Case: Ross v. Gossett

3:15-cv-00309 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Filed Date: March 19, 2015

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 19, 2015, an Illinois prisoner filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against numerous members of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) tactical team “Orange Crush,” the wardens at Illinois River, Menard, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers, and other IDOC officials. The plaintiff, represented by Loevy & Loevy and the Uptown People's Law Center, sought injunctive reli…

On March 19, 2015, an Illinois prisoner filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against numerous members of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) tactical team “Orange Crush,” the wardens at Illinois River, Menard, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers, and other IDOC officials. The plaintiff, represented by Loevy & Loevy and the Uptown People's Law Center, sought injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and punitive damages, both for himself individually and for a class of other similarly-situated Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates. Specifically, the named plaintiff claimed that during an April 2014 search of cells at Illinois River Correctional Center, the members of the IDOC tactical team "Orange Crush" beat, abused, and sexually humiliated the plaintiff, destroyed his property, and otherwise inflicted punishment for the sole purpose of causing humiliation and needless pain. The plaintiff further alleged that this conduct at Illinois River was not an aberration. Rather, Orange Crush conducted similarly abusive search procedures at three other IDOC facilities: Menard, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers. The plaintiff sought to represent a class consisting of all IDOC inmates subjected to “shakedowns” in 2014, as well as all present and future inmates of these four IDOC facilities.

In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged violations of the Eighth Amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause, when state officials intentionally, wantonly, and/or maliciously inflicted unnecessary physical and emotional pain and suffering on IDOC inmates. In addition, the plaintiff argued that the defendants' strip search procedures violate several provisions of the Prison Rape Elimination Act National Standards, 28 C.F.R. § 115. Lastly, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants acted with the intent or knowledge that there was a high probability that their conduct would inflict severe emotional distress upon the inmates.

The case was assigned to District Judge Staci M. Yandle. It was initially assigned to Magistrate Judge Philip M. Frazier, but was reassigned to Magistrate Judge Stephen C. Williams on October 16, 2015.

Various defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim on May 29, 2015, and this motion was granted in part and denied in part on January 28, 2016. The court dismissed the portions of the complaint dealing with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, as the Act did not provide for private cause of action. The court determined that the remainder of the complaint was sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss. The court (Magistrate Judge Williams) approved a confidentiality order on July 10, 2017. The plaintiffs then filed a motion to certify the class on October 12, 2018.

As the litigation progressed, the Court granted many motions to consolidate cases by plaintiffs alleging similarly improper stripe search techniques and cell shakedowns. The complete list of docket numbers for the consolidated cases can be found at the end of this summary. In January of 2019, a number of cases were then severed because their facts fell outside of the class perimeters including time frame and location. The severed cases included Turner v. Spiller, et al., 3:16-cv-131-SMY-MAB; Williams v. Mull, et al., 3:15-cv-523-SMY-MAB; and, Chairs v. IDOC, et al., 3:15-cv-1359-SMY-MAB, each in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

On March 26, 2020, Judge Staci Yandle of the Southern District of Illinois issued an order granting Plaintiffs' class certification request. The class consists of all prisoners housed at:

Menard Correctional Center between April 4, 2014 and April 16, 2014;

Illinois River Correctional Center between April 21, 2014 and April 29, 2014;

Big Muddy Correctional Center between May 12, 2014 and May 19, 2014; or

Lawrence Lawrence Correctional Center between July 7, 2014 and July 11, 2014

Each of the below cases were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois and consolidated with this case (Ross v. Gossett) as of February 2020:

Hamilton v. McCallister, 15-281-SMY-SCW

Miller v. Duncan, 15-415-SMY-SCW

McDaniel v. McCallistor, 15-515-SMY-SCW

Sultan v. Duncan, 15-611-SMY-SCW

Cortes v. Stolworthy, 15-690-SMY-SCW

Watts v. Big Muddy River Correctional Center, 15-692-SMY-SCW

Dunmore v. Duncan, 15-706-SMY-SCW

Brooks v. IDOC Director, 15-1060-SMY-SCW

Verser v. Duncan, 15-1263-SMY-SCW

Johnson v. McCallistor, 15-308-MJR-SCW

Tolliver v. Wexford Health Sources, 16-cv-00130-SMY

Smith v. Godinez, 16-cv-00248-SMY

Tenney v. Baldwin, 16-cv-00115-SMY

Harding v. Balwin,16-cv-083-SMY

Miller v. Baldwin, 16-cv-00416-SMY

Truly v. Moore, 16-cv-783-NJR

Fisher v. McCallistor, 15-cv-00007-SMY-RJD

Clark v. Tact Team, 17-cv-00146-SMY-RJD

Knox v. Butler, 17-cv-00494-SMY

Smith v. Unknown Party, 16-cv-00745-SMY-MAB

Discovery commenced in May 2020. On June 4, 2020, the government filed an appeal of the earlier class certifications to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The circuit court has yet to rule on the issue, but the earlier class certification has been stayed pending that appeal. Discovery remains ongoing in the district court and the case remains open.

