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Case Name Lacy v. Dart DR-IL-0005
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-06259 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
On August 14, 2014, a detainee in the Cook County jail who used a wheelchair filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff sued Cook County, Illinois under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, and two Cook County ... read more >
On August 14, 2014, a detainee in the Cook County jail who used a wheelchair filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff sued Cook County, Illinois under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, and two Cook County correctional officers in their individual capacities under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff claimed the County deprived him of rights secured under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, and alleged excessive force by the correctional officers.

Shortly thereafter, the plaintiff, now joined by three additional wheelchair-using detainees, filed an amended complaint. A fifth named plaintiff was later added. The plaintiffs, individually and on behalf of a putative class of Cook County detainees, sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and damages. The plaintiffs complained that during their monthly trips from the jail to one of the six local courthouses, the County subjected them to numerous ADA and Rehabilitation Act violations, including inadequate van transport and holding cell accommodations, severely limited and unequal access to lavatory facilities, and non-ADA compliant wheelchair ramps.

On September 17, 2014, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction, on which Judge Robert W. Gettleman did not immediately rule. Over the next five months, the Court conducted extensive evidentiary hearings in which the County introduced status reports detailing their efforts and plans to achieve compliance with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act. The plaintiffs contended that these plans were incomplete, and therefore not sufficient to overcome the need for injunctive relief.

On April 30, 2015, Judge Gettleman granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, defining the class as all Cook County Jail detainees who have been assigned and currently use a wheelchair. 2015 WL 1995576.

Judge Gettleman denied the defendants' motion to sever the excessive force claim by the original plaintiff against the two correctional officers on May 27, 2015. The plaintiffs then moved for partial summary judgment on July 8, and the defendants followed suit on September 4 and likewise moved for summary judgment. Additionally, the parties filed a stipulated dismissal on September 24 of four of the individual defendants, leaving the Sheriff and Cook County as the defendants.

On October 8, 2015, Judge Gettleman granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, though he treated the injunction as a permanent one in light of procedural developments. The plaintiffs' rights under the ADA had been violated in the past with respect to courthouse ramps and bathrooms. However, the defendants were given the opportunity to propose changes that accorded with the specific circumstances at issue. Judge Gettleman also denied the plaintiffs' request for declaratory judgment, finding that evidence of past ADA violations did not entitle them to a declaration of present violations. 2015 WL 5921810.

On November 19, Judge Gettleman granted the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment and denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment. He found that the defendants had been "on notice of the need to provide accommodations for wheelchair-using detainees attending court at the six courthouses as early as 1999." He held that not providing the requisite aid was a "deliberate decision" that constituted the "intentional discrimination" necessary to recover damages for discrimination under the ADA. 2015 WL 7351752.

The plaintiffs moved for supplemental injunctive relief twice. On January 7, 2016, they requested that the Maywood Courthouse bathrooms be brought into compliance with the ADA. On May 4, they made the same request for the Bridgeview Courthouse.

The parties progressed toward trial. On May 12, 2016, Judge Gettleman severed and dismissed without prejudice the plaintiffs' claims alleging statutory violations other than those pertaining "to transportation, ramps, and bathroom facilities before during and after court appearances at the Cook County Jail."

On May 2, 2017, Judge Gettleman granted supplemental injunctive relief as to the Maywood Courthouse, but denied it as to the Bridgeview Courthouse. The privacy screens in the Maywood bathrooms were inappropriately spaced, and as such the defendants had to adjust the screens to make them compliant. The Bridgeview bathrooms, however, had been appropriately set up in all but one aspect, but full compliance was technically infeasible, and consequently the defendants had provided reasonable accommodations in light of the technical difficulty, rendering them compliant with the ADA.

The defendants appealed the injunctions on May 31, 2017, and the plaintiffs cross-appealed the supplemental injunction on June 9, 2017. Judge Gettleman then stayed further proceedings pending the appeal.

On July 30, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided the defendant’s challenges to four of the District Court’s orders: 1) the grant of partial summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, 2) the jury verdict and $600 damage award in favor of an individual plaintiff, 3) the certification of the class, and 4) the grant of the permanent injunction regarding Maywood’s privacy screens.

