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Case Law Update: 1983 Actions

Estate of Moreland v. Dieter, No. 08-1478 (8/11/09) affirmed that the district court not err in denying plaintiff’s motion for writ of execution seeking to enforce $29 million judgment against defendant in section 1983 action alleging violations of certain constitutional rights arising out of injuries sustained while plaintiff was in defendant’s jail, where plaintiff based said motion on retroactive application of 2003 Amendment to Indiana state law requiring defendant to pay certain compensatory damages contained in judgments against its employees. Prior state law gave defendant discretion to pay said judgments, and retroactive application of 2003 Amendment was inappropriate where there was no unambiguous language making said Amendment retroactive, and where Amendment attached new legal consequence to instant trial that was completed prior to Amendment’s enactment. This seventh circuit case will have an impact on all Illinois cases.