Summary Authors

Robert Lake (5/29/2015)

Elizabeth Heise (10/23/2018)

Margaret Vogel (2/11/2020)

John Duffield (7/11/2021)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5346556/parties/ross-v-gossett/


Judge(s)

Williams, Stephen C. (Missouri)

Yandle, Staci Michelle (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brown, Ruth Z. (Illinois)

Crosley, Adair (Illinois)

Grady, Sarah (Illinois)

Heppell, Sam (Illinois)

Kanovitz, Michael I. (Illinois)

Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois)

Mazur, Elizabeth N (Illinois)

Mills, Alan S. (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Williams, Stephen C. (Missouri)

Yandle, Staci Michelle (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brown, Ruth Z. (Illinois)

Crosley, Adair (Illinois)

Grady, Sarah (Illinois)

Heppell, Sam (Illinois)

Kanovitz, Michael I. (Illinois)

Loevy, Jonathan I. (Illinois)

Mazur, Elizabeth N (Illinois)

Mills, Alan S. (Illinois)

Rauscher, Scott (Illinois)

Roche, Katherine A. (Illinois)

Schult, Nicole (Illinois)

Tracy, Johanna Louise (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Alfonso, Nicholas Vincent (Illinois)

Cook, Lisa A. (Illinois)

Doran, James Patrick (Illinois)

Fanning, Robert L. (Illinois)

Fletcher, Matthew T. (Illinois)

McNaught, Karen L. (Illinois)

Powell, Michael Martin (Illinois)

Price, Susannah J. (Illinois)

Steimel, Emma Dorothy (Illinois)

Taborga, Alan (Illinois)

Weigand, Jason Joseph (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

July 11, 2021 Docket
76

Order

Jan. 28, 2015 Order/Opinion
1

Complaint

March 19, 2015 Complaint
197

Second Amended Complaint

Oct. 31, 2016 Complaint
508

Memorandum and Order

2019 WL 1326899

March 25, 2019 Order/Opinion
516

Memorandum and Opinion

Aug. 21, 2019 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Ross v. Gossett

Uptown People's Law Center

In 2015, Uptown People's Law Center and Loevy & Loevy filed a lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of prisoners at Menard, Illinois River, Big Muddy River, and Lawrence Correctional Centers who experienced … March 26, 2020 https://www.uplcchicago.org/what-we-do/prison/ross-v-gossett.html

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5346556/ross-v-gossett/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

