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Thogmorton v. Lincoln Correctional Center Former Assistant Warden

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Springfield Division

October 21, 2014

BEVERLY THOGMORTON, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Lincoln Correctional Center Former Assistant Warden REYNOLDS in his individual capacity, et al., Defendants.

OPINION

RICHARD MILLS, District Judge.

Pending before the Court is the Plaintiffs' Motion pursuant to Rule 23(b)(2) for Class Certification. The Defendants have not responded to the motion.

I.

This action was initiated as a putative class action on March 20, 2012 and relates to actions taken on March 31, 2011, by employees of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) at the Lincoln Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois. The Plaintiffs seek damages and injunctive relief.

On July 29, 2013, the Court granted the Plaintiffs' Motion for Certification of a Rule 23(b)(3) "Damages Class." Although it denied certification of the "Injunctive Relief Class, " the Court granted leave to the Plaintiffs to amend their complaint and file a new motion for class certification. The Sixth Amended Complaint is the operative complaint now before the Court.

The Damages Class is comprised of female inmates who were subjected to a humiliating and degrading public group strip search performed during an IDOC Training Academy "cadet training exercise" on March 31, 2011. The Plaintiffs now seek certification of a Rule 23(b)(2) class so that they may obtain injunctive relief on behalf of themselves and all women at Logan Correctional Center.

Previously, the Plaintiffs proposed two classes:

Class I ("Damages Class"): All individuals who were subjected to the March 31, 2011 public group strip search at Lincoln Correctional Center.
...
Subclass A, consisting of: All individuals who were subjected to the March 31, 2011 public group strip search at Lincoln Correctional Center, and who remain in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections since that time.
Subclass B, consisting of: All individuals who were subjected to the March 31, 2011 public group strip search at Lincoln Correctional Center, and who were subsequently released from the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.
...
Class II (Injunctive Relief Class): All women who are currently incarcerated at Lincoln Correctional Center, and all women who will be incarcerated at Lincoln Correctional Center in the future.

In its Order of July 29, 2013, as to Class I, the Court found that the numerosity requirement under Rule 23(a)(1) had been met, as there were over 100 women who were subjected to the strip search on March 31, 2011. The Court further determined under Rule 23(a)(2) that because the Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that class members have suffered the same core injury, the case presented common questions fact and law. Upon reviewing the declarations, the Court concluded pursuant to Rule 23(a)(3) that the experiences of the named parties were fairly typical of the proposed class. Finally, in considering adequacy-of-representation, the Court noted under Rule 23(a)(4) that it ...


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