University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Murphy v. Madigan CJ-IL-0013
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-11471 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Case Summary
On December 12, 2016, seven prisoners in Illinois Department of Corrections custody (IDOC) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued the State of Illinois and its attorney general under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On December 12, 2016, seven prisoners in Illinois Department of Corrections custody (IDOC) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued the State of Illinois and its attorney general under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging violations of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment by the State of Illinois for its legal policies regarding individuals convicted of sex-related offenses.

Individuals convicted of certain sex-related offenses under current Illinois law are subject to overlapping statutory and regulatory schemes that make it difficult for prisoners to satisfy conditions required for their release from prison. Illinois’ Unified Code of Corrections provided that for all felony convictions, the sentencing court must provide within the sentencing order a term of parole or mandatory supervised release (MSR). Individuals convicted after July 1, 2005, of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated sexual criminal assault, or criminal sexual assault, and individuals convicted after January 1, 2009, of aggravated child pornography, or manufacturing or dissemination of child pornography, were subject to a mandatory indeterminate term of MSR. The indeterminate term of MSR could range from a minimum of three years to life. An individual could only apply for termination of his indeterminate MSR sentence after completing three years of MSR outside of prison. A prisoner could not receive credit for MSR time served while in custody.

The Prison Review Board (PRB) required the plaintiffs to have an approved “host site” to reside while serving their MSR term before they could be released from IDOC custody. The IDOC only approved “host sites” that met all housing restrictions imposed by statute, the IDOC, and the PRB. The State of Illinois did not provide housing resources for plaintiffs and others similarly situated. Halfway homes and homeless shelters automatically rejected individuals with sex-related convictions. Each plaintiff either submitted multiple host sites and was denied by the IDOC, or was indigent and had no housing options to select for their “host site.” The plaintiffs alleged that the multiple restrictions created an unmeetable condition that forced them to spend the duration of their MSR term incarcerated. For the plaintiffs that were given an indeterminate MSR sentence, the unmeetable conditions resulted in life imprisonment.

The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on February 17, 2017. The defendants moved for dismissal on three grounds: (1) two of the plaintiffs’ claims lacked standing because they had not yet completed their incarceration sentences; (2) the plaintiffs’ claim against their duration of confinement should not have been raised under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because the relief requested was appropriate for a habeas corpus action; and (3) the plaintiffs’ claims failed to allege sufficient facts for their constitutional claims. Murphy v. Madigan, 2017 WL 3581175, at *1 (N.D. Ill Aug. 18, 2017).

On August 18, 2017, District Judge Virginia M. Kendall granted in part and denied in part the defendants’ motion to dismiss. Judge Kendall held that the plaintiffs did not need to file a habeas action in order to receive the requested relief and all constitutional claims were appropriate except for the due process claim. She granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss with respect to the two plaintiffs because their claims were based on post-release conditions and the plaintiffs had not yet been released. 2017 WL 3581175, at *4 (N.D. Ill Aug. 18, 2017). She further granted the motion with respect to the plaintiffs’ procedural due process claim because it was vague. 2017 WL 3581175, at *11 (N.D. Ill Aug. 18, 2017).

On December 6, 2017, the plaintiffs moved for class certification and appointment of class counsel. The plaintiffs sought class certification of those who had similarly completed their sentenced term and were currently detained in the IDOC and denied release because of their inability to find an approved host site. The motion to certify class went unopposed and Judge Kendall granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and the appointment of class counsel on April 6, 2018. The court defined the certified class as:
all individuals sentenced to serve “three-years-to-life” on MSR currently detained in the Illinois Department of Corrections (“IDOC”) who have been approved for release on MSR by the PRB but have been denied release from IDOC custody because of their inability to obtain an approved host site.
Once discovery ended, both parties sought summary judgment. On March 31, 2019, Judge Kendall granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in part, denied it in part, and fully denied the defendants’ cross-motion. Murphy v. Raoul, 2019 WL 1437880, at *1 (N.D. Ill March 31, 2019).

The court held that the State of Illinois’ application of host site requirement resulted in the continued deprivation of the plaintiffs Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection rights. Id. The court also addressed whether the proper vehicle to bring the plaintiffs’ claims was under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or a petition for a writ of habeas corpus and determined that the plaintiffs properly brought their claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 because they were not seeking custody release, but the proper legal application to their situation. 2019 WL 1437880, at *12 (N.D. Ill March 31, 2019). The court denied both parties summary judgment on the due process violation claim as to whether the defendants offered the plaintiffs any procedure to determine whether the IDOCs decision to deny a host site was valid because it was a genuine issue of material fact. 2019 WL 1437880, at *15 (N.D. Ill March 31, 2019).

As of June 9, 2019, the case is still ongoing in order for the parties to determine the proper remedies for the plaintiffs. Both parties met on May 1, 2019, for a settlement conference and scheduled another settlement conference for June 18, 2019.

Kimberly Goshey - 06/09/2019


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Law-enforcement
General
Good time
Sex offender regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Illinois
Plaintiff Description All persons who have been sentenced to a term of three years to natural life on Mandatory Supervised Release (MSR) who are currently detained in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) who have been approved for release on MSR by the Prison Review Board but have been denied release from IDOC custody because of their inability to find an approved host site.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  "3 to Life" Parole Lawsuit (Murphy et al v. Madigan et al)
https://womenagainstregistry.org
Date: Dec. 19, 2016
By: Women Against Registry
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-11471 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/19/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Civil Rights Violations, Declaratory Judgment and Other Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
CJ-IL-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/19/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 31] (2017 WL 3581175) (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0013-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 63] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 132] (2019 WL 1437880) (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0013-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/31/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kendall, Virginia Mary (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0013-0002 | CJ-IL-0013-0003 | CJ-IL-0013-0005 | CJ-IL-0013-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Nicholas, Adele D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0013-0001 | CJ-IL-0013-9000
Weinberg, Mark G. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0013-0001 | CJ-IL-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ioppolo, Thomas A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0013-9000
Newman, Sarah Hughes (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0013-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -