Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 99 C 8514--Elaine E. Bucklo, Judge.
Before Bauer, Coffey, and Diane P. Wood, Circuit
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Diane P. Wood, Circuit Judge.
Delvin Payton and five other former arrestees who were released on bail from Illinois county jails filed this putative class action to dispute the counties' practice (authorized by Illinois law) of imposing a bail fee, above and beyond the set bail amount, as a condition for release on bail. The plaintiffs moved for the certification of a plaintiff class including all individuals affected by the procedure in 19 named counties, while the defendants moved to dismiss the entire case. The district court agreed with the defendants, dismissed the action, and denied as moot the motion for class certification. For the reasons set forth in this opinion, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.
For several years, at least 19 out of Illinois's 102 counties have followed a practice of charging a "bail fee" to detainees who are released on bail or on their own recognizance. This fee varies between $1 and $45, depending on the county, and is collected above any bail amount that is due.
In 1999, the Illinois General Assembly passed Illinois Public Act 91-0094, amending the Counties Code and providing that bond fees may be added to the required bond. The section was codified as part of the Illinois Bond Statute, 725 ILCS 5/110-7(b), as amended (the Act). The Act, which became effective on January 1, 2000, provides that "[t]he fees of sheriffs in counties of the first and second class, except where increased by county ordinance under this Section, shall be as follows: [. . .] For taking special bail, $1 in each county." 55 ILCS 5/4-5001.
The Act also empowers county boards to increase the statutory fee by ordinance "if the increase is justified by an acceptable cost study" showing that the minimum $1 fee is not "sufficient to cover the costs of providing the service." 55 ILCS 5/4-5001. Dealing with the deposit of bond, 725 ILCS 5/110-7(b) provides that "[u]pon depositing this sum and any bond fee authorized by law, the person shall be released from custody subject to the conditions of the bail bond" (emphasis added). The plaintiffs allege that the fee is imposed even when the detainee is released on her own recognizance without posting bail. Regardless of county-specific increases, every detainee posting bond in Illinois is charged at least the statewide $1 minimum. Kane County charges an $11 fee, DuPage County charges $15, and all other counties charge between $1 and $45.
Plaintiffs Payton, Wallace, Cannon, and Clay were confined to the Kane County jail after February 1, 1998, and were granted bail by the Circuit Court of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit. They were required to pay an $11 bond fee per bond posted before their release from custody. Plaintiffs Corson and Carson were confined to the DuPage County jail after October 1, 1997, and were granted bail by the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit. They paid a $15 bond fee for each bond posted as a condition of release from custody.
No plaintiffs are named who were charged a bond fee by any county other than Kane and DuPage. The complaint alleges, however, that these fees were imposed on an unknown number of individuals. Based on the generality of the practice, as now mandated by the Act, the named plaintiffs sought to represent a class consisting of (a) all persons confined to the county jail of each defendant county, on or after the inception of the bond fee practice, who posted a cash bond and paid a bond fee to secure their pretrial release from jail; (b) all persons confined to the county jail of each defendant county who were granted personal recognizance bonds and paid a bond fee to secure their pretrial release; (c) all persons confined to the county jail on or after the inception of the bond fee practice who do not have the funds to pay the bond fee to secure their pretrial release but can otherwise satisfy the bond requirements; and (d) all persons confined to the county jail of each county on or after January 1, 2000, who have posted or will post bail to obtain pretrial release. The named plaintiffs, of course, have suffered directly only from the conduct of (respectively) the counties of Kane and DuPage.
The district court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss on September 25, 2000, finding that the named plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue the entire lawsuit. It did not reach the question of class certification.
Plaintiffs present three issues for review. First, they claim that the class has standing to sue all defendants who are "juridically linked" together, in that they all follow the Illinois bail fee statute, even if not all members of the class suffered injury from a particular defendant county. Second, they argue that the district court erred in denying their motion for class certification, asserting that it should have allowed the plaintiffs to proceed as a class at least against the two counties that had directly injured them. Third, if all else fails, they argue that at the very least the court should not have dismissed their second amended complaint between individually named plaintiffs and the counties that actually released them, as those are run-of-the-mine § 1983 cases. Logic dictates that we analyze the issues in reverse order, for if the plaintiffs fail on the more limited issues, they certainly cannot prevail on their broader claims.
We review a dismissal for lack of standing de novo. Rifkin v. Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., 248 F.3d 628, 631 (7th Cir. 2001). As the class certification request was denied as moot, there is nothing for us to review on that point other than the correctness of the mootness decision, which is affected by the district ...