University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Fontano v. Godinez PC-IL-0040
Docket / Court 3:12-cv-03042-SEM-TSH ( C.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Uptown People's Law Center
Case Summary
On February 9, 2012, a former prisoner filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. The plaintiff brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), claiming violations of the First, Eight and ... read more >
On February 9, 2012, a former prisoner filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. The plaintiff brought this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), claiming violations of the First, Eight and Fourteenth Amendments. Represented by the MacArthur Justice Center and Uptown People's Law Center, the plaintiff asked the court for monetary damages,.

The complaint alleged that the IDOC employees were never disciplined for their role in his rape investigation. The plaintiff began serving a term of imprisonment with the Illinois Department of Corrections in February 2011. At a prison, his cellmate made physical contact with him. The plaintiff reported the incident to officer in charge and was moved to Health Care Unit. The plaintiff received a disciplinary ticket for providing false information about his alleged sexual assault. His cellmate passed the lie detector test and the plaintiff claimed he was threatened into recanting his allegation and the investigation was conducted in a retaliatory manner.

The parties scheduled discovery. On April 16, 2012, the IDOC moved to dismiss part of the complaint, claiming state sovereign immunity. On June 27, 2012, the court (Judge Sue E. Myerscough) denied the motion, determining that a factual record needed to be more fully developed. 2012 WL 2459399. On July 12, 2013, Judge Sue E. Myerscough granted a motion to compel discovery. 2013 WL 3712406.

After more than two years of discovery, on March 23, 2015, the defendants moved for summary judgment. On March 28, 2016, Judge Sue E. Myerscough denied the motion; the case went to jury trial in June 2016. In the middle of the third day of trial, the parties reported to the Court that they had settled.

On September 2016, the plaintiff and the defendants submitted a stipulation of settlement and request for dismissal to the court. The settlement itself is not part of the public court record. But according to the Chicago Tribune, the IDOC agreed to pay the plaintiff $450,000.

On September 8, 2016, Judge Myerscough dismissed this case with prejudice, each party to bear their own costs.

Susie Choi - 01/25/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) S.A. Godinez, Alex Dawson, John Doe, Kevin Standley, D. Simmons, Gary Bender, Villa Jennings, B. Call and Saleh Obaisi
Plaintiff Description Former prisoner at Logan Correctional Facility
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Uptown People's Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:12−cv−03042−SEM−TSH (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0040-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-IL-0040-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/09/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 28] (2012 WL 2459399) (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0040-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/27/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [ECF# 55] (2013 WL 3712406) (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0040-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/12/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 107] (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0040-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/28/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Myerscough, Sue Ellen (C.D. Ill.)
PC-IL-0040-0002 | PC-IL-0040-0003 | PC-IL-0040-0004 | PC-IL-0040-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bedi, Sheila A. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Bowman, Locke E. III (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-0001 | PC-IL-0040-9000
del Valle, Vanessa (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Mills, Alan S. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Van Brunt, Alexa A. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-0001 | PC-IL-0040-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cook, Lisa A. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Fanning, Robert L. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Guetzow, Adam Scott (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Heaton, Rodger A. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Higgerson, Christopher L. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Molloy, Margaret (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Ramage, Andrew Michael (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000
Ratz, Joshua D. (Illinois)
PC-IL-0040-9000

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