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Case Name Murphy v. Madigan (Murphy v. Raoul) 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 the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (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 ... read more >
On December 12, 2016, seven prisoners in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections (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. Represented by private counsel, they sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Illinois, by its policies regarding individuals convicted of sex-related offenses, had violated their rights under the Eight and Fourteenth Amendments. The case was assigned to Judge Virginia M. Kendall.

Individuals convicted of certain sex-related offenses under 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. The Illinois Unified Code of Corrections provides 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 duration of MSR could range from 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 that before inmates could be released from IDOC custody, they had to have an approved “host site” to reside at while serving their MSR term. IDOC only approved host sites that met all housing restrictions imposed by statute, by IDOC, and by the Prison Review Board. Illinois did not provide housing resources for inmates, and halfway homes and homeless shelters automatically rejected individuals with sex-related convictions. Each plaintiff had either submitted multiple host sites and been 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.

On February 17, 2017, IDOC moved to dismiss the complaint 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 the duration of their confinement should have been raised as a habeas action, not under 42 U.S.C. §1983; and
  3. The plaintiffs’ claims failed to allege sufficient facts for their constitutional claims.
On August 18, 2017, the court granted in part IDOC’s motion to dismiss, holding that the plaintiffs did not need to file a habeas action in order to receive the requested relief, and that all constitutional claims were appropriate except for the due process claim. The court granted, however, IDOC’s motion to dismiss with respect to two plaintiffs because their claims were based on post-release conditions and the plaintiffs had not yet been released. She further granted the motion with respect to the plaintiffs’ procedural due process claim because of vagueness.

On December 6, 2017, the plaintiffs moved for class certification and appointment of class counsel. They sought to certify a class of inmates who had 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 court approved the unopposed motion on April 6, 2018, defining the class as all individuals sentenced to serve “three-years-to-life” on MSR, currently detained in IDOC, who have been approved for release on MSR 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, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in part and denied IDOC’s cross-motion for summary judgment.

The court held that the state’s host site requirement resulted in the continued deprivation of the plaintiffs’ Eighth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights. The court also addressed whether the proper vehicle to bring the plaintiffs’ claims was 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 release from custody, but rather the proper application of law to their situation. The court found that there was a genuine issue material fact as to whether IDOC offered a procedure for determining the validity of a decision to deny a host site, and denied summary judgment on that claim.

Both parties met on May 1, 2019, for a settlement conference and held further status hearings on June 18, 2019, October 1, 2019, December 3, 2019, January 2, 2020.

On January 15, 2020, the court granted a permanent injunction. According to the order, IDOC was required to present a plan, as well as quarterly reports outlining steps that would be taken to ensure that by January 2, 2021, no class member would remain in IDOC custody due to an inability to locate a host site.

On January 29, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a bill of costs, and on February 18, 2020, the court awarded costs to the plaintiffs in the amount of $3,015.41.

On February 27, 2020, IDOC presented a compliance plan to the court, pursuant to the injunction. The plan outlined the steps that IDOC had already taken to assist class members, such as host site policy changes and a review of host site denials. It also outlined additional steps that IDOC was then undertaking to release class members, such as finalizing a Request for Proposal for licensed transitional housing locations for sex offenders, and cooperation with the Illinois Department of Human Services to identify appropriate placements and/or services for class members who would likely qualify for that department’s services upon their release.

On June 15, 2020, IDOC presented a quarterly report further outlining the steps that it was then taking to release class members.

As of July 2020, the court’s supervision of the settlement is ongoing.

Kimberly Goshey - 06/09/2019
Bogyung Lim - 07/21/2020

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Good time
Over/Unlawful Detention
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) and 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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 12/12/2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing CJ-IL-0015 : Barnes v. Jeffreys (N.D. Ill.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  "3 to Life" Parole Lawsuit (Murphy et al v. Madigan et al)
Date: Dec. 19, 2016
By: Women Against Registry
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:16-cv-11471 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/10/2020
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]
Permanent Injunction Order [ECF# 156] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0013-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/15/2020
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-0013-0006 | 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
Newman, Sarah Hughes (Illinois) show/hide docs

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