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Estate of Amon Paul Carlock, Jr., Deceased, By Mary L. andreatta-Carlock, Executor v. Neil Williamson

January 26, 2011

ESTATE OF AMON PAUL CARLOCK, JR., DECEASED, BY MARY L. ANDREATTA-CARLOCK, EXECUTOR, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEIL WILLIAMSON, AS SHERIFF OF SANGAMON COUNTY; ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: David G. Bernthal U.S. Magistrate Judge

E-FILED

Wednesday, 26 January, 2011 03:41:00 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

ORDER

In July 2009, Plaintiff Estate of Amon Paul Carlock, Jr. filed a Fourth Amended Complaint and Jury Demand (#138) against Neil Williamson, as Sheriff of Sangamon County, and other defendants. The action is brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Federal jurisdiction is based on federal question pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because Plaintiff has alleged a violation of federal law.

In October 2010, Defendants filed Emergency Motion by Defendants for Telephone Conference and To Seal, or in the Alternative Strike, Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions and Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion fo Sanctions and All Exhibits Thereto (#274) (hereinafter "Emergency Motion"). In response, GateHouse Media Illinois Holdings II, Inc. filed Motion of GateHouse Media Illinois Holdings II, Inc. To Intervene (#285) (hereinafter "Motion to Intervene"). GateHouse is the publisher of the State Journal-Register (hereinafter "SJR").*fn1 It seeks to intervene pursuant to FED. R. CIV. P. 24(b) for the limited purposes of opposing the sealing of judicial documents and obtaining authorization from the Court to inspect and copy motion papers and other judicial documents subsequently submitted by the parties in this action. A group of defendants filed Defendants' Response in Opposition to GateHouse Media's Motion to Intervene (#304).

I. Background

Plaintiff brings suit against Defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that decedent Amon Paul Carlock, Jr. (hereinafter "Carlock") was subjected to excessive force and received inadequate medical treatment while incarcerated in Sangamon County Jail. The following summary of events is taken from Plaintiff's complaint.

Carlock was incarcerated for pre-trial detention hearing on October 9, 2007. Plaintiff alleges that Carlock was an insulin dependent diabetic, and that physicians at the jail failed to provide insulin or monitor his blood sugar levels. On November 15, 2007, a doctor at the jail ordered a blood test for Carlock. The results of that test indicated that Carlock required medical attention. On November 16, 2007, arrangements were made to transport Carlock to the hospital. As correctional officers attempted to prepare Carlock to be transported, Carlock was not cooperative; Plaintiff alleges Carlock's failure to cooperate was related to his medical condition. To restrain Carlock, Sgt. Guy tasered him. Then, Correction Officer Furlong applied force to Carlock's back, thus compressing his chest, while Carlock was face down on the ground. While Furlong held Carlock in this position, Carlock stopped breathing. By the time the previously scheduled ambulance arrived to transport Carlock to the hospital, Carlock had no pulse. He was pronounced dead several hours later.

In the course of discovery, Plaintiff came to believe that Defendants failed to preserve audio, video, and electronically stored evidence (ESI) connected to these events. Plaintiff filed Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions for Spoilation of Evidence (#272) (hereinafter "Motion for Sanctions"). Plaintiff attached several exhibits that Defendants had produced in discovery. Defendants now assert that some of these attachments were inadvertently disclosed communications and information covered by attorney-client privilege or work product protection. In their Emergency Motion, Defendants sought immediate intervention by the Court to strike Plaintiff's entire motion, memorandum, and attachments, or in the alternative to seal these documents. In response, on October 12, 2010, Magistrate Judge Cudmore issued a text order to temporarily seal certain attachments to Plaintiff's memorandum in support of its motion for sanctions. On October 25, 2010, Plaintiff filed additional documents under seal.

This Court now addresses SJR's motion to intervene for the limited purpose opposing the sealing of these judicial documents, and obtaining authorization from the Court for SJR to inspect and copy motion papers and other judicial documents subsequently submitted by the parties in the action.

II. Standard

Under Rule 24(b), the court may permit anyone to intervene in ongoing litigation who has a claim or defense that shares with the main action a common question of law or fact. FED. R. CIV. P. 24(b)(1)(B). In exercising its discretion, the court must consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or ...


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