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Case Name Doe v. Cook County JI-IL-0003
Docket / Court 1:99-cv-03945 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Loevy & Loevy
Case Summary
On June 15, 1999, four juveniles detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued Cook County and the JTDC under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their Fourteenth ... read more >
On June 15, 1999, four juveniles detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (JTDC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued Cook County and the JTDC under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violations of their Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, the complaint alleged gross mismanagement of the JTDC leading to overcrowding, unsafe and unsanitary facilities, inadequate medical, dental, and mental health care, physical violence and abuse by residents and staff, unfair discipline, and inadequate access to education. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. This case was assigned to Judge John Robert Blakey.

On December 22, 1999, the court certified a plaintiff class consisting of all persons who "have been, are, or will be confined at the JTDC."

The parties spent several months negotiating the proposed resolution of this case under the supervision of Magistrate Judge Ashmann. On December 30, 2002, the parties’ settlement agreement was approved. Substantial compliance with the settlement agreement would be achieved when the defendants hired new management and additional staff, increased security, and developed an improved disciplinary protocol. Pursuant to the agreement, the court dismissed the action without prejudice. The court retained jurisdiction to enter any orders necessary to enforce or modify the agreement.

On November 8, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a petition for the court to declare the defendants in violation of the settlement agreement and order them into substantial compliance with all its terms within six months. The plaintiffs contended that the defendants had a pattern of noncompliance with the settlement agreement and the JTDC remained in gross mismanagement. Particularly, the defendants never produced an adequate implementation plan to enforce the settlement agreement, failed to hire competent and experienced management, remained severely understaffed, failed to maintain adequate control and security within the JTDC, and continued using arbitrary and harsh disciplinary procedures.

The parties renegotiated the settlement. An agreed-upon supplemental order was approved on May 18, 2006. Its primary objective was to ensure the JTDC was in substantial compliance with the original settlement agreement within eight months. The parties agreed to heightened monitoring through a third party administrator and a curriculum of training and counseling for staff members engaging in egregious conduct.

On May 29, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a motion to appoint a receiver to ensure compliance with the original settlement agreement and the supplemental order. The plaintiffs claimed that the conditions of the JTDC were arguably worse than at the beginning of the lawsuit and that the County Board flagrantly and consistently violated the court's orders. The plaintiffs asserted that youth housed at JTDC had a high risk of suicide, received inadequate mental health and medical services, were regularly abused by staff and other residents, and were not provided with basic necessities. They further contended that staff were incompetent, and operated without adequate management or oversight.

On July 6, 2007, Teamster Local Union No. 714, the exclusive bargaining representative for JTDC employees, moved to intervene. The Union claimed that doing so was necessary to allow them to adequately consult with the parties over a possible settlement and to prepare for trial.

After Illinois enacted legislation transferring administration of the JTDC from the executive branch of Cook County to the Office of the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County (OCJ), the plaintiffs agreed to withdraw their motion to appoint a receiver. In exchange, on August 14, 2007, the court approved an agreed order appointing a transitional administrator (TA). The TA was tasked with achieving substantial compliance with the original settlement agreement and supplemental order. The TA was also required to regularly report to the court and apprise the parties of the current conditions at the JTDC and actions taken to bring the JTDC into substantial compliance.

On April 15, 2008, the TA filed an emergency motion for the court to allow them to waive County Ordinances related to the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Union and the JTDC. This would allow the TA to enter into a temporary security staffing contract to fix the critical shortage of security staff members at the JTDC. On the same day, the Union filed another motion to intervene in order to object to the TA’s emergency motion. The Union requested to intervene for the same reasons on a July 6, 2007 motion. Additionally, it alleged that the proposed emergency order pertained to a collective bargaining agreement and would affect its members.

The Union’s motion to intervene was granted on May 2, 2008. Three days later, the Union filed a memo opposing the TA’s emergency motion to contract security staffing. The Union stated that the TA never discussed staffing needs with the Union and their emergency order would affect JTDC employees’ seniority rights and their ability to choose their shift and days off and assigned units. Further, the Union claimed that the court lacked authority to grant the requested relief and the open-ended suspension of the County Ordinances was overly broad.

On May 8, 2008, the TA’s emergency motion to retain a private company to provide temporary security staffing at JTDC was granted. The court also suspended all local and state laws regarding the collective bargaining agreement between the defendants and the Union. The court made this decision after concluding that the situation at JTDC constituted an emergency since it was dangerously understaffed and posed a health and safety risk to its residents. On June 6, 2008, the Union appealed this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit regarding the court’s decision to suspend local and state laws regarding unions.

