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Case Name Holmes v. Godinez PC-IL-0028
Docket / Court 1:11-cv-02961 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Uptown People's Law Center
Case Summary
On May 04, 2011, deaf and hard of hearing prisoners filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the officials at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by a group of public and private lawyers, the ... read more >
On May 04, 2011, deaf and hard of hearing prisoners filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the officials at the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by a group of public and private lawyers, the plaintiffs alleged that, while in IDOC custody, they were denied the assistance they needed to effectively communicate and participate in IDOC programs and services, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs sought certification of a class consisting of all prisoners who were deaf or hard of hearing, as well as declaratory and injunctive relief.

For nearly the first two years, the parties were involved in settlement talks. However, in April of 2013 the settlement status hearings came to an end and discovery commenced. On October 10, 2014, the parties began settlement talks once more.

The parties were unable to come to a settlement agreement and recommenced discovery as of April 13, 2015. On October 8, 2015, Judge Marvin E. Aspen released an order granting the plaintiffs' class action certification. He also denied in part and granted in part the defendant's motion for summary judgement, but only dismissed the plaintiffs' claim of cruel and unusual punishment as it pertained to "communicative isolation." The rest of the plaintiffs' claims stood as the case proceeded.

Additionally, in June of 2015 the plaintiffs filed a motion to compel supplemental discovery as to the death of a named plaintiff, who they claimed died of a burst appendix because he was unable to communicate with corrections officers. Though the defendants resisted this discovery, they were ordered to produce it by an order from the Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim on December 18, 2015.

On May 5, 2016, Judge Aspen scheduled a hearing on July 21, 2016, to set a date for trial.

This case is ongoing as of June 2016.

Xin Chen - 06/22/2011
Jessica Kincaid - 02/27/2015
Kat Brausch - 04/13/2016

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Hearing impairment
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Illinois
Plaintiff Description Deaf and hard of hearing prisoners in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Uptown People's Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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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 ]

1:11-cv-02961 (N.D. Ill.) 06/03/2016
PC-IL-0028-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 05/04/2011
PC-IL-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 10/08/2015 (311 F.R.D. 177) (N.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0028-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Aspen, Marvin E. (N.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0028-0002 | PC-IL-0028-9000
Finnegan, Sheila Marie Court not on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Antholt, Amanda C. (Illinois)
Dunigan, Ryan Marc (Illinois)
McCarthy, Mary Teresa (Illinois)
McCormick, Kevin P. (Illinois)
Michels, Robert L. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0028-0001 | PC-IL-0028-9000
Miller, Laura J. (Illinois)
Mills, Alan S. (Illinois)
Motto, Joseph Laurence (Illinois)
Pendry, Lucas T (Illinois)
Peterson, Amy F. (Illinois)
Rosenblum, Howard A (Maryland)
Ross, Joelle Lynn (Illinois)
Shadley, Frederic Charles (Illinois)
Taylor, Barry Charlton (Illinois)
Verma, Nisha (Illinois)
Weisberg, Rachel M. (Illinois)
Wrigley, Nicole E. (Illinois)
Defendant's Lawyers Ioppolo, Thomas A. (Illinois)
Lovellette, Kevin R. (Illinois)
Scheller, Jessica Megan (Illinois)
Other Lawyers None on record

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