | PC-IL-0023-0018 | PC-IL-0023-0019 | PC-IL-0023-0020 | PC-IL-0023-0021 | PC-IL-0023-0022 | PC-IL-0023-0023 | PC-IL-0023-9000 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Ripple, Kenneth Francis (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0005 | PC-IL-0023-0012
Sykes, Diane S. (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0010
Wilkerson, Donald G. (S.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bartels, Elizabeth H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Gaddipati, Raja S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Gembicki, Nika K. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Homer, Paul (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
McManus, Colleen E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Mills, Alan S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0001 | PC-IL-0023-0008 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Murray, Richard D Jr (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9000 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Ortbals, Gerald (Missouri) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Pivnick, David J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Shah, Raj N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Thompson, Tomas M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Wojcik, Lawrence A (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Bruce, Ellen C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Choate, Kelly R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Corrigan, Terence J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-0006 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Higgerson, Christopher L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9000 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Light, Erik G (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Lipka, Larry J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Morgan, James L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9000
Morgan, Julie (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9000 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Nelson, Ryan A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Rupcich, Joseph N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001
Stauffer, Randall C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9000 | PC-IL-0023-9001
Other Lawyers Shah, Aditi Kothekar (New York) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0023-9001

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