On November 11, 2008, the TA submitted a report updating the court about staffing and contract services at JTDC. The report said that the TA had been contracted for temporary security services and there had been improvements in hiring, conditions, and operational culture at the JTDC. However, hiring qualified and permanent employees remained a challenge and there was still excessive absenteeism among security staff.

After the case was transferred to Judge James Holderman, the Union requested that their appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit be remanded. They did so because the court stated it would likely grant the Union’s motion to modify the appealed judgment. Specifically, the court stated that they were inclined to alter the court’s May 8, 2008 order to make it clear that laws and ordinances regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement were not suspended. This motion was granted on January 27, 2009.

On March 12, 2009, the court entered an agreed order regarding the disputed firing of four employees as a result of their conduct towards children at the JTDC. The employees were given new positions that had no contact with any of the children. Failure to follow this order would result in a review by the Magistrate Judge.

On October 9, 2009, the TA submitted a second report apprising the parties of the status of JTDC’s staffing crisis. The report noted that the TA had hired dozens of new permanent employees, opened five new residential living centers, and established additional support services for staff. Changes had been made to ensure residents at the JTDC’s safety, including the addition of cameras and safe rooms. In order to comply with the Administrator Office of the Illinois Court’s (AOIC) rules regarding employment qualification, the report noted that all employees hired since August 2007 were required to have bachelor’s degrees. However, many employees hired before August 2007 did not and continued to work with the JTDC’s residents. To comply with the AOIC rules, the TA proposed creating new job descriptions for direct care workers at the JTDC thus requiring current direct care workers to “reapply” for these new positions, imposing the requirement that they have a bachelor’s degree.

The Union objected to the TA’s proposal to change job descriptions and require Union members to reapply. On June 23, 2010, the court approved the TA’s proposed staffing plan. The court noted that the proposed plan did not exceed the scope of the TA’s mandate; the TA did not have a duty to engage in mandatory bargaining regarding the proposed requalification standards with the Union; and the proposed plan did not violate any due process rights and complied with the Prison Litigation Reform Act. 2010 WL 2610644.

On July 22, 2010, the Union appealed the court’s June 23, 2010 order to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Union specifically questioned the court allowing the TA to change job descriptions at the JTDC and therefore require current staff to reapply for positions.

On November 3, 2010, the court denied the Union’s motion for an injunction or stay of the proposed staffing order pending a ruling by the Seventh Circuit. The court held that any irreparable harm to Union members posed by the staffing plan was speculative, the public interest was in favor of implementing the proposed plan, and that the Union has not demonstrated a significant probability of success on appeal.

While the Union’s appeal was pending, the TA continued to file reports apprising the court of the staffing plan’s status. The third report was submitted to the court on March 9, 2011; the fourth report on November 26, 2012; the fifth report on April 8, 2013; and the sixth report on January 10, 2014. In the sixth report, the TA stated that the JTDC was close to being in substantial compliance with the 2002 settlement agreement. The TA still had to complete several capital projects to provide upgraded infrastructure and resources to the JTDC, ensure a smooth transition of the JTDC to the OCJ, and prepare for an increase in the number of youth held at the JTDC after new Illinois legislation increased the age for juvenile-court jurisdiction from 17 to 18.

On May 15, 2015, the court entered a Concluding Order transferring administrative control of the JTDC from the TA to OCJ.

On August 17, 2015, five years after the Union initially appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the appellate court reversed the district court’s decision. The appellate court held that the district court’s approval of the TA’s staffing plan violated the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA). Under the PLRA, relief that violates state law and is not “necessary” to solve a violation of federal law is forbidden. The appellate court held that the proposed order was forbidden since cutting the Union out of discussions regarding the JTDC’s staffing was not authorized by state law. However, the appellate court acknowledged that it would be impossible to restore the Union members to their old positions. Instead, the appellate court remanded the case to the district court to determine what other forms of relief, such as financial compensation or preferential hiring for future openings, would be appropriate. 798 F.3d 558.

Following remand, the parties began confidential settlement discussions. On April 14, 2016, the parties informed the court that all of their issues had been resolved. The court granted the parties agreed stipulation to dismiss on May 25, 2016.

This case is now closed.

