Case: Lightfoot v. Walker

4:73-00238 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Filed Date: Dec. 4, 1973

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 4, 1973, a class action lawsuit was filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by black inmates segregated from the general population at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois, against the Governor of Illinois and prison officials in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs, represented by the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., the A.C.L.U. of Illinois, and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief a…

On December 4, 1973, a class action lawsuit was filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 by black inmates segregated from the general population at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, Illinois, against the Governor of Illinois and prison officials in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs, represented by the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, Inc., the A.C.L.U. of Illinois, and private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief alleging unconstitutional prison conditions including inadequate health care.

On December 4, 1973, the parties agreed to a temporary restraining order, which addressed health care for segregated inmates. On March 5, 1976, the court certified the class, defined as inmates in segregation at the Menard Correctional Center on or after May 1, 1973. On October 18, 1976, the court separated the health claims from the other allegations. On December 23, 1976, the court expanded the class to include all Menard Correctional Center inmates.

On February 19, 1980, the court (Chief Judge James L. Foreman) found the conditions at Menard Correctional Center were not conducive to prisoner health and granted injunctive and declaratory relief. Lightfoot v. Walker, 486 F. Supp. 504 (S.D. Ill. 1980). The court held that deficiencies in medical and mental health care, hygiene, showering facilities, toilets, and sanitation amounted to violations of the Eighth Amendment.

On October 18, 1985, the court (Chief Judge Forman) awarded the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs, after concluding that the plaintiffs had prevailed in the previous action because most of their requests were granted. Lightfoot v. Walker, 619 F. Supp. 1486 (S.D. Ill. 1985). The State appealed, but the court conditioned a stay on payment of a bond. On July 31, 1986, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Judge Richard A. Posner) held that the District Court could require a bond at its discretion. Lightfoot v. Walker, 797 F.2d 505 (7th Cir. 1986). The State apparently chose to pursue its original appeal. In an opinion decided on July 24, 1987, and amended August 3, 1987, the Court of Appeals (Judge Harlington Wood, Jr.) affirmed the award of attorneys' fees. Lightfoot v. Walker, 826 F.2d 516 (7th Cir. 1987). The court held that attorneys' fees should be calculated at current, not historical, rates if they were promptly requested and would not result in a windfall for the plaintiff's attorneys.

We do not have the docket, pleadings, or information on any subsequent proceedings.

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Chilcoat (6/1/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Cudahy, Richard Dickson (Illinois)

Flaum, Joel Martin (Illinois)

Foreman, James L. (Illinois)

Grant, Robert Allen (Illinois)

Posner, Richard Allen (Illinois)

Wood, Harlington Jr. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chase, Richard D. (Illinois)

Eastman, Herbert A. (Missouri)

Flynn, Pat (South Carolina)

Grossman, Harvey (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Cudahy, Richard Dickson (Illinois)

Flaum, Joel Martin (Illinois)

Foreman, James L. (Illinois)

Grant, Robert Allen (Illinois)

Posner, Richard Allen (Illinois)

Wood, Harlington Jr. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chase, Richard D. (Illinois)

Eastman, Herbert A. (Missouri)

Flynn, Pat (South Carolina)

Grossman, Harvey (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bornor, Patricia (Illinois)

Chapin, M. Patricia (Illinois)

Crooks, Thomas (Illinois)

Prendergast, James (Illinois)

Prusik, John (Illinois)

Pusateri, Lawrence X. (Illinois)

Yipp, Victor (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:73-00238

78-02095

Order

486 F.Supp. 504, 1980 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17300

March 18, 1980

March 18, 1980

Order/Opinion

4:73-00238

78-02095

Memorandum and Order

619 F.Supp. 1481, 1985 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14764

Oct. 18, 1985

Oct. 18, 1985

Order/Opinion

86-02004

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

797 F.2d 505, 1986 U.S.App.LEXIS 27686

July 31, 1986

July 31, 1986

Order/Opinion

86-02004

86-02184

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

826 F.2d 516, 1987 U.S.App.LEXIS 10859

Aug. 3, 1987

Aug. 3, 1987

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 14, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 4, 1973

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Initially: Inmates in segregation at the Menard Correctional Center on or after May 1, 1973. Expanded on December 23, 1976 to: All inmates of Menard Correctional Center on or after May 1, 1973.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

State of Illinois & the Menard Correctional Center, State

Menard Correctional Center (Menard), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1980 - 0

Issues

General:

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run