Case: Willard v. Snyder

1:01-cv-01884 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: March 16, 2001

Closed Date: 2003

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 16, 2001, four plaintiffs paroled from the Big Muddy Correctional Center in Ina, Illinois, who were subsequently arrested for alleged technical parole violations filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of themselves and on behalf of their classes. The plaintiffs sued the Illinois Department of Corrections under color of state law and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. T…

On March 16, 2001, four plaintiffs paroled from the Big Muddy Correctional Center in Ina, Illinois, who were subsequently arrested for alleged technical parole violations filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of themselves and on behalf of their classes. The plaintiffs sued the Illinois Department of Corrections under color of state law and under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. The plaintiffs, represented by private council, asked for injunctive relief prohibiting the Illinois Department of Corrections from continuing to follow the Department's policy of transferring parolees out of Cook County Jail before the parolees had, or had waived, their constitutional right to a preliminary parole revocation hearing. The plaintiffs also asked the court to permanently enjoin the Department from continuing this policy and for award costs and attorney’s fees.

The plaintiffs alleged as follows. Each of the four plaintiffs was paroled from the Big Muddy Correctional Center, and, during their parole, was assigned to a parole agent in Cook County. Each of the four plaintiffs was arrested on a technical violation of their parole; each of the plaintiffs denied committing the violation. Each of the plaintiffs, after his arrest, was taken to Cook County Jail. The plaintiffs further allege that none of them were notified of their charges. None of the plaintiffs were scheduled for a parole revocation hearing, and the Illinois Department of Corrections did not obtain a waiver of their right to a preliminary parole revocation hearing. Despite the fact that the plaintiffs each had a constitutional right to a prompt preliminary parole revocation hearing, they were transferred out of the Cook County Jail to the Joliet Correctional Center. From there, the corrections department acted according to policy and transferred the plaintiffs to the site of their parole, the Big Muddy Correctional Center in Ina, Illinois, which is hundreds of miles from Cook County and Chicago.

Three of the plaintiffs had been detained for over 60 days and had still not had their preliminary parole revocation hearing. The fourth plaintiff was detained for over 60 days before his preliminary parole revocation hearing, where the court eventually found no violation and ordered him released. Each plaintiff has a constitutionally protected right to a prompt preliminary parole revocation hearing nearby the site of his arrest. Absent extraordinary circumstances, the plaintiffs should have had preliminary hearings within ten days of arrest. Instead, they were transferred hundreds of miles away from the site of their arrest and were forced to wait at least two months for their hearing. The violations of the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights were allegedly a direct result of Illinois Department of Corrections policy. The number of parolees affected by this particular Department of Corrections policy was estimated to be over 500. Despite the impact of the policy on hundreds of parolees, the policy had been in place for less than a year.

On August 15, 2001, the plaintiffs filed an amended class action complaint. The only substantive change between the original class action complaint and the amended class action complaint was the replacement of one of the class representatives. Now, two of the class members had been released following extremely delayed preliminary parole revocation hearings instead of just one. The two classes now being represented were (1) “a class of Cook County parolees who have been or will be arrested for technical parole violation in Cook County, Illinois form June 1, 2000 to the present” and (2) “a class of Cook County parolees who were detained without the benefit of a prompt preliminary parole revocation and who have been, or will in the future be, found not to have violated the terms and conditions of their parole.”

On September 13, 2001, less than a month after the amended class action complaint, the parties submitted a stipulated dismissal to the court. The dismissal was subject to an agreement with the Illinois Department of Corrections to change their policy with regard to the detainment of parolees with alleged technical parole violations. First, the Department directed that, absent exigent circumstances, parolees who are arrested for technical parole violations must be held in a location reasonably near the arrest or alleged violation. For alleged violators in Cook County, the holding site must be within sixty miles of Cook County or the nearest Department Reception and Classification Center.

Second, the Department directed its administrators to notify alleged violators that they may retain an attorney and procure witnesses for their hearings. This notification was to come when the administrators notified the alleged violators of their charges.

Third, the Department directed its administrators that parolees who request witnesses or who confront and cross-examine adverse witnesses can obtain testimony either in person or through a “telephonic link up.” The only caveat to this is that if the witness testimony “bears substantial guarantees of trustworthiness” in-person or telephonic testimony would not be required.

Fourth, the Department directed its administrators that parolees arrested for technical parole violations in Cook County must have preliminary hearings within ten business days. The ten-day deadline need not be followed when (1) the parolee waives the preliminary parole revocation hearing; (2) the parolee requests a continuance; (3) the parolee is unavailable due to health reasons (to be determined by the Department), or (4) the hearing officer continues the hearing for up to fourteen business days to obtain evidence, ensure the attendance of witnesses, or for other good cause shown.

Finally, the Department directed its administrators that when alleged parole violation is supported only by an unverified written statement by a parole agent, that hearing officer must also see (1) an affidavit or other sworn document from the parole agent, (2) a copy of the violation of the violation report, or (3) sworn oral testimony of the parole agent.

