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Diversity Leadership Council Newsletter
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2010, vol. 4, no. 1

Now every article is the start of a discussion. If you're a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, you can comment on any of the articles that appear below.

In This Issue…

Related Court Cases

Mandamus
Steidl v. Madigan

Plaintiff was convicted of two 1986 murders, and sentenced to death (later reduced to life imprisonment). Federal district court then granted Plaintiff's habeas corpus petition, vacated convictions, and ordered retrial within 120 days or release.  State did not appeal, and Plaintiff was then released from prison. Plaintiff then filed civil rights action in district court against several persons involved in his prosecution, including elected State's Attorney.  Court entered a "Consent Judgment" for $2 million plus interest, finding that State's Attorney had acted within scope of his employment. County and its insurers agreed to pay $375,000 in partial satisfaction; Plaintiff made formal demand on State and Attorney General per Section 2 of State Employee Indemnification Act for full payment of outstanding judgment with interest.  Court properly dismissed mandamus action, as Plaintiff failed to allege that terms of Consent Judgment were approved by Attorney General; thus, State has no obligation to indemnify State's Attorney.(ROCHFORD and DELORT, concurring.)

Involuntary Admission
In re Megan G.
Petition asserted a claim under Section 3-600 of Mental Health Code, alleging that Respondent is subject to involuntary admission to a mental health facility and is in need of immediate hospitalization. As petition sets forth the required allegations, on its face, the petition alleges existence of a justiciable matter, and thus the court had subject matter jurisdiction. As court was procedurally limited from hearing matter while felony charges were pending, it properly dismissed petition for involuntarily admission. Respondent did not contest personal jurisdiction, and received proper notice, and her appointed counsel was present at the hearing on her motion to dismiss. Thus, the trial court had personal jurisdiction over Respondent. (SPENCE, concurring; JORGENSEN, specially concurring.)

Fair Trial
In re Benny M.
Court granted State's petition to subject him to involuntary treatment with psychotropic medication. Respondent was denied a fair trial when court denied his request to remove his shackles during the hearing, without making any findings that such shackling was necessary. Court did not explicitly make any findings supporting shackling, and court conducted almost no independent assessment of factors involved in shackling decision; thus, court abused its discretion in ordering continued shackling of Respondent. Appeal falls within exceptions to mootness doctrine, as it is capable of repetition yet evades review, public interest exception applies, and there is uncertainty as to whether same factors must be considered when proceeding is a civil proceeding in which fundamental rights of Respondent are at issue. (ZENOFF and SPENCE, concurring.)

Mandamus
Bocock v. O'Leary
Plaintiff filed 21-count petition for mandamus to enforce provisions of Illinois DOC County Jail Standards which Plaintiff alleged that Will County Detention Facility violated. Only the DOC Director is statutorily authorized to petition a court to order compliance with county jail standards. Thus, Plaintiff lacks standing for his mandamus petition. DOC regulations do not create private cause of action to inmate seeking to remedy a county jail’s alleged noncompliance with regulations. (HOLDRIDGE and SCHMIDT, concurring.)

Mandamus
Whirl v. Clague
Court erred in dismissing inmates's pro se mandamus petition alleging that sheriff, county clerk, and correctional center warden violated his right to marry by frustrating his ability to acquire a marriage license and ultimately to marry.Inmate requested that Defendants follow through with correctional center's structured written procedural step of furloughing him to county clerk's office on a scheduled day and time to acquire his marriage license. Correctional center's memo describing procedure affords no discretion as to step involving furloughing of an inmate to get marriage license. Petition seeks to compel Sheriff, clerk, and warden to desist from actions that frustrate his constitutional right to marry and do what is necessary for him to secure a marriage license, and thus is a proper request for mandamus relief. (CARTER, concurring; SCHMIDT, dissenting.)

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