Litigation

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Updated - August 29, 2019

Caliste v. Cantrell

Cash Bail
The MacArthur Justice Center is pursuing a federal class action lawsuit against Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry E. Cantrell challenging his practice of setting high bail amounts without any consideration of the person’s ability to pay or alternative no-cost conditions of release. Judge Cantrell also insists on using commercial bond companies (rather than cash), which require a non-reimbursable fee, a portion of which goes to the court’s General Fund – revenue Cantrell and other judges’ control.

Filed - June 27, 2017

Updated - August 16, 2019

Warden v. Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department

Abusive Policies
In June 2019, MacArthur Justice Center argued on behalf of Rob Warden (Executive Director Emeritus of the Center on Wrongful Convictions) that the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to provide photographs of police officers for use by the media. The CPD had denied Rob Warden’s February 2016 request...
Updated - August 14, 2019

Whitt v. City of St. Louis

Rights of Protesters
David Whitt, co-founded the St. Louis CopWatch, after Michael Brown was killed in 2014 by an on-duty police officer and there was no video evidence of the incident. He has provided CopWatch training in communities across the country. In August 2016, he was arrested while recording a video of police activity despite maintaining a reasonable...

Filed - August 7, 2018

Updated - August 9, 2019

Spoon v. Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC et al.

Rights of Protesters
Cynthia Spoon, Sophia Cook-Phillips, and Eric Moll were traveling in a canoe and kayak on the waters of Bayou Bee to observe and peacefully protest the construction. As part of a continuing effort to suppress the protests, Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC (BBP) and HUB Enterprises (HUB) directed “private duty” law enforcement officers from the Louisiana...

Filed - August 9, 2019

Updated - August 8, 2019

Brown v. Precythe

Juvenile Offenders
The MacArthur Justice Center is pursuing a federal class action challenging the Missouri Parole Board’s demonstrated abuse of power, disregard for due process and failure to comply with state and federal law when it comes to youthful offenders previously given mandatory life without parole sentences.

Filed - October 31, 2017

Updated - July 25, 2019

Campbell v. City of Chicago

Abdication of Civil Rights Oversight
The MacArthur Justice Center formed a coalition of attorneys, community organizations and individuals to file a historic class action lawsuit seeking federal court oversight of the Chicago Police Department's (CPD) operations on behalf of thousands of individuals, predominately Blacks and Latinx, who have been subjected to the CPD's policy and practice of using excessive force, sometimes in racially discriminatory and brutal ways.

Filed - June 14, 2017

Updated - June 3, 2019

Wearry v. Perrilloux

Abusive Policies
The suit details their efforts fabricating an eyewitness account by an adolescent, coercing the 10-year old into adopting the false story, and using his testimony to convict Mr. Wearry of first degree murder and sentence him to death in a case the U.S. Supreme Court has said was built on a “house of cards”.

Filed - May 30, 2018

Updated - April 24, 2019

Hampton v. Illinois Department of Corrections

Retaliation
Strawberry Hampton is a 28-year-old transgender woman who is incarcerated within the Illinois Department of Corrections. Ms. Hampton has survived numerous sexual assaults and received constant harassment and threats in men's prisons, where she spent the majority of her sentence. IDOC officials have consistently refused to acknowledge Ms. Hampton’s gender and have repeatedly and deliberately placed her in environments detrimental to her physical, mental and emotional health.

Filed - November 29, 2017

Updated - February 27, 2019

Garza v. Idaho (U.S. Supreme Court)

Access to Courts
This case concerns one of the clearest instances in which a criminal defendant was abandoned by his defense attorney and deprived of his right to appellate review. After pleading guilty, Gilberto Garza, Jr., instructed his attorney to file an appeal, but his attorney refused to do so. As a result, Mr. Garza’s attorney deprived him...

Filed - January 23, 2018

Updated - January 2, 2019

Gay v. State of Illinois

Solitary Confinement
Lawsuit against Illinois Department of Corrections on behalf of Anthony Gay who was held in solitary for almost 20 years. The state's action not only compounded his torture, but prolonged it and caused him to take erratic and irrational actions, which included cutting himself hundreds of times and lashing out at guards.

Filed - October 28, 2018