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Case Name T.S. v. Twentieth Century Fox Television, Inc. JI-IL-0005
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-08303 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On August 24, 2016, two children who were previously detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) filed this class action lawsuit against a group of Fox companies (collectively “Fox”), Cook County, Illinois, and various officials connected to the JTDC. The case was ... read more >
On August 24, 2016, two children who were previously detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) filed this class action lawsuit against a group of Fox companies (collectively “Fox”), Cook County, Illinois, and various officials connected to the JTDC. The case was assigned to Judge Amy St. Eve. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, asked for disgorgement and monetary damages. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, brought this case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that their rights had been violated due to the filming of the hit Fox television show, Empire, at the JTDC.

Specifically, the complaint was brought following the summer of 2015, when the JTDC was placed on lockdown for approximately two weeks so that the detention center could be used as a set to shoot scenes for Empire. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants knew the children housed at the JTDC would be confined to their cells and pods at the facility to make room for the shooting. Throughout the two weeks, numerous areas, including JTDC's school, its facilities for family visits, and the outdoor recreation yard, were placed off-limits to the children living there.

Plaintiffs alleged that the lockdown was harmful to the children housed at the JTDC because it “interrupted and degraded the rehabilitation and structured programming that is designed to address the problems that brought the children to the JTDC,” including the children’s access to education. The plaintiffs also alleged that the lockdowns were psychologically damaging to the children, as they were forced to sit still in their pods, unable to get up from their chairs without permission, for days at a time.

On October 5, 2016, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to clarify the parties they were suing. The defendants named in the complaint filed motions to dismiss on December 5, 2016. On April 20, 2017, the court denied the motions as to most of the plaintiff’s claims but granted several without prejudice and with leave to re-plead. Specifically, the court denied Cook County and the Chief Judge's Office's motions on four counts and granted without prejudice on one count. As to Fox, the court granted the motion to dismiss on eight counts total, but without prejudice on six and with prejudice on only two. The court gave the plaintiffs leave to amend the claims dismissed without prejudice in a second amended complaint.

On May 23, 2017, the plaintiffs filed this second amended complaint, adding an unjust enrichment claim and attempting to fix the deficiencies in their earlier pleadings. On June 19, 2017, Fox filed a motion to dismiss several of the claims in this complaint as well. On October 16, 2017, the court denied the motion to dismiss as to the claims regarding tortious inducement of breach of fiduciary duty, state law conspiracy, and unjust enrichment. The court granted the motion to dismiss with prejudice as to the other claims. 2017 WL 1425596.

In March 2018, Judge Amy J. St. Eve was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and this case was reassigned to Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer for all further proceedings.

During the subsequent discovery, Judge Pallmeyer granted several motions in the plaintiffs favor, including several motions to compel as well as a partial award of attorneys fees for the litigation of those motions. The plaintiffs moved to certify the class on April 12, 2019. Leading up to the adjudication of that motion, several sealed motions and other filings exist in the docket, the contents of which are not available.

While the class certification motion was pending, the plaintiffs filed for partial summary judgment on December 9, 2019. This motion argued that the Chief Judge, one of the named defendants, was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity in this case. Shortly after, in early 2020, the parties entered into settlement negotiations. As of April 13, 2020, these negotiations are presumed to be ongoing.

The court issued an order denying class certification without prejudice on January 16, 2020 due to the plaintiffs failure to meet the requirements of Rule 21(a) and (b). It is unclear as of April 13, 2020 whether the settlement negotiations are seeking relief for just the named plaintiffs or a larger class. This case is ongoing.

Amelia Huckins - 01/26/2017
Rebecca Strauss - 05/24/2018
Alex Moody - 04/13/2020

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Conditions of confinement
Library (non-law) access
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Recreation / Exercise
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Cook County, Illinois
Twentieth Century Fox Television
Plaintiff Description Two children who were detained in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center during the summer of 2015
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 08/24/2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
1:16-cv-08303 (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
JI-IL-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/24/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 23]
JI-IL-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 73] (2017 WL 1425596) (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 88]
JI-IL-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order and Opinion [ECF# 110] (2017 WL 4620841) (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order and Opinion [ECF# 319] (2020 WL 247463) (C.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/16/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kim, Young B (N.D. Ill.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
Pallmeyer, Rebecca R. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0005-0006 | JI-IL-0005-9000
St. Eve, Amy Joan (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0005-0003 | JI-IL-0005-0005 | JI-IL-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chardon, Alexis Garmey (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0005-0004 | JI-IL-0005-9000
Garmey, Terrence D (Maine) show/hide docs
Grady, Sarah (Illinois) show/hide docs
Hanebutt, Pamela Reasor (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0005-0001 | JI-IL-0005-0002 | JI-IL-0005-9000
Kanovitz, Michael I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Pessin, Adam J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Razzano, Susan M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0005-0001 | JI-IL-0005-0002 | JI-IL-0005-9000
Weil, Stephen Heschel (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0005-0001 | JI-IL-0005-0002 | JI-IL-0005-0004 | JI-IL-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Catania, Francis J. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Dierkes, Michael T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Dworkin, Hal (Illinois) show/hide docs
Fletcher, Janine Nicole (Illinois) show/hide docs
Gillespie, Ryan (Illinois) show/hide docs
Henretty, Lyle Kevin (Illinois) show/hide docs
Horvat, T. Andrew (Illinois) show/hide docs
Jacobson, Jeffrey S. (New York) show/hide docs
James, Catherine E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Kamper, Joi (Illinois) show/hide docs
Kay, Justin O'Neill (Illinois) show/hide docs
Longoria, Marissa D (Illinois) show/hide docs
Luzadder, Matthew Charles (Illinois) show/hide docs
Mikhail, Danielle (Illinois) show/hide docs
Nowinski, Thomas Edward (Illinois) show/hide docs
West, Allyson Lynn (Illinois) show/hide docs
Zecchin, Anthony E. (Illinois) show/hide docs

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