Matoesian to hear motions in case involving beating death of Carlyle boy

Amelia Flood Jun. 28, 2011, 1:58pm


Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is set to hear all pending motions in a battery and wrongful death suit filed last year over the beating death of a three year-old Carlyle boy.

The suit, seeking more than $1 million in damages, was filed by Matthew Wells, the special administrator of the estate of Joseph Schoolfield.

It names the boy's mother, Valerie Schoolfield, Erwin McEwen, the director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), DCFS case worker Sophia Rawlings, Kimberly and Dennis Endicott, and Scott Endicott, the man who beat the boy to death.

Scott Endicott is serving a 60-year prison sentence in Clinton County in connection with the death.

Valerie Schoolfield is serving a 16-year sentence for child endangerment and obstruction of justice charges.

A motion to dismiss the plaintiff's first amended complaint is currently pending before Matoesian as are a motion seeking a bill of particulars filed by McEwen and an objection to the bill filed by Wells.

A copy of the plaintiff's first amended complaint is not yet available in the case file although the docket sheet in the case file indicates it was filed in April.

In his original complaint, Wells cites a history of documented abuse and intervention by Rawlings and DCFS in the months leading up to Joseph Schoolfield's January 2009 death.

The plaintiff is seeking damages on claims of battery, wrongful death, negligence, breach of voluntary custodian/protectee relationship, deprivation of substantive due process, state-created danger, and other claims.

Rawlings has moved to dismiss parts of the plaintiff's suit contending that because she is sued in her official capacity, the plaintiff must bring his case against the State of Illinois and not her personally.

McEwen sought the bill of particulars in a motion filed May 9.

In that motion, McEwen claims that the plaintiff must provide evidence for his "bald allegations that the Director had personal knowledge of the specific actions taken by subordinates in this case."

McEwen seeks evidence specifically related to a safety plan the plaintiff alleges was enacted to protect Joseph Schoolfield and a no-contact order entered in Madison County.

Wells filed his objection to the bill of particulars June 1.

In that filing, Wells contends that his first amended complaint is specific and does not lack
the detail the defendant needs to prepare a defense.

"It is Defendant's contention that his having knowledge of and about the cases that his agency is in charge of investigating belies common sense, even though the General Assembly has charged the Department of Children and Family Services to protect the safety and welfare of abused and neglected children," the objection reads. "Defendant's demand for bill of particulars is nothing more than an attempt to block discovery from going forward in this case."

The plaintiff asks Matoesian to deny the bill.

Michael Oltmann and Michael Bilbrey represent Wells.

The case is Madison case number 10-L-928.

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