Case: Jensen v. Stiglich

2:74-00230 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Filed Date: Sept. 13, 1974

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1974, incarcerated individuals filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Lake County Council and Sheriff challenging the conditions at the Lake County Jail. One of these conditions was the treatment of incarcerated people by police officers who were assigned to work as correctional officers. Lake County did not employ correctional officers; rather, police officers punished for misconduct were assigned to do the job and often mistreated i…

In 1974, incarcerated individuals filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana against Lake County Council and Sheriff challenging the conditions at the Lake County Jail. One of these conditions was the treatment of incarcerated people by police officers who were assigned to work as correctional officers. Lake County did not employ correctional officers; rather, police officers punished for misconduct were assigned to do the job and often mistreated incarcerated people. In 1980, the parties avoided trial by entering into a consent decree requiring compliance by jail personnel with standardized rules and the protection of prisoners from harm caused by jail personnel and others. Two years later when defendants were not in compliance, they entered into a broader agreement. This agreement required the Sheriff to create a separate corrections division to be staffed by an adequate number of properly trained personnel.

The defendants failed to implement these changes and on July 1, 1985, the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana filed an order requiring the changes to be completed by January 1, 1986. The defendants complied with the provisions but the corrections monitor objected to an amendment that allowed the sheriff to have greater discretion in hiring. The 1985 decree had given the monitor final authority over employment decisions. The sheriff filed a petition on May 11, 1993 requesting that the district court modify the 1985 decree so that there would be no further involvement by the monitor in employment decisions. On September 14, 1993, the district court entered an order denying the sheriff's motion. The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Judges Cummings, Easterbrook, and Manion) affirmed the decision of the district court and noted that the sheriff should not be seeking a modification but rather implementation of the 1985 decree, since he was asserting that its conditions have been fulfilled and the monitor was no longer needed. Jensen v. Stiglich, 36 F.3d 1099 (7th Cir. 1994).

The defendants filed a motion to terminate the consent decree following the passage of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), which made it easier to terminate court orders relating to prison conditions. Defendants were represented by private counsel. The district court (Judge Rodolfo Lozano) determined that the PLRA could be applied to relief that was granted before the enactment of the Act and that the provisions of the PLRA would entitle defendants to termination. Jenson v. County of Lake, 958 F.Supp. 397 (N.D. Ind. 1997). The court also noted that the PLRA allowed it to refuse to terminate the decree if it was necessary to correct ongoing violations. Since the plaintiffs alleged ongoing conditions in the jail, the court decided to take the motion under advisement and allow plaintiffs to present evidence at a hearing. There is no further information regarding this litigation.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (3/6/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Cummings, Walter Joseph (Illinois)

Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Illinois)

Lozano, Rodolfo (Indiana)

Manion, Daniel Anthony (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bodensteiner, Ivan E. (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bishop, Gerald M. (Indiana)

Bushemi, John P. (Indiana)

Dull, John (Indiana)

Judge(s)

Cummings, Walter Joseph (Illinois)

Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Illinois)

Lozano, Rodolfo (Indiana)

Manion, Daniel Anthony (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bodensteiner, Ivan E. (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bishop, Gerald M. (Indiana)

Bushemi, John P. (Indiana)

Dull, John (Indiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

93-03532

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

1994 WL 405768, 1994 U.S.App.LEXIS 20660

Aug. 3, 1994

Aug. 3, 1994

Order/Opinion

2:74-00230

Order

Jensen v. County of Lake

958 F.Supp. 397

March 5, 1997

March 5, 1997

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 3:20 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Indiana

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 13, 1974

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are inmates of the Lake County Jail.

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Lake County Jail, County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1980 - None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Type of Facility:

Government-run