University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Pinzon v. Lane CJ-IL-0010
Docket / Court 87 C 4542 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On May 19, 1987, a class of Illinois parolees arrested on new criminal charges and afforded no opportunity for a preliminary parole revocation filed this suit in the northern district of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued the Illinois Department of Corrections under state law and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ... read more >
On May 19, 1987, a class of Illinois parolees arrested on new criminal charges and afforded no opportunity for a preliminary parole revocation filed this suit in the northern district of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued the Illinois Department of Corrections under state law and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. Represented by pro bono counsel, the plaintiffs asked the court for a preliminary injunction preventing the Department from holding in custody any parolee arrested on a new criminal charge without providing a preliminary parole revocation hearing within 10 days, as well as other suitable relief.

According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, members of the Department of Corrections were implicated in denying the plaintiffs timely preliminary hearings. On November 10, 1987, the Illinois Review Board sent a letter to the Department of Corrections notifying them that their personnel would “no longer be needed as designees of the [Prisoner Review] Board to act as Preliminary Release Revocation Hearings Officers in Cook County.” The court (Judge Milton I. Shadur) would later remark that the letter had “the obvious look of an effort to frustrate [the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois]’s jurisdiction and shirk the [Department]’s constitutional responsibilities.” 675 F. Supp. 429, 432. On November 18, 1987, the plaintiffs filed a motion to add the Illinois Review Board and its members as defendants.

On November 20, 1987, the court certified the plaintiff class, which consisted of “all parolees and mandatory supervised releases of the Adult Division of the Illinois Department of Corrections who have been or will be arrested on a new criminal charge in Cook County, Illinois and who are or will be imprisoned in Cook County Jail pending a final parole revocation hearing pursuant to a parole violation warrant issued and executed by the defendants.”

On December 10, 1987, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction primarily because of a strong likelihood of success on the merits. The court noted that, per an Illinois administrative regulation (20 Ill. Adm. Code IV, § 1610.140(b)(3)) the state was required to provide preliminary hearings within ten days. In fact, the class representatives had waited “from over a month to nearly two years.” 676 F. Supp. at 431.

Furthermore, the court cited a Supreme Court case, Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972), which both parties agreed demarcated the scope of the parolees’ constitutional interests. In Morrissey, parolees were promised a preliminary parole revocation hearing “at or reasonably near the place of the alleged parole violation or arrest and as promptly as convenient after the arrest.” 408 U.S. at 485. Furthermore, the Seventh Circuit had previously stated that Morrissey “seemed to be contemplating an almost immediate hearing.”

The facts of this case were slightly different than Morrissey because they dealt with parolees who were arrested for new criminal charges as opposed to technical violations of parole conditions. New Illinois legislation no longer required preliminary parole revocation hearings for parolees when a judicial finding of probable cause had been made at a preliminary hearing for that parolee on a new charge. The defendants, however, had also established a practice of denying a preliminary parole revocation hearing to all indicted defendants. This policy was impermissible in the eyes of the courts because there was no judicial probable cause determination.

Furthermore, the court asserted that the defendant could not legitimately claim any harm, so the balance of harms weighed in the plaintiff’s favor. Additionally, the public interest was determined to be served by an injunction because meaningful parole revocation processes benefit society according to the Supreme Court.

Because all the preliminary injunction factors weighed in the plaintiffs’ favor, the court granted the injunction against the original defendants. Additionally, to ensure that the Illinois Review Board would be affected by the outcome of the judgment, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion to add the Illinois Review Board and its members as defendants. The Court also issued an identical Temporary Restraining Order against the Board, and the parties were directed to make an appearance on December 18, 1987 to discuss how, procedurally, to enforce a preliminary injunction against the newly-named defendants.

In its preliminary injunction order, which was entered on December 23, 1987, the court enjoined the defendants from holding in custody, without providing a preliminary parole revocation hearing within the statutorily prescribed reasonable time frame, any parolee from Department who is arrested on a new criminal charge and imprisoned in Cook County Jail pursuant to a parole violator warrant. The appropriate time frame with ten days, unless the defendants could show that a delay of up to 14 additional days was necessary to obtain evidence or produce witnesses. The defendants were also enjoined from denying preliminary parole revocation hearings to those parolees indicted on new charges.

The parties eventually agreed on a settlement. The settlement reflected some of the provisions described in the preliminary injunction, including a ten business day limit on the imprisonment of a parolee/release without preliminary parole revocation hearing subject to (1) waiver, (2) requested continuance by the parolee, (3) judicial finding of probable cause on the original criminal charge that prompted the parole revocation hearing or a new charge, (4) unavailability of the parolee due to physical or mental health reasons, and (5) a hearing officer’s fourteen-day extension to produce witnesses or procure evidence. If the ten-day limit was exceeded, the settlement stipulated that was to be a written record of the reasons for the delay.

Additionally, the settlement stipulated that arrested parolees were to be notified that they were to be provided preliminary parole revocation hearing within 10 business days of imprisonment.

There is no reason to believe this case is ongoing.

Megan Brown - 04/10/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Recordkeeping
General
Parole grant/revocation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Illinois Department of Corrections
Illinois Prisoner Review Board
The State of Illinois
Plaintiff Description All parolees of the Illinois Department of Corrections who have been or will be arrested on a new criminal charge in Cook County, Illinois and who are or will be imprisoned in Cook County Jail pending a final parole revocation hearing.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 1987
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing CJ-IL-0001 : King v. Walker (N.D. Ill.)
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Consent Decree (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Date:
Memorandum Opinion and Order (675 F.Supp. 429) (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0010-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/10/1987
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Shadur, Milton Irving (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0010-0001 | CJ-IL-0010-0002

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -