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Case Name Barnes v. Jeffreys CJ-IL-0015
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-02137 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a putative class action filed by individuals who completed
prison sentences for sex offenses, but were prevented from being released under an Illinois statute. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit after the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread to an Illinois correctional ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a putative class action filed by individuals who completed
prison sentences for sex offenses, but were prevented from being released under an Illinois statute. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit after the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread to an Illinois correctional facility. In April 2020, the court held the statute unconstitutional as it applied to the plaintiffs and over the next few months, ordered the release of dozens of individuals. On April 28, more than a dozen additional class members filed an amended complaint, adding a Fourteenth Amendment claim that alleged a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Yet another group of plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on May 26; their release was ordered on June 3. The court then granted class certification on July 1 and the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment the same day. The motion for summary judgment is still pending.


Under Illinois law, most sex offenders must complete an indefinite term of “Mandatory Supervised Release” following their prison term. This “MSR” must be completed while living at an approved host site. If a person cannot find a qualifying host site for their MSR, they remains in prison until he can find qualifying housing; for many indigent inmates, this becomes a de facto life sentence. Hundreds of Illinois prisoners have had their proposed host sites rejected solely because of a statute which bars them from serving their MSR at the same address where another sex offender lives. Many of these individuals have been in prison for years beyond their release date.

On January 15, 2020, in Murphy v. Raoul, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that holding people in prison past the completion of their prison term violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, and ordered the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) to release all such prisoners by January 2021. Six months later, IDOC had released only three people as a result of that order. Each of them had been in prison more than eight years past their release date and there were still nearly 300 people who had not been released.

On April 5, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to spread among IDOC staff and inmates, an inmate filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff was a member of the Murphy class, but although he had completed his prison sentence in December 2018, he had not yet been released to begin his term of Mandatory Supervised Release. IDOC had rejected every proposed host site he had submitted. His most recent proposal was denied because of the presence of another sex offender at the same address.

The plaintiff sought to represent a class of inmates who had completed their prison sentence but remained incarcerated because their host sites were denied under the “One Per Address” statute. He sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983 and alleged that IDOC’s One Per Address statute (and the resulting de facto life sentences) violated the Eighth Amendment. He further sought a permanent injunction prohibiting IDOC from continuing to enforce the One Per Address statute, declaratory relief that the statute as it applied to the class violated the Eighth Amendment, and sought attorneys’ fees and costs.

Due to the urgent threat of COVID-19, the plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court to order his immediate release to his proposed host site. The plaintiff also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and a motion to certify the class. The case was originally assigned to Judge Manish S. Shah, but reassigned to Judge Virginia M. Kendall, the presiding judge in Murphy.

The court ordered the plaintiff released to MSR on April 8, 2020, ruling that he was “clearly suffering a constitutional harm each day he [was] detained past his release date,” and that the harm "can only be remedied by release.” The court held that defendants were unable to justify the One Per Address provision with penological or rehabilitative support and that the "public's interest in only hav[ing] one sex offender live at one residence is not supported by any testimony, expert opinion, or evidence." Therefore the court held the statute unconstitutional as it applied to the named plaintiff and enjoined the defendants from prohibiting his release.

On April 8, the case was reassigned to Judge Virginia M. Kendall for all further proceedings.

On April 28, more than a dozen additional Murphy class members filed an amended complaint, adding a Fourteenth Amendment claim that alleged a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. They sought to represent the same class that the original plaintiff had proposed. The plaintiffs filed a second motion for a preliminary injunction preventing the defendants from enforcing the statute and an amended motion to certify the class. The court ordered their release to MSR on May 13, 2020.

Yet another group of plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on May 26, 2020; their release was ordered on June 3, 2020.

The court then granted class certification on July 1, 2020 and the plaintiffs moved for summary judgment the same day. Over the next few months, the court continued to grant plaintiffs' motions for preliminary injunctions and order releases.

As of March 12, 2021, the summary judgment motion is still pending.

