University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Doe v. Calumet City, Illinois JC-IL-0005
Docket / Court 1:87-cv-03594 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On April 17, 1987, a female arrestee filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging the constitutionality of the strip-search policy of Calumet City, Illinois. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that the Calumet City Police Department ... read more >
On April 17, 1987, a female arrestee filed a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging the constitutionality of the strip-search policy of Calumet City, Illinois. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that the Calumet City Police Department policy of strip-searching women who had been arrested for non-felony offenses, without any particularized belief that the arrestee possessed either a weapon or contraband violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as applied to state actors via the Fourteenth Amendment. On September 4, 1987, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint which added class action allegations.

The class certification issue was effected by the question of whether the §1983 statute of limitations period was two years or five years. On October 1, 1987, the District Court (Judge Milton Shadur) certified the case as a class action, conditionally defining the class as all women who had been arrested on a misdemeanor or ordinance violation in Calumet City, Illinois on or after April 17, 1982. The class, so defined, would consist of all women arrested less than five years before the action was brought. On February 6, 1989, the District Court (Judge Shadur) finally determined that the five-year limitation period applied and, therefore, permanently re-confirmed the five-year plaintiff class. Doe v. Calumet City, Ill., 707 F.Supp. 343 (N.D.Ill. 1989).

Following the District Court's re-confirmation of the five-year class, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Kalimara v. Illinois Department of Corrections, 879 F.2d 276, 277 (7th Cir. 1989), established that the limitations period under §1983 was two years rather than five years. In response, the District Court (Judge Shadur), on September 19, 1989, modified its prior certification of the plaintiff class by substituting a starting date of April 17, 1985 in place of April 17, 1982. Plaintiffs, however, immediately filed a motion for reconsideration on grounds that the District Court, in its September 19 opinion, had made an error of reasoning in applying the relation-back doctrine because, at the time the Complaint was filed, a five-year statute of limitations period applied for Illinois-grounded §1983 actions. The Court (Judge Shadur) reconsidered the matter and, concluding that Plaintiffs were correct, let stand its prior certification of the five year-class with an opening-class date of April 17, 1982. Doe v. Calumet City, Ill., 128 F.R.D. 93 (N.D.Ill. 1989).

Following resolution of the class certification issue, Plaintiffs filed a motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability. Judge Shadur granted Plaintiffs' motion on December 12, 1990. Doe v. Calumet City, Ill., 754 F.Supp. 1211 (N.D.Ill. 1990). Plaintiffs then moved for an award of interim attorneys fees in the amount of $300,000. Judge Shadur granted the fee request on February 15, 1991. Doe v. Calumet City, 1991 WL 22537 (N.D.Ill. Feb 15, 1991).

Settlement negotiations followed and the parties arrived at a Settlement Agreement. Under the Agreement, Calumet City agreed to pay $6.013 million into a common fund to settle all claims for damages, expenses, and attorneys' fees. Attorneys' fees and expenses were to be paid from the fund and were not to exceed 30% of the total. The remainder of the fund would be used to pay class claims based on an agreed distribution formula. The amount paid to each individual would depend on the intrusiveness of the search to which the individual was allegedly subjected. Individual awards were anticipated to range from $3000 to $24,000. The Court preliminarily approved the settlement on September 10, 1993 and, after conducting an October 22, 1993 fairness hearing, issued a final order of approval.

The Court thereafter issued several post settlement rulings resolving issues relating to the claims of individual members of the plaintiff class. See Doe v. Calumet City, Ill., 1993 WL 157602 (N.D.Ill. May 12, 1993) (denying request to reverse the exclusion of certain class members from participation in the damages) and Doe v. Calumet City, Ill., 1993 WL 512788 (N.D.Ill. Dec 9, 1993) (responding to complaint from individual about lack of notice of the settlement). According to the docket, the last of such proceedings was resolved in 1994. No further proceedings are currently underway.

Dan Dalton - 03/01/2008

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Calumet City, Illinois
Plaintiff Description All women who were arrested on misdemeanor or ordinance violation charges in Calumet City, Illinois between April 16, 1982 and March 31, 1988.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1993 - n/a
Filing Year 1987
Case Closing Year 1993
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:87-cv-03594 (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/16/1994
General Documents
Opinion (707 F.Supp. 343) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/06/1989
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (128 F.R.D. 93) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/22/1989
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (754 F.Supp. 1211) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/12/1990
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order (1991 WL 22537 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1832) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/15/1991
Memorandum Opinion and Order (1993 WL 157602) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/12/1993
Settlement Agreement (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/10/1993
Memorandum Order (1993 WL 512788 / 1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17384) (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/09/1993
Judges Shadur, Milton Irving (N.D. Ill.)
JC-IL-0005-0001 | JC-IL-0005-0003 | JC-IL-0005-0004 | JC-IL-0005-0005 | JC-IL-0005-0006 | JC-IL-0005-0007 | JC-IL-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Beckman, Stacey Lynette (Illinois)
Dale, Elizabeth R. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0005-0003 | JC-IL-0005-0004 | JC-IL-0005-0005 | JC-IL-0005-9000
Flaxman, Kenneth N. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0005-0001 | JC-IL-0005-0003 | JC-IL-0005-0004 | JC-IL-0005-0005 | JC-IL-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brinkmeier, Alan J. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0005-0001 | JC-IL-0005-0003 | JC-IL-0005-0005 | JC-IL-0005-9000
Chapello, Craig Alan (Illinois)
JC-IL-0005-0005 | JC-IL-0005-9000
Merlo, Michael J. (Illinois)
Rogus, Gregory E. (Illinois)
JC-IL-0005-0001 | JC-IL-0005-0003 | JC-IL-0005-0004 | JC-IL-0005-0005 | JC-IL-0005-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -