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Case Name Otero v. Dart CJ-IL-0007
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-03148 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On April 4, 2012, a pre-trial detainee in the Cook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff sued Cook County and its sheriff under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive ... read more >
On April 4, 2012, a pre-trial detainee in the Cook County Jail filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff sued Cook County and its sheriff under 42 U.S.C. §1983. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, claiming violations of the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause. The plaintiff claimed that Cook County had a practice of “holding in custody or imprisoning free citizens following a trial” at which the citizen is acquitted. Such individuals were often returned to the general jail population. When this happened to the plaintiff, he alleged, he was beaten up by other inmates who learned he would soon be released.

The plaintiff sought certification of a class of those who had similarly been unlawfully detained. This motion was denied on December 20, 2013. The plaintiff then amended his complaint to add a count for violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The plaintiff argued that female inmates were treated differently, as they were not returned to the general jail population after acquittal. After class certification discovery into the policies and practices of Cook County Jail, the plaintiff was granted class certification on September 2, 2014.

On October 30, 2015 both parties sought summary judgment. On January 7, 2016, Judge St. Eve denied defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiffs' Fourth Amendment claim, Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process claim, and Equal Protection claim. Judge St. Eve granted Cook County’s motion for summary judgment with respect to plaintiffs' Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process claim. The court denied plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

Discovery lasted several years, and, on the eve of trial, on February 18, 2016, the parties settled. The settlement involved comprehensive injunctive relief and monetary damages to class members. Cook County agreed to implement a new policy that provides mechanisms for identifying potential discharges and ensures they are not returned to the general jail population. Within 90 days, the defendants had to implement these changes and file a status report to the court. The court retained jurisdiction over the implementation and enforcement of these procedures for 9 months. The class members were each awarded $100, the original plaintiff received $15,000 in a service award, and the attorneys were awarded $2,000,000.

This settlement was approved and ordered on August 11, 2016 and the 9-month injunction period is ongoing.

Abigail DeHart - 09/29/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Failure to supervise
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cook County
Plaintiff Description All male inmates who while being detained by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office were found not guilty, were acquitted, or had charges brought against them dismissed, and for whom the Sheriff’s Office no longer had any legal right to detain from April 27, 2010 through the present.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2016 - 2017
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Cook County to pay $1.4 million to settle jail civil rights cases
http://www.chicagotribune.com
Date: 2016
By: Hal Dardick (Chicago Tribune)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
Date: Aug. 11, 2014
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:12-cv-03148 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
CJ-IL-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Motion to Dismiss] [ECF# 24] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/18/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Denying Class Certification] [ECF# 52] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 56]
CJ-IL-0007-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/15/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Motion to Modify Class] [ECF# 92] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/02/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Awarding Attorney's Fees] [ECF# 168] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/22/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Summary Judgment] [ECF# 224] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement and Release [ECF# 273-2]
CJ-IL-0007-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement [ECF# 282]
CJ-IL-0007-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Final Approval & Dismissal of Lawsuit [ECF# 286] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/11/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion to Waive Fees] [ECF# 293] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/17/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges St. Eve, Amy J. (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0007-0001 | CJ-IL-0007-0003 | CJ-IL-0007-0004 | CJ-IL-0007-0005 | CJ-IL-0007-0006 | CJ-IL-0007-0007 | CJ-IL-0007-0009 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chavez, Kathleen Currie (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Cherry, Myron Milton (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-0011 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Currie, Peter Lawrence (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Dzananovic, Dario (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Foote, Robert M. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-0011 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Herman, Matthew J. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Mielke, Craig S (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Nickow, Alexandra Leigh (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Werner, Christopher J. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Wong, Michael D (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002
Zolna, Jacie C. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0002 | CJ-IL-0007-0008 | CJ-IL-0007-0010 | CJ-IL-0007-0011 | CJ-IL-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Benjamin, Stacy Ann (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Gallagher, Michael L. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Huff, Andrea Lynn (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Power, John M. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Pullos, James Charles (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Rock, John Joseph (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-9000
Zecchin, Anthony E. (Illinois)
CJ-IL-0007-0011 | CJ-IL-0007-9000

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