Gregory Marsh - 07/28/2020
Chandler Hart-McGonigle - 11/29/2020
Tessa McEvoy - 03/12/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
COVID-19
Mitigation Granted
Mitigation Requested
Release Granted
Release granted-group
Release granted-individual
Release Requested
Release-process created/modified
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Discharge & termination plans
Over/Unlawful Detention
Poverty/homelessness
Sex offender regulation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Illinois Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description People held in Illinois prisons past the completion of their prison sentence because they are unable to find qualifying housing for Mandatory Supervised Release. The certified class is: "“All individuals who have been convicted of sex offenses and completed their court-imposed sentence of incarceration who cannot find housing that complies with 730 ILCS 5/3-3-7(a)(7.6) at which to reside while on Mandatory Supervised Release.”
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 04/05/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing CJ-IL-0013 : Murphy v. Madigan (Murphy v. Raoul) (N.D. Ill.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Resolving Tensions between Constitutional Rights: Use Immunity in Concurrent or Related Proceedings
Columbia Law Review
Date: Jan. 1, 1976
By: William R. Stein (Columbia Law School Law Student)
Citation: William R. Stein, Resolving Tensions between Constitutional Rights: Use Immunity in Concurrent or Related Proceedings, 76 COLUM. L. REV. 674 (1976)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
03/11/2021
1:20−cv−02137
CJ-IL-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
04/05/2020
Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1 & 1-1]
CJ-IL-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/05/2020
Plaintiff's Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 3 & 3-1]
CJ-IL-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/06/2020
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 23(B)(2) and for Appointment of Class Counsel Pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 23(G)(1) [ECF# 5]
CJ-IL-0015-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/28/2020
First Amended Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 16]
CJ-IL-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
04/30/2020
Plaintiffs' Second Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 17 (& 17-1 to 17-10)]
CJ-IL-0015-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/05/2020
Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Second Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 20, 20-1, & 20-2]
CJ-IL-0015-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/13/2020
Order [ECF# 22]
CJ-IL-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/13/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(B)(2) and for Appointment of Class Counsel Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(G)(1) [ECF# 23]
CJ-IL-0015-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/26/2020
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Leave to File Their Second Amended Complaint and Amended Motion for Class Certification Instanter [ECF# 24, 24-1, & 24-2]
CJ-IL-0015-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
05/26/2020
Plaintiffs' Third Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 25 (& 25-1 to 25-3)]
CJ-IL-0015-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
06/03/2020
Order [ECF# 29]
CJ-IL-0015-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
06/09/2020
Defendant's Response to Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel [ECF# 30]
CJ-IL-0015-0012.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/01/2020
Order [ECF# 31]
CJ-IL-0015-0013.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/02/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment and Appendix of Exhibits in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 32 & 34 (& 34-1 to 34-8)]
CJ-IL-0015-0014.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
07/02/2020
Appendix of Exhibits in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 34-9 to 34-19]
CJ-IL-0015-0015.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
08/13/2020
Order on Plaintiffs' Fourth Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 52]
CJ-IL-0015-0016.pdf | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Kendall, Virginia Mary (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0007 | CJ-IL-0015-0011 | CJ-IL-0015-0013 | CJ-IL-0015-0016 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Nicholas, Adele D. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0001 | CJ-IL-0015-0002 | CJ-IL-0015-0003 | CJ-IL-0015-0004 | CJ-IL-0015-0005 | CJ-IL-0015-0006 | CJ-IL-0015-0008 | CJ-IL-0015-0009 | CJ-IL-0015-0010 | CJ-IL-0015-0014 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Weinberg, Mark G. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0001 | CJ-IL-0015-0002 | CJ-IL-0015-0003 | CJ-IL-0015-0004 | CJ-IL-0015-0005 | CJ-IL-0015-0006 | CJ-IL-0015-0008 | CJ-IL-0015-0009 | CJ-IL-0015-0010 | CJ-IL-0015-0014 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bhave, Sunil Shashikant (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0012 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Dierkes, Michael T. (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0012 | CJ-IL-0015-9000
Newman, Sarah Hughes (Illinois) show/hide docs
CJ-IL-0015-0012 | CJ-IL-0015-9000

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