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Case Name United States v. Lake County JC-IN-0023
Docket / Court 2:10-cv-00476 ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On December 3, 2010, the United States of America filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Lake County, Indiana, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C § 1997. The plaintiffs, represented by the U.S. Department ... read more >
On December 3, 2010, the United States of America filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Lake County, Indiana, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980, 42 U.S.C § 1997. The plaintiffs, represented by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division attorneys, sought permanent injunctive relief, alleging that the County's actions and omissions in maintaining the Lake County Jail exhibited deliberate indifference to the health and safety of inmates at the jail. The case was assigned to Judge Theresa Springmann.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to have appropriate screening for suicide risk, failed to provide sufficient and adequate staffing, failed to provide intake and referral process for inmates with serious psychiatric needs, failed to provide sufficient medical staffing and adequate access to medical care for inmates with serious medical needs, failed to provide adequate fire safety, and maintained a physical environment at the Jail that caused harm and posed an unreasonable risk to health and safety.

On September 12, 2008, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice notified the County of their intention to investigate conditions of confinement at the Jail. On December 15-18, 2008, the plaintiff toured the Jail with consultants in the fields of correctional suicide prevention, mental health care, medical care, fire safety and environmental health. On December 7, 2009, the plaintiff issued a "Findings Letter", where it concluded that certain conditions at the Jail violated the constitutional rights of the inmates.

The parties entered into a settlement agreement on August 18, 2010. On December 3, 2010, the plaintiffs and the defendants entered a joint motion to enter settlement. On December 20, 2010, Judge Springmann issued an order granting the joint motion for settlement and approving the settlement agreement in its entirety. The Court (Judge Theresa Springmann) retained jurisdiction over the case to ensure timely and proper implementation of the settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement provided that the County did not admit any fault or liability. Under the agreement, the County had to use its best efforts to establish a suicide prevention program, to develop and implement a comprehensive fire safety program and ensure compliance with it, to revise and implement written housekeeping and sanitation plans for proper cleaning of housing, shower and medical areas, and to implement comprehensive and contemporary policies and procedures related to the use of force.

Under the agreement, the Jail had to submit a bi-annual compliance reports to the U.S. Department of Justice. The plaintiff agreed to have a Liaison whose duty is to supervise the implementation of the agreement and file the reports with the Court.

The agreement was set to terminate when the Jail has achieved substantial compliance with the provisions of the agreement and has maintained such compliance for one year. If the plaintiff believes that the County had failed to substantially comply with any of the obligations under the agreement, it would, prior to seeking judicial enforcement of the agreement, give written notice of failure to the County and the parties are to attempt good-faith resolution of the dispute. In the event of the failure of mutual resolution, the parties could submit the dispute to mediation or invoke the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

On August 8, 2011, the court filed the first compliance report. It indicated non-compliance and partial compliance with many provisions of the settlement agreement. On January 18, 2012, the second compliance report was filed with the Court, which also indicated non-compliance and partial compliance with the provisions of the agreement. On July 25, 2012, the third compliance report was filed with the Court. On January 22, 2013, the fourth compliance report was filed. The fifth compliance report was filed with the Court on September 30, 2013.

Status and compliance reports continued to be provided over the next two years. On September 17, 2015, the partly jointly moved to terminate Subsection D. Fire Safety of the settlement agreement, noting that the defendants had reached and maintained compliance with Subsection D for one year and were then able to terminate the provision pursuant to the settlement agreement’s termination process. The court granted this motion on October 6, 2015.

Then, by the same reasoning, the parties moved to terminate Subsection A, Medical Care, and Subsection, Suicide Prevention, on August 10, 2017. The court granted this motion on August 31, 2017. The parties continue to provide status reports, the docket was last updated on March 15, 2018. The case is ongoing.

Zhandos Kuderin - 03/27/2014
Jake Parker - 06/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Counseling
Excessive force
Fire safety
Record-keeping
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Self-injurious behaviors
Skin Infections
Suicide prevention
Tuberculosis
Wound care
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Lake County
Plaintiff Description United States Government
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - n/a
Filing Year 2010
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:10-cv-00476 (N.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
RE: Investigation of the Lake County Jail
JC-IN-0023-0009.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/07/2009
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 9]
JC-IN-0023-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/18/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-IN-0023-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/03/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order granting Motion for Settlement and Approving the Settlement Agreement in its entirety [ECF# 12] (N.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Compliance Report, Lake County Jail [ECF# 15]
JC-IN-0023-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/04/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Compliance Report, Lake County Jail [ECF# 24]
JC-IN-0023-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/18/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Compliance Report, Lake County Jail [ECF# 26]
JC-IN-0023-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/25/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Compliance Report, Lake County Jail [ECF# 29]
JC-IN-0023-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/22/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fifth Compliance Report, Lake County Jail [ECF# 36-1]
JC-IN-0023-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/22/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cherry, Paul R. (N.D. Ind.) [Magistrate]
JC-IN-0023-9000
Springmann, Theresa Lazar (N.D. Ind.)
JC-IN-0023-0002 | JC-IN-0023-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Austin, Roy L. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001 | JC-IN-0023-0003
Donnelly, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001
Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001
Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001 | JC-IN-0023-0003 | JC-IN-0023-0005 | JC-IN-0023-0006 | JC-IN-0023-0007 | JC-IN-0023-0008 | JC-IN-0023-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001 | JC-IN-0023-0003 | JC-IN-0023-0009
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001 | JC-IN-0023-0003
Saucedo, Luis E. (District of Columbia)
JC-IN-0023-0001 | JC-IN-0023-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Bishop, Gerald M. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0023-0003 | JC-IN-0023-9000
Bolde, Michael J (Indiana)
JC-IN-0023-9000
Bushemi, John P. (Indiana)
JC-IN-0023-0004 | JC-IN-0023-9000
Dull, John (Indiana)
JC-IN-0023-0003 | JC-IN-0023-9000
Hass, Patricia (Indiana)
JC-IN-0023-9000
Kopack, John M (Indiana)
JC-IN-0023-0003 | JC-IN-0023-9000

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