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Case Name Ross v. Gossett PC-IL-0033
Docket / Court 3:15-cv-00309 ( S.D. Ill. )
Additional Docket(s) 15-281  [ 15-281 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-515  [ 15-515 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-611  [ 15-611 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-690  [ 15-690 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-692  [ 15-692 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-706  [ 15-706 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-1060  [ 15-1060 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-1263  [ 15-1263 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-308  [ 15-308 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-00130  [ 16-130 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-00248  [ 16-248 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-00115  [ 16-115 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-083  [ 16-83 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-00416  [ 16-416 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-783  [ 16-783 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-cv-00007  [ 15-7 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
17-cv-00146  [ 17-146 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
17-cv-00494  [ 17-494 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
16-cv-00745  [ 16-745 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
15-415  [ 15-415 ]  Southern District of IL (U.S.)
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Attorney Organization Loevy & Loevy
Uptown People's Law Center
Case Summary
On March 19, 2015, an Illinois prisoner filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against numerous members of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) tactical team “Orange Crush,” the ... read more >
On March 19, 2015, an Illinois prisoner filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against numerous members of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) tactical team “Orange Crush,” the wardens at Illinois River, Menard, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers, and other IDOC officials. The plaintiff, represented by Loevy & Loevy and the Uptown People's Law Center, sought injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, both for himself individually and for a class of other similarly-situated Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates. Specifically, the named plaintiff claimed that during an April 2014 search of cells at Illinois River Correctional Center, the members of the IDOC tactical team "Orange Crush" beat, abused, and sexually humiliated the plaintiff, destroyed his property, and otherwise inflicted punishment for the sole purpose of causing humiliation and needless pain. The plaintiff further alleged that this conduct at Illinois River was not an aberration. Rather, Orange Crush conducted similarly abusive search procedures at three other IDOC facilities: Menard, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers. The plaintiff sought to represent a class consisting of all IDOC inmates subjected to the 2014 shakedowns, as well as all present and future inmates of these four IDOC facilities.

In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged violations of the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause, when state officials intentionally, wantonly, and/or maliciously inflicted unnecessary physical and emotional pain and suffering on IDOC inmates. In addition, the plaintiff argued that the defendants' strip search procedures violate several provisions of the Prison Rape Elimination Act National Standards, 28 C.F.R. § 115. Lastly, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants acted with the intent or knowledge that there was a high probability that their conduct would inflict severe emotional distress upon the inmates.

The case was assigned to Judge Staci M. Yandle. It was initially assigned to Magistrate Judge Philip M. Frazier, but was reassigned to Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams on October 16, 2015.

Various defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim on May 29, 2015, and this motion was granted in part and denied in part on January 28, 2016. The court dismissed the portions of the complaint dealing with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, as the Act did not create a private cause of action. The court determined that the remainder of the complaint was sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. The court (Magistrate Judge Williams) approved a confidentiality order on July 10, 2017. The plaintiffs then filed a motion to certify the class on October 12, 2018.

Throughout the litigation process, the court granted many motions to consolidate cases by plaintiffs alleging similarly improper stripe search techniques and cell shakedowns. The complete list of consolidated cases docket numbers can be found at the bottom of this summary. In January of 2019, a number of cases were then severed because their facts fell outside of the class perimeters, such as outside of the established time frame and occurring outside one of the four facilities (Illinois River, Menard, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers). The severed cases included Turner v. Spiller, et al., 3:16-cv-131-SMY-MAB; Williams v. Mull, et al., 3:15-cv-523-SMY-MAB; and, Chairs v. IDOC, et al., 3:15-cv-1359-SMY-MAB, each in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The litigation in this case is ongoing as of February 2020.

Each of the below cases were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois and consolidated with this case (Ross v. Gossett) as of February 2020:
Hamilton v. McCallister, 15-281-SMY-SCW
Miller v. Duncan, 15-415-SMY-SCW
McDaniel v. McCallistor, 15-515-SMY-SCW
Sultan v. Duncan, 15-611-SMY-SCW
Cortes v. Stolworthy, 15-690-SMY-SCW
Watts v. Big Muddy River Correctional Center, 15-692-SMY-SCW
Dunmore v. Duncan, 15-706-SMY-SCW
Brooks v. IDOC Director, 15-1060-SMY-SCW
Verser v. Duncan, 15-1263-SMY-SCW
Johnson v. McCallistor, 15-308-MJR-SCW
Tolliver v. Wexford Health Sources, 16-cv-00130-SMY
Smith v. Godinez, 16-cv-00248-SMY
Tenney v. Baldwin, 16-cv-00115-SMY
Harding v. Balwin,16-cv-083-SMY
Miller v. Baldwin, 16-cv-00416-SMY
Truly v. Moore, 16-cv-783-NJR
Fisher v. McCallistor, 15-cv-00007-SMY-RJD
Clark v. Tact Team, 17-cv-00146-SMY-RJD
Knox v. Butler, 17-cv-00494-SMY
Smith v. Unknown Party, 16-cv-00745-SMY-MAB

Robert Lake - 05/29/2015
Elizabeth Heise - 10/23/2018
Margaret Vogel - 02/11/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Excessive force
Grievance Procedures
Prison Rape Elimination Act
Restraints : physical
Search policies
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Strip search policy
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 Individual plaintiff and putative class of all individuals housed at Illinois River, Big Muddy River, Lawrence, and Menard who were subjected to the 2014 shakedowns, and all prisoners confined to those facilities presently or who may be so confined in the future.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Loevy & Loevy
Uptown People's Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 03/19/2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:15-cv-309 (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0033-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/18/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [ECF# 76] (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0033-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-IL-0033-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 03/19/2015
Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 197]
PC-IL-0033-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/31/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 508] (2019 WL 1326899) (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0033-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/25/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Opinion [ECF# 516] (S.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0033-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Williams, Stephen C. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Yandle, Staci Michelle (S.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0002 | PC-IL-0033-0004 | PC-IL-0033-0005 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brown, Ruth Z. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0003 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Crosley, Adair (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Grady, Sarah (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0001 | PC-IL-0033-0003 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Heppell, Sam (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Kanovitz, Michael I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0001 | PC-IL-0033-0003 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0001 | PC-IL-0033-0003 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Mazur, Elizabeth N (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Mills, Alan S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0001 | PC-IL-0033-0003 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Rauscher, Scott (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Roche, Katherine A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Schult, Nicole (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-0001 | PC-IL-0033-0003 | PC-IL-0033-9000
Tracy, Johanna Louise (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alfonso, Nicholas Vincent (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Cook, Lisa A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Doran, James Patrick (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Fanning, Robert L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Fletcher, Matthew T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
McNaught, Karen L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Powell, Michael Martin (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Price, Susannah J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Steimel, Emma Dorothy (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Taborga, Alan (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000
Weigand, Jason Joseph (Illinois) show/hide docs
PC-IL-0033-9000

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