Each party won part of the appeal. For the defendants, the Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s grant of partial summary judgment, finding that the lower court improperly relied on findings of fact from a prior decision. Because the court’s decision on partial summary judgment tainted the jury trial, the jury verdict and damage awards were vacated. The court remanded the question for a repeat, proper jury trial. However, for the plaintiffs, the Court of Appeals affirmed class certification. Similarly, the appellate court found that the District Court had not abused its discretion in granting the permanent injunction regarding Maywood’s privacy screens. 897 F.3d 847 (7th Cir. 2018).

Following the appellate court’s decision, the parties entered into a hotly contested period of discovery. However, on July 11, 2019, the parties met to discuss a settlement before Magistrate Judge David Weisman and outlined the timeframe for remediating deficiencies at the Maywood and Leighton Courthouses. On October 30, 2019, the parties reached a settlement. The Maywood courthouse was projected to be renovated in accordance with ADA regulations by April 2021, while the Leighton courthouse was scheduled to be modified by May 2020.

On February 18, 2020 Judge Gettleman determined that the terms of the settlement had been satisfied, and dismissed the case with prejudice and without costs in accordance with settlement agreements executed by all parties.

The case is closed.

Robert Lake - 06/04/2015
Virginia Weeks - 10/05/2017
Hope Brinn - 10/23/2018
Justin Hill - 11/18/2019
Madeline Buday - 02/26/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Bathrooms
Buildings
Courts
Excessive force
Reasonable Accommodations
Transportation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Cook County, Illinois
Plaintiff Description Five wheelchair using detainees at the Cook Country Jail in Illinois, individually and on behalf of class of other wheelchair using detainees.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 08/14/2014
Case Closing Year 2020
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)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
02/26/2021
1:14-cv-6259
DR-IL-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
08/14/2014
Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-IL-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
08/26/2014
Amended Complaint [ECF# 9]
DR-IL-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
01/13/2015
Amendment to Complaint [ECF# 84]
DR-IL-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/30/2015
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 142] (2105 WL 1995576)
DR-IL-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
10/08/2015
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 203] (2015 WL 5921810)
DR-IL-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
11/19/2015
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 218] (2015 WL 7351752)
DR-IL-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
09/14/2016
Order [ECF# 347]
DR-IL-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/02/2017
Order [ECF# 368]
DR-IL-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
08/21/2018
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 445]
DR-IL-0005-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
10/22/2018
Plaintiffs' Status Report [ECF# 453]
DR-IL-0005-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
10/26/2018
Defendant Dart's Status Report [ECF# 457]
DR-IL-0005-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
01/17/2019
Plaintiffs' Status Report [ECF# 484]
DR-IL-0005-0012.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
03/19/2019
Joint Status Report [ECF# 503]
DR-IL-0005-0013.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
08/05/2019
Defendant Cook County's Status Report [ECF# 523]
DR-IL-0005-0014.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Gettleman, Robert William (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0004 | DR-IL-0005-0005 | DR-IL-0005-0006 | DR-IL-0005-0007 | DR-IL-0005-0008 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Flaxman, Kenneth N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0001 | DR-IL-0005-0002 | DR-IL-0005-0003 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Flaxman, Joel A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Morrissey, Patrick William (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0001 | DR-IL-0005-0002 | DR-IL-0005-0010 | DR-IL-0005-0013 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Morrissey, Thomas Gerard (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0001 | DR-IL-0005-0002 | DR-IL-0005-0003 | DR-IL-0005-0012 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cargie, Thomas E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Carroll, Jacqueline B. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Casey, Brian M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Castiglione, Nicolas Paul (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Chandler, James J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Condron, David Richard (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Cummings, Nicholas E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Gallagher, Michael L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Gorman, Michael (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0013 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Haidari, Raana Vakilzadeh (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0011 | DR-IL-0005-0013 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Hannon, Maureen O'Donoghue (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Henretty, Lyle Kevin (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Larios, Miguel E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-0013 | DR-IL-0005-0014 | DR-IL-0005-9000
Power, John M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Sorich, Michael Jude (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Zebelian, Adam Miel (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000
Zecchin, Anthony E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
DR-IL-0005-9000

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