March 19, 2015 PACER
2

Notice of Appearance

March 19, 2015 PACER
3

Notice of Appearance

March 19, 2015 PACER
4

Case Opening Notification

March 20, 2015 PACER
5

Notice Striking Electronically Filed Documents

March 20, 2015 PACER
6

Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

March 23, 2015 PACER
7

Order on Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice

March 23, 2015 PACER
8

Order Referring Case to Magistrate Judge

March 23, 2015 PACER
9

Summons Requested

March 23, 2015 PACER
10

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
11

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
12

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
13

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
14

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
15

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
16

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
17

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
18

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
19

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
20

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
21

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
22

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
23

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
24

Summons Issued

March 24, 2015 PACER
25

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
26

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
27

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
28

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
29

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
30

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
31

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
32

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
33

Summons Returned Executed

April 9, 2015 PACER
34

Notice of Deficiencies

April 10, 2015 PACER
35

Summons Returned Unexecuted

April 20, 2015 PACER
36

Order

April 20, 2015 PACER
37

Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer

April 20, 2015 PACER
38

Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer

April 21, 2015 PACER
39

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

April 21, 2015 PACER
40

Summons Reissued

April 28, 2015 PACER
41

Notice of Appearance

May 4, 2015 PACER
42

Notice of Appearance

May 4, 2015 PACER
43

Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer

May 4, 2015 PACER
44

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

May 5, 2015 PACER
45

Summons Issued

May 5, 2015 PACER
46

Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

May 29, 2015 PACER
47

Memorandum in Support of Motion

May 29, 2015 PACER
48

Summons Returned Executed

June 4, 2015 PACER
49

Summons Returned Executed

June 4, 2015 PACER
50

Motion for Leave to File

June 11, 2015 PACER
51

Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

June 12, 2015 PACER
52

Summons Returned Executed

June 17, 2015 PACER
53

Notice of Appearance

June 30, 2015 PACER
54

Motion for Leave to File

June 30, 2015 PACER
55

Order on Motion for Leave to File

July 1, 2015 PACER
56

Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

July 2, 2015 PACER
57

Memorandum in Support of Motion

July 2, 2015 PACER
58

Order on Motion for Leave to File

July 8, 2015 PACER
59

Response

July 9, 2015 PACER
60

Motion for Leave to File

July 22, 2015 PACER
61

Waiver of Service Executed

July 22, 2015 PACER
62

Waiver of Service Executed

July 22, 2015 PACER
63

Waiver of Service Executed

July 22, 2015 PACER
64

Waiver of Service Executed

July 28, 2015 PACER
65

Order on Motion for Leave to File

July 28, 2015 PACER
66

Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

July 29, 2015 PACER
67

Response

Aug. 6, 2015 PACER
68

Motion to Dismiss

Aug. 20, 2015 PACER
69

Notice of Deficiencies

Aug. 20, 2015 PACER
70

Motion for Leave to File

Sept. 25, 2015 PACER
71

Order on Motion for Leave to File

Sept. 28, 2015 PACER
72

Response

Sept. 28, 2015 PACER
73

Notice of Deficiencies

Sept. 28, 2015 PACER
74

Order

Oct. 16, 2015 PACER
75

Case Assigned/Reassigned

Oct. 19, 2015 PACER
76

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 46 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. The motion is DENIED as to Counts I, II, III and V. The motion is GRANTED as to Count IV. Count IV is dismissed with prejudice. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 1/28/2016. (rlw)

Jan. 28, 2016 RECAP
77

ORDER denying 51 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; denying 51 Motion to Dismiss Case for Lack of Jurisdiction. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 1/28/2016. (rlw)

Jan. 28, 2016 RECAP
78

ORDER denying 56 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim; denying 56 Motion to Dismiss Case for Lack of Jurisdiction. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 1/28/2016. (rlw)

Jan. 28, 2016 RECAP
79

ORDER denying 66 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 1/28/2016. (rlw)

Jan. 28, 2016 RECAP
80

ORDER denying 68 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Judge Staci M. Yandle on 1/28/2016. (rlw)

Jan. 28, 2016 RECAP
81

Order

Feb. 8, 2016 PACER
82

Notice of Scheduling and Discovery Conference

Feb. 10, 2016 PACER
83

Motion to Stay

Feb. 11, 2016 PACER
84

Answer to Complaint

Feb. 11, 2016 PACER
85

Notice (Other)

Feb. 12, 2016 PACER
86

Status Report

Feb. 25, 2016 PACER
87

Notice Striking Electronically Filed Documents

Feb. 26, 2016 PACER
88

Discovery Hearing

March 2, 2016 PACER
89

Scheduling Order

March 7, 2016 PACER
90

Order

March 7, 2016 PACER
91

Motion for Default Judgment

March 10, 2016 PACER
92

Motion for Extension of Time to File Answer

March 11, 2016 PACER
93

Order

March 11, 2016 PACER
94

Request for Waiver of Service

March 14, 2016 PACER
95

Request for Waiver of Service

March 14, 2016 PACER
96

Answer to Complaint

March 14, 2016 PACER
97

Order on Motion for Extension of Time to Answer

March 14, 2016 PACER
98

Motion to Strike

March 15, 2016 PACER
99

Motion to Produce

March 15, 2016 PACER
100

Order on Motion for Default Judgment

March 16, 2016 PACER

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Strip Search Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 19, 2015

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Individual plaintiff and class. The class consists of all prisoners housed at: Menard Correctional Center between April 4, 2014 and April 16, 2014; Illinois River Correctional Center between April 21, 2014 and April 29, 2014; Big Muddy Correctional Center between May 12, 2014 and May 19, 2014; or

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Loevy & Loevy

Uptown People's Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Illinois Department of Corrections, State

Illinois Department of Corrections, State

Illinois Department of Corrections, State

Illinois Department of Corrections, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Document/information produced

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Disciplinary procedures

Excessive force

Failure to discipline

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

Grievance Procedures

Prison Rape Elimination Act

Restraints : physical

Search policies

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff

Strip search policy

Type of Facility:

Government-run