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Case Name Cook v. Rowe PC-IL-0009
Docket / Court 76-2224 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1976, inmates at the Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Illinois Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The inmates alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by ... read more >
In 1976, inmates at the Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois filed this lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Illinois Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The inmates alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by the defendants' failure to provide them adequate medical care.

According to the court in Pryor v. Twomey, No. 73 C 1358, 1988 WL 124360, at *1 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 14, 1988), in that case,
[T]he court convened a panel of experts to advise it; evidence was heard; and the court had under consideration a proposed decree submitted by plaintiffs' counsel. Meanwhile, another action was filed, Cook v. Rowe, 76 C 2224, which challenged the adequacy of dental/medical/dietetic care afforded residents of Stateville under the eighth and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution of the United States. Settlement negotiations were immediately instituted in Cook v. Rowe culminating in the entry of a consent order on January 23, 1978 pursuant to which a panel of dental, medical and dietetic experts were appointed to monitor the consent order and recommend implementation thereof.
The panel in Cook v. Rowe diligently discharged its responsibilities to the end that there has been a comprehensive revision of the dental/medical/dietetic services provided to inmates at Stateville. The panel in Cook v. Rowe has advised the court that the protocols established under the decree are appropriate for the management and monitoring of patients with diabetes.
The panel in Cook v. Rowe has completed its work and has been discharged. The new dental/medical/dietetic program at Stateville is firmly in place.
(The Pryor v. Twomey judge further "concluded that the relief sought in this action has been subsumed by the relief granted in Cook v. Rowe. Accordingly, we have concluded that this action should be dismissed as moot. We are also of the view, however, that these plaintiffs and their counsel have obtained substantial relief through their efforts and the efforts of plaintiffs and counsel in Cook v. Rowe. Consequently plaintiffs in this action should be deemed prevailing parties under existing case law. Plaintiffs' counsel in this case are entitled to a reasonable attorney's fee under 42 U.S.C. § 1988."

According to a filing in Lightfoot v. Walker, 826 F.2d 516, 521 (7th Cir. 1987), the Cook v. Rowe settlement also included $77,210 in attorneys' fees paid to plaintiffs.

We don't know how long the Cook v. Rowe consent decree remained in effect. It did make occasional appearances in other case opinions/filings:
  • In Jackson v. Lane, 688 F. Supp. 1291, 1292 (N.D. Ill. 1988), the court wrote: "Jackson also says defendants have violated the consent decree in Cook v. Rowe, 76 C 2244 by not affording him access to the dental office at Stateville."
  • In Williams v. O'Leary, 805 F. Supp. 634, 640 (N.D. Ill. 1992), the court "assum[ed that] the consent decree entered in Cook v. Rowe, (No. 76–2224, N.D.Ill.), support[ed] Williams' contention that Fairman and O'Leary were obligated by law to provide adequate medical care."
  • And in Williams v. Shuman, No. 96 C 0916, 1999 WL 350633, at *10 (N.D. Ill. May 20, 1999), the court wrote: "Finally, Defendants are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Plaintiff's claim that the quality of medical care in general at the Stateville Correctional violates the Cook v. Rowe consent decree."

So presumably Cook v. Rowe is terminated -- but we don't really know.

Kristen Sagar - 03/16/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Illinios Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1978 - n/a
Case Ongoing Perhaps, but long-dormant
Additional Resources
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  Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Date: Jun 4, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Date: Jan 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
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