University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Barnes v. Jeffreys CJ-IL-0015
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-02137 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit were entitled to be released from prison long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. When the pandemic and they were still in prison, the plaintiffs sought a court order compelling their release.

Under Illinois law, most sex offenders must complete an ... read more >
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit were entitled to be released from prison long before the COVID-19 pandemic began. When the pandemic and they were still in prison, the plaintiffs sought a court order compelling their release.

Under Illinois law, most sex offenders must complete an indefinite term of “Mandatory Supervised Release” following their prison term. This “MSR” must be completed while living at an approved host site. If a person cannot find a qualifying host site for his MSR, he remains in prison until he can find qualifying housing; for many indigent inmates, this becomes a de facto life sentence. Hundreds of Illinois prisoners have had their proposed host sites rejected solely because of a statute which bars them from serving their MSR at the same address where another sex offender lives. Many of these inmates have been in prison for years beyond their release date.

On January 15, 2020, in Murphy v. Raoul, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that it was unconstitutional, as contrary to the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, to hold people in prison past the completion of their prison term, and ordered the Illinois Department of Corrections to release all such prisoners by January 2021. 6 months later, IDOC had released only 3 individuals as a result of that order (each of those individuals had been in prison more than 8 years past their release date), and there were still nearly 300 who had not been released.

In early April 2020, COVID-19 began infecting IDOC staff and inmates, and an inmate filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on April 5, 2020. The plaintiff was a member of the Murphy class, but although he had completed his prison sentence in December 2018, he had not yet been released from prison to begin his term of Mandatory Supervised Release. He and his family had proposed multiple host sites, but IDOC had rejected every site. His most recent proposal was denied because of the presence of another sex offender at the same address.

Due to the urgent threat of COVID-19, the plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court to order his immediate release to his proposed host site. The case was originally assigned to Judge Manish S. Shah, but reassigned to Judge Virginia M. Kendall, the presiding judge in Murphy.

The plaintiff sought to represent a class of inmates who had completed their prison sentence but remained incarcerated because their host sites were denied under the “One Per Address” statute. He sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging that IDOC’s One Per Address statute (and the resulting de facto life sentences) violated the Eighth Amendment. He further sought an injunction prohibiting IDOC from continuing to enforce the One Per Address statute, and sought attorneys’ fees and costs.

The court ordered the plaintiff released to MSR on April 8, 2020, ruling that he was “clearly suffering a constitutional harm each day he [was] detained past his release date,” and that “that harm can only be remedied by release.” IDOC had failed to provide any rational basis for the One Per Address requirement, and had not offered any evidence to show that it was rationally justified.

On April 28, 2020, more than a dozen additional Murphy class members filed an amended complaint, adding a Fourteenth Amendment claim. They sought to represent the same class that the original plaintiff had proposed. The court ordered their release to MSR on May 13, 2020.

Yet another group of plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on May 26, 2020; their release was ordered on June 3, 2020.

The court then granted class certification on July 1, 2020; the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment the same day. As of July 27, 2020, that motion is pending.

Gregory Marsh - 07/28/2020


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
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Discharge & termination plans
Over/Unlawful Detention
Poverty/homelessness
Sex offender regulation
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Release Granted
COVID-19 Release Requested
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Illinois Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description People held in Illinois prisons past the completion of their prison sentence, because they are unable to find qualifying housing for Mandatory Supervised Release.
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
Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 04/05/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing CJ-IL-0013 : Murphy v. Madigan (Murphy v. Raoul) (N.D. Ill.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:20−cv−02137 (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1 & 1-1]
CJ-IL-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 3 & 3-1]
CJ-IL-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 23(B)(2) and for Appointment of Class Counsel Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 23(G)(1) [ECF# 5]
CJ-IL-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/06/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 16]
CJ-IL-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/28/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Second Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 17 (& 17-1 to 17-10)]
CJ-IL-0015-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/30/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Second Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 20, 20-1, & 20-2]
CJ-IL-0015-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 22] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(B)(2) and for Appointment of Class Counsel Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(G)(1) [ECF# 23]
CJ-IL-0015-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Leave to File Their Second Amended Complaint and Amended Motion for Class Certification Instanter [ECF# 24, 24-1, & 24-2]
CJ-IL-0015-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Third Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 25 (& 25-1 to 25-3)]
CJ-IL-0015-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 29] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0015-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Response to Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel [ECF# 30]
CJ-IL-0015-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 31] (N.D. Ill.)
CJ-IL-0015-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Appendix of Exhibits in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 32 & 34 (& 34-1 to 34-8)]
CJ-IL-0015-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appendix of Exhibits in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 34-9 to 34-19]
CJ-IL-0015-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kendall, Virginia Mary (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0007 | CJ-IL-0015-0011 | CJ-IL-0015-0013 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Nicholas, Adele D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0001 | CJ-IL-0015-0002 | CJ-IL-0015-0003 | CJ-IL-0015-0004 | CJ-IL-0015-0005 | CJ-IL-0015-0006 | CJ-IL-0015-0008 | CJ-IL-0015-0009 | CJ-IL-0015-0010 | CJ-IL-0015-0014 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Weinberg, Mark G. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0001 | CJ-IL-0015-0002 | CJ-IL-0015-0003 | CJ-IL-0015-0004 | CJ-IL-0015-0005 | CJ-IL-0015-0006 | CJ-IL-0015-0008 | CJ-IL-0015-0009 | CJ-IL-0015-0010 | CJ-IL-0015-0014 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bhave, Sunil Shashikant (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0012 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Dierkes, Michael T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0012 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Newman, Sarah Hughes (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0012 | CJ-IL-0015-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -