BENTON – An Illinois woman charged with elder exploitation has lost her bid to sue Madison County after the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Illinois dismissed her lawsuit with prejudice.
Cynthia M. Crawford-Green held the health care power of attorney for her uncle, Carl Dickerson, and was the executor and beneficiary according to the terms of his will. He died in 2010. She was charged with exploitation of an elderly person and a warrant was issued for her arrest. The order states she was pulled over in Missouri in January.
According to Illinois Legal Aid online, “The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act assures that local agencies will be funded by the Illinois Department on Aging in order to offer help to persons age 60 and older who may be abused, neglected, or exploited by family, household members, or caregivers. Any person who suspects the abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of such a person may report this suspicion to the designated local agency.”
Crawford-Green filed suit against Madison County over allegations that she had been deprived of her constitutional rights pursuant to pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The complaint alleged that the people of Madison County wanted her to pay her uncle’s medical bills after his death, and there was no probable cause to issue the warrant.
She sought a reversal of her state court sentence, plus compensatory and punitive monetary damages. After her arrest, she lost her job, lost her home to foreclosure, and her property was seized, the order states.
On Aug. 17, the case was dismissed by the district court. Judge J. Phil Gilbert ordered that the plaintiff would recover nothing and the case was dismissed on the merits with prejudice.
In its decision, the court notes that “The named defendant in this case is 'people of Madison County Illinois.' In order to obtain relief against a municipality or other local government unit, a plaintiff must allege that the constitutional deprivations were the result of an official policy, custom, or practice of the local government.”
Crawford-Green failed to prove her case, the court ruled.
“Plaintiff has not alleged that the deprivations she complains of were made pursuant to an official policy or custom, and has provided no facts that would make such an allegation plausible. Therefore Plaintiff has not adequately pleaded a claim against Madison County,” the memorandum and order stated.