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Pro Bono Opportunities

 

Central District of Illinois

Civil prisoner cases needing Pro Bono Counsel

 

The Central District of Illinois is in urgent need of pro bono counsel on the following civil prisoner cases.  Please consider volunteering!  Limited appointments will be considered, and you don't have to be local - video-conference technology is available to assist.  A brief description of each case is below.

Feb. 2020

Brown v. Wexford, No. 19-3303  Plaintiff alleges that medical staff at the prison refuse to treat chronic knee pain, will not approve an MRI or other diagnostic testing, and did not provide treatment for a finger injury despite his complaints of severe pain. The Court found that Plaintiff stated an Eighth Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. The case is currently in the service of process stage. Discovery and motions deadlines will be set once defendants have filed their respective answers.

Williams v. Reed, No. 20-1040  Plaintiff alleges that prison officials punched him, struck him, and otherwise used force against him following a cell shakedown while he otherwise did not present a threat to officers. Plaintiff alleges injuries to his shoulder, wrist, and head. The Court found that Plaintiff stated an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim. The case is currently in the service of process stage. Discovery and motions deadlines will be set once defendants have filed their respective answers.

Faine v. Barr et al, No. 19-3009  Plaintiff alleges he has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, but that medical staff at the jail has denied him a “chemical treatment” that could eradicate the disease. Plaintiff alleges that he was told that he must be sentenced in his criminal case “before receiving a renal biopsy and beginning treatment.” Plaintiff’s allegations suggest that jail officials are delaying treatment in hopes that Plaintiff is transferred to IDOC. The Court found that Plaintiff stated a Fourteenth Amendment claim for inadequate medical care. Discovery closes on March 6, 2020. Dispositive motions are due April 6, 2020.

Scroggins v Vazzi, No 19-3035 Plaintiff alleges an 8th Amendment claim for deliberate indifference to a serious medical need. Plaintiff alleges defendants were notified of his COPD/Emphysema and failed to give him medication prescribed by a doctor which exacerbated his condition and left him in the hospital in an induced coma for 6 days.  Discovery and motion deadlines will be set once pro bono counsel is secured.

Titus v McDonald et al, No 17-4004 Plaintiff alleges an Eighth Amendment claim for excessive force arising from an incident on Aug. 10, 2016 in Hill Correctional Center. Plaintiff alleges that during his incarceration, Defendants McDonald and Smith escorted Plaintiff to his cell, whereupon Defendant McDonald grabbed plaintiff by the neck and shoved Plaintiff to the floor for no reason, causing severe pain to Plaintiff’s lower back. Both Defendants allegedly refused Plaintiff’s request for medical attention. Plaintiff asserts that Defendant McDonald’s conduct was motivated by Plaintiff’s grievances. This case is currently set for Jury selection on 6/22/20 and Jury trial to begin on 6/23/20.

Morris v Worley et al, No 16-4127, Plaintiff is a Rushville detainee who admits he refused a direct order, but claims five Rushville staff members responded with excessive force on Feb. 21, 2016.  Plaintiff claims they slammed and closed a door on his foot, threw him to the bed, hit and kicked him repeatedly, kneed him in the face, and held his face in vomit.  Discovery is closed and case is set for trial on Nov. 17, 2020.

Williams v Amtrak, No, 18-3210, Plaintiff, who was using a walker, attempted to board a northbound Amtak train using the lift owned and operated by Amtrak.  While attempting to board, the lift being operated by an Amtrak employee malfunctioned, causing plaintiff to fall backwards and hit his head. Plaintiff is unable to represent himself in this matter. Case will be set for scheduling once pro bono counsel has been secured.

Bernard v Melvin, Et Al, No 18-1333, Plaintiff alleges defendant were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs and mental health needs. Plaintiff is housed at Dixon Correctional Center and is currently confined to the infirmary. Plaintiff says that he has suffered with a variety of mental health issues during his life and takes a variety of medications for his mental illness. Plaintiff indicates that he is paralyzed on his right side and needs assistance with all basic activities.  This case is set for a telephone Status Conference on April 1, 2020 to see if pro bono counsel has been secured.

Pippin v. Bouvett, No. 19-3290 The plaintiff is in the Sangamon County Jail. Plaintiff claims that, during booking, Defendants beat him up and would not get him medical attention for his injuries. Judge Harold Baker would like to hold an evidentiary hearing in this case as soon as possible, so securing pro bono counsel is urgent.

Hull v. Frank,  No. 20-1017   The plaintiff is at FCI Pekin.  According to the plaintiff, he fell while he was waxing the floor at Pekin and heard a “snap.”  The officers took him to the healthcare unit, but the Defendants (a doctor and nurse) told the plaintiff it was just a sore muscle without performing an X-ray.  The plaintiff was eventually taken to a local hospital and was told that his arm was broken in three or four places. This case is in the early stages and no hearings are currently set.

Gonzales v. Baldwin,  No. 19-1360   The plaintiff is currently a prisoner at Menard Correctional Center but his claim arose when he was at Pontiac Correctional Center. Plaintiff alleges that the defendants used excessive force against him—including sexually assaulting him—and then would not obtain medical assistance for his injuries. This case is in the early stages and no hearings are currently set.

 


 

Any attorney interested in helping as Pro Bono counsel may contact the Pro Bono Coordinator for the Central District of Illinois, Denise Koester at 217-492-4027 or denise_koester@ilcd.uscourts.gov

The Central District of Illinois Plan for Recruitment of Counsel has a cap of $1,000.00 for reimbursement of expenses.