Kathryn DeLong - 10/23/2014
Hannah Greenhouse - 12/05/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Hire
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Education
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Juveniles
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cook County Detention Center
Plaintiff Description All persons who have been, are, or will be confined at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Loevy & Loevy
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2006 - 2016
Filing Year 1999
Case Closing Year 2016
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
1:99-cv-03945 (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order (1999 WL 1069244) (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/22/1999
Agreed Order Vacating Dismissal [ECF# 41] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement
JI-IL-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/03/2002
Order Approving Agreement [ECF# 71] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/30/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Supplemental Order [ECF# 129-2]
JI-IL-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2006
Order [Granting the Emergency Motion of the Transitional Administrator] [ECF# 415] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/08/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report of the Transitional Administrator [ECF# 458]
JI-IL-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/11/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order [ECF# 498] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Report of the Transitional Administrator [ECF# 530]
JI-IL-0003-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/09/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion Approving Staffing Plan (2010 WL 2610644) (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0021.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/23/2010
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 589] (2010 WL 2610644 / 2010 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 102849) (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/23/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Certifying June, 23 2010 Order as Final] [ECF# 611] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion for Injunction or Stay Pending Appeal] [ECF# 625] (N.D. Ill.)
JI-IL-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/03/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
USCA Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 637]
JI-IL-0003-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/21/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Report of the Transitional Administrator [ECF# 646]
JI-IL-0003-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/09/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Report of the Transitional Administrator [ECF# 680]
JI-IL-0003-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/26/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fifth Report of the Transitional Administrator [ECF# 686]
JI-IL-0003-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Sixth Report of the Transitional Administrator of the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center [ECF# 711]
JI-IL-0003-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/10/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Report of TA on Transition Issues [ECF# 768]
JI-IL-0003-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/11/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Report of TA on Transition Issues [ECF# 772]
JI-IL-0003-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion Affirming Judgment (798 F.3d 558)
JI-IL-0003-0022.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/17/2015
Source: Westlaw
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 98]
JI-IL-0003-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/10/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Blakey, John Robert (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0021 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0022
Flaum, Joel Martin (N.D. Ill., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0012
Holderman, James F. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0007 | JI-IL-0003-0009 | JI-IL-0003-0010 | JI-IL-0003-0011
Nordberg, John Albert (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0002 | JI-IL-0003-0003 | JI-IL-0003-0004 | JI-IL-0003-0005 | JI-IL-0003-0015
Ripple, Kenneth Francis (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0012
Tinder, John Daniel (S.D. Ind., Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0012
Plaintiff's Lawyers Art, Steven Edwards (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0014 | JI-IL-0003-0016 | JI-IL-0003-0017 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Dimitrief, Alexander (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Grady, Sarah (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0017
Irwin, Barry F. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Kazan, Michael W. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Kingsbury, Colby Anne (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Loevy, Arthur R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0006 | JI-IL-0003-0008 | JI-IL-0003-0013 | JI-IL-0003-0014 | JI-IL-0003-0016 | JI-IL-0003-0017 | JI-IL-0003-0018 | JI-IL-0003-0019 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0006 | JI-IL-0003-0008 | JI-IL-0003-0013 | JI-IL-0003-0014 | JI-IL-0003-0016 | JI-IL-0003-0017 | JI-IL-0003-0018 | JI-IL-0003-0019 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Mazur, Elizabeth N (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0006 | JI-IL-0003-0008 | JI-IL-0003-0013 | JI-IL-0003-0014 | JI-IL-0003-0016 | JI-IL-0003-0017 | JI-IL-0003-0018 | JI-IL-0003-0019 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Raphael, Lauren B . (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Ravindran, Ramya (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Schreiber, Sarah E. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Snyder, Jean MacLean (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Sorensen, Colleen P (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Steadman, Paul R. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Swygert, Gregory Robert (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Turner, Lori Nicole (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Wishnick, Susan (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Wolf, Benjamin S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0001 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Blanchard, Patrick Malone (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Connolly, Sean P. (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Creighton, Andrew Joseph (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Curran, John F (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Devine, Richard Arthur (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0001
Jacobs, Michael David (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-0001 | JI-IL-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Bloch, Robert E (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Cervone, Robert S (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Costello, Robert Louis (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Jados, Steven W (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Kallus, Mindy L (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Lannoye, Justin Jon (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Shehabi, Omar Josef (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000
Willis, Ronald M (Illinois) show/hide docs
JI-IL-0003-9000

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