The last provision of the stipulated dismissal asserted that the dismissal was not an admission of liability and would not serve as precedent or be admissible in any proceeding. (However, see King v. Walker on this Clearinghouse, in which this case's Stipulated Dismissal was attached as an appendix to that case's complaint.)

On September 13, 2001, the Court (Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly), in a minute order, dismissed the case based on the terms of the Stipulated Dismissal. Judgment was entered on July 24, 2003. There is no reason to believe the case is still open.

Summary Authors

Megan Brown (4/9/2017)

Related Cases

King v. Walker, Northern District of Illinois (2006)

People


Judge(s)

Kennelly, Matthew F. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Peters, Thomas M. (Illinois)

Yoelin [Hoffenberg], Elyse (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Seward, Edward (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Kennelly, Matthew F. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Peters, Thomas M. (Illinois)

Yoelin [Hoffenberg], Elyse (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Seward, Edward (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

July 24, 2003 Docket
1

Class Action Complaint for Injunctive Relief and Damages

March 16, 2001 Complaint
8

Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive Relief and Damages

Aug. 15, 2001 Complaint
9

Stipulated Dismissal

Sept. 13, 2001 Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT; jury demand − Civil cover sheet − Appearance(s) of Elyse Yoelin, Kevin R. Peters, Thomas M. Peters as attorney(s) for plaintiffs ( Three originals and three copi summons(es) issued.) (Doc 1 − 1 through 1 − 3) (eav) (Entered: 03/19/2001)

March 16, 2001

RECEIPT regarding payment of filing fee paid; on 3/16/01 in the amount of $ 150.00, receipt # 10673005. (eav) (Entered: 03/19/2001)

March 16, 2001
2

WAIVER of service of summons as to defendant Richard Lapidos sent on 4/3/01 (eav) (Entered: 04/13/2001)

April 12, 2001

SCHEDULE set on 4/27/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : Initial Status hearing set to 9:00a.m. on 5/21/01 ,before Judge Kennelly in Chambers, Room 1778. Parties are to review and comply with the attached standing order. Counsel for plaintiff(s) are ordered to cause a copy of this order to be delivered forthwith to each defendant in the same manner that has been or is being served on each defendant. Mailed notice (or) (Entered: 04/27/2001)

April 27, 2001
3

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for defendants Donald Snyder, James Cervone, Richard Lapidos by Edward Charles Seward III; Notice of filing (eav) (Entered: 05/01/2001)

April 30, 2001
5

MINUTE ORDER of 5/16/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : Defendant's motion for enlargement of time is granted. [4 − 1] Time for responsive pleading is extended to 7/9/01. Initial status hearing of 5/21/01 is reset to 6/5/01 at 9:00 a.m. in chambers. Mailed notice (eav) (Entered: 05/21/2001)

May 16, 2001

SCHEDULE set on 6/5/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : Rule 16 (b) conference held with attorneys for all parties. Parties are engaged in settlement negotiations. Rule 16(b) conference reset to 6/28/01 at 9:00 a.m. Filing of all responsive pleadings is deferred. (or) (Entered: 06/13/2001)

June 5, 2001

SCHEDULE set on 7/19/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : Status hearing set to 9:30 8/8/01 . Mailed notice (or) (Entered: 07/19/2001)

July 19, 2001

SCHEDULE set on 8/7/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : Status hearing reset to 9:30 8/15/01 , for presentation of closing order. No further extensions. Telephoned notice (or) (Entered: 08/07/2001)

Aug. 7, 2001
6

AGREED MOTION by plaintiff to file amended complaint ; Agreed notice (rmm) (Entered: 08/16/2001)

Aug. 8, 2001
7

MINUTE ORDER of 8/15/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : Plaintiff's motion to file amended complaint is granted [6 − 1]. Status hearing held and continued to 9:30 a.m. on 9/12/01. No notice (rmm) (Entered: 08/16/2001)

Aug. 15, 2001
8

AMENDED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT for injunctive relief and damages [1 − 1] by plaintiff; jury demand (rmm) (Entered: 08/16/2001)

Aug. 15, 2001
9

STIPULATED DIMISSAL; Notice of filing (eav) (Entered: 09/14/2001)

Sept. 13, 2001
10

MINUTE ORDER of 9/17/01 by Hon. Matthew F. Kennelly : This case is dismissed based on the terms and conditions of the stipulated dismissal filed on 9/13/01. terminating case Mailed notice (eav) (Entered: 09/18/2001)

Sept. 17, 2001

ENTERED JUDGMENT. (air) (Entered: 07/28/2003)

July 24, 2003

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 16, 2001

Closing Date: 2003

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Four plaintiffs paroled from the Big Muddy Correctional Center in Ina, Illinois who were subsequently arrested for alleged technical parole violations.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Illinois Department of Correction, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Conditional Dismissal

Issues

General:

Parole grant/revocation