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Case Name Hardeman v. Curran JC-IL-0052
Docket / Court 1:17-CV-08729 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
On December 4, 2017, several pretrial detainees representing the class of affected detainees in Lake County Adult Correctional Facility filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued the County of Lake, its sheriff, the Chief of Corrections ... read more >
On December 4, 2017, several pretrial detainees representing the class of affected detainees in Lake County Adult Correctional Facility filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued the County of Lake, its sheriff, the Chief of Corrections at the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and other correctional officers and supervisors at the Lake County Jail under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought compensatory damages, claiming violations of their rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The plaintiffs alleged that Lake County turned off the water for three days at Lake County Jail without notifying the detainees housed there. Plaintiffs were limited by Defendants to five water bottles per day for all personal needs. Requests for additional water bottles were denied or resulted in the detainees being placed on lockdown. Defendants also implemented a policy of prohibiting detainees from flushing the toilets in their cells unless feces were present, and detainees were not allowed to flush their toilets overnight. Defendants did provide a communal barrel of water to be used for bathing, cleaning cells, and flushing toilets. Attempts to flush toilets when feces were present were often unsuccessful, and feces and urine remained in the toilets. The detainees remained in the cells with urine and feces festering for prolonged period of times. This festering produced a putrid aroma that caused detainees to become sick, sleep deprived, and agitated. It also attracted insects. Detainees suffered from a variety of ailments, including dehydration, migraine headaches, sickness, dizziness, constipation, and general malaise.

The Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on February 22, 2018. They argued that the Plaintiffs had failed to state a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and that they were entitled to qualified immunity due to their employment and thus should be shielded from liability. On July 23, 2018, District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman denied in part and granted in part Defendants’ motion. She held that the Plaintiffs had sufficiently pled a § 1983 claim under the Fourteenth Amendment, but that the Eighth Amendment had been held to not apply to pretrial detainees. Thus she denied the Defendants’ motion to dismiss, but dismissed the portion of the Plaintiffs’ allegations that concerned the Eighth Amendment. She also held that the Defendants were not shielded from liability, and so denied the Defendants’ motion for qualified immunity. 2018 WL 3533254.

On August 3, 2018, Defendants petitioned to appeal Judge Coleman’s decision denying Defendants’ motion for qualified immunity to the 7th Circuit. On August 14, 2018, Defendants filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss Defendants Lake County and Lake County Sheriff’s Office from the appeal. This motion was granted, and the appeal remained active for all other parties. On August 12, 2019, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Defendants’ motion for qualified immunity, affirming the district court’s decision to reject the defense (Chief Judge Diane Wood and Circuit Judges Joel Flaum and Diane S. Sykes). 933 F.3d 816.

A status hearing was held before Judge Coleman on September 30, 2019. At the status hearing, the plaintiff stated that he would file a motion for class certification. On November 8, the plaintiffs moved to certify a class. The next substantive docket entry did not appear until July 2020, as the case appears to have taken a hiatus due to Coronavirus from March, 2020 until July.

On November 17, 2020, the Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification. Subclasses were defined as all persons present in the Lake County Adult Correctional Facility between November 8, 2017, and November 10, 2017, being held as (A) pretrial detainees and as (B) post-conviction inmates. The Court also left open the possibility for individualized damage calculations at a later stage. 2020 WL 6747018.

On January 4, 2021, the case was referred to Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim for discovery and settlement. Defendants were ordered on January 6 to produce a complete list of class members and their last known contact information. By January 20, the defendants had identified 577 class members, and had passed this information on to counsel for the class.

The case remains ongoing.

Cedar Hobbs - 09/27/2019
Samuel Poortenga - 03/01/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Lake
Plaintiff Description Pretrial detainees at Lake County Adult Correctional Facility in the City of Waukegan, County of Lake, State of Illinois.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 12/04/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
03/10/2021
1:17-cv-8729
JC-IL-0052-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
12/04/2017
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-IL-0052-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/23/2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 18] (2018 WL 3533254)
JC-IL-0052-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
08/12/2019
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 28] (933 F.3d 816)
JC-IL-0052-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
11/17/2020
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 56] (2020 WL 6747018)
JC-IL-0052-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Coleman, Sharon Johnson (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-0002 | JC-IL-0052-0004 | JC-IL-0052-9000
Kim, Young B (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Murray, Ashley Meghan (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-9000
O'Connor, Kevin William (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-0001 | JC-IL-0052-9000
Popp, Matthew M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-0001 | JC-IL-0052-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fox, Karen Denise (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-9000
Prager, Beth Greenberg (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-9000
Rice, Stephen Joseph (Illinois) show/hide docs
JC-IL-0052-9000

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