United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
ALI NADZHAFALIYEV, et al. Plaintiffs,
DANIEL HARDY, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JORGE ALONSO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
move to dismiss this case on Younger abstention
grounds, see Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971).
For the following reasons, the motion is granted.
Ali Nadzhafaliyev, Sean Gunderson, Paul Olsson, Abby Grason,
James Baker, Mark Owens, and Daniel Padilla, have been
involuntarily committed to the custody of the Illinois
Department of Human Services and confined at Elgin Mental
Health Center (“EMHC”), after a state court found
them either not guilty by reason of insanity
(“NGRI”) or unfit to stand trial
(“UST”) on criminal charges. Plaintiffs challenge
the constitutionality of EMHC's “loss of
privileges” (“LOP”) disciplinary policy,
alleging that defendants, employees of EMHC, took advantage
of the policy to violate plaintiffs' due process rights.
allege that, in an effort to “incorporate therapeutic
methods, ” EMHC has adopted a “coercion-free
environment, ” in which patients are governed not
according to a system of rules and punishment but according
to a set of “expectations.” (2d Am. Compl. ¶
28, ECF No. 38.) The posted “Environmental
Expectations” are as follow:
(a) We are expected to practice respect and dignity for other
patients and staff- which include no violence or fighting and
no foul language.
(b) We are expected to adhere to safety practices which
maintain the safety of all patients and staff.
(c) We are expected to maintain and respect the environment
which includes no destruction of [any] other's property
and keeping our living spaces and working spaces clean.
(d) We are expected to take care of our own property and not
to borrow, lend, share, or give things away-which includes
any other personal items.
(e) We are expected to keep ourselves appropriately clean,
groomed, and dressed both on and off the unit.
(Id. ¶ 29.) If an EMHC staff member
“determines in his or her sole discretion” that a
patient is not meeting the community's
“expectations, ” the staff member can place the
patient on LOP status. (Id. ¶ 32.) The
consequences of being put on LOP status may include the
(a) No vending, pop time, or snack box.
(b) No order out the following ...