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Case Name Parish v. Sheriff of Cook County JC-IL-0042
Docket / Court 1:07-cv-04369 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On August 3, 2007, a person held in Cook County Jail (CCJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 2201 against Cook County. The plaintiff, represented by civil rights attorneys, asked the court ... read more >
On August 3, 2007, a person held in Cook County Jail (CCJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 2201 against Cook County. The plaintiff, represented by civil rights attorneys, asked the court for compensatory damages, claiming that the jail's policies and procedures that denied prescribed medications to prisoners violated the Fourteenth Amendment.

The plaintiffs specifically alleged that the defendant's policy allowed medical technicians to deny medications to detainees solely on the basis of a brief and cursory interview. Technicians failed to inquire about detainees' medical histories and made their decisions without consulting a physician. With respect to psychotropic medications, the plaintiffs alleged that CCJ routinely provided antidepressants to individuals as a less expensive replacement of their medically-required psychotropic medications, which lead to behavioral problems including suicide attempts. With respect to non-psychotropic medications, the plaintiffs alleged that the county's policy permitted technicians to cut off drug treatments for a wide range of conditions, including enlarged prostate, heart disease, acid reflux, congestive heart failure, asthma, hepatitis C, chronic pain and surgical wounds. As a result, the plaintiffs suffered a wide range of adverse medical consequences.

On August 16, 2007, the plaintiffs filed the first amended complaint requesting class certification. On March 31, 2008, the plaintiffs filed the second amended complaint. On May 21, 2008, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the second amended complaint for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs failed to allege that a policy, custom, or practice for the Sheriff of Cook County was responsible was a cause or contributing cause for their alleged constitutional injury.

On October 24, 2008, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly granted class certification to current and former inmates confined to the Cook County Jail who were denied prescribed drug therapies within 24 hours by the facility, rejecting the defendant's adequacy-of-representation argument that asserted felons cannot serve as class representatives. Parish v. Sheriff of Cook Cnty., 07 4369, 2008 WL 4812875 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 24, 2008).

The court reassigned the case to Judge John Lee on June 1, 2012.

The plaintiffs moved for summary judgment on July 2, 2012, and the defendants moved to decertify the previously certified class on July 5, 2012. The defendants filed a cross-motion for summary judgment one month later. After several hearings on the motion and supplemental briefing, the court denied the defendants' motion to decertify the class on March 31, 2016, concluding that there were no material changes in circumstance or the law requiring decertification. 2016 WL 1270400. On April 17, 2018, the court denied a motion by defendants to bar the testimony of four of the plaintiffs' expert witnesses. 2018 WL 1811330.

On May 30, 2019, Judge John Lee addressed the parties’ motions for summary judgment. He granted in part and denied in part the defendants' motions and denied the plaintiffs’ motion. The court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant Cook County, finding that it was not directly liable for the allegedly unconstitutional intake policies at the jail. However, the court held that Cook County remained an indispensable party to the litigation because of their statutory role of funding the sheriff’s office. Addressing the claims against the Sheriff, the court granted the defendant’s motion as to claims asserting constitutional violations prior to 2008 and claims based on medical conditions other than asthma, diabetes, depression, and other various illnesses. The court permitted the plaintiffs’ remaining claims against the Sheriff to proceed. 2019 WL 2297464.

Beginning in summer 2019, the parties began settlement discussions. The case is ongoing as of November 6, 2019.

Jessica Kincaid - 03/29/2014
Elizabeth Heise - 11/12/2018
Lily Sawyer-Kaplan - 11/06/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Hepatitis
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Untreated pain
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Cook County
Plaintiff Description Current and former inmates confined to the Cook County Jail who were denied prescription drugs
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2007
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:07-cv-04369 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0042-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-IL-0042-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/03/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 7]
JC-IL-0042-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 21]
JC-IL-0042-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT SHERIFF OF COOK COUNTY’S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFFS’ SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT [ECF# 32]
JC-IL-0042-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER [ECF# 58] (2008 WL 4812875) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0042-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/24/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 314] (2016 WL 1270400) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0042-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/31/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 331] (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0042-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/17/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 338] (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0042-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/30/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kennelly, Matthew F. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-0004
Lee, John Zihun (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-0007 | JC-IL-0042-0008 | JC-IL-0042-0009 | JC-IL-0042-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Flaxman, Joel A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-9000
Flaxman, Kenneth N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-0002 | JC-IL-0042-0006 | JC-IL-0042-9000
Morrissey, Thomas Gerard (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-0002 | JC-IL-0042-0005 | JC-IL-0042-0006 | JC-IL-0042-9000
Scanlon, Stacey L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Catania, Francis J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-9000
Creighton, Andrew Joseph (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-9000
Devine, Richard Arthur (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-0003
Fahlgren, Daniel J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0042-0003 | JC-IL-0042-9000

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