The class action lawsuit against Starke County by former Starke County Jail inmate Jack Haut is still at a standstill, as the court is currently awaiting an expert witness report from the plaintiffs to substantiate their allegations that the jail is so overcrowded that conditions are unconstitutional for inmates.
While they have until Aug. 30 to do so, the plaintiffs have been having a rough time coming up with the expert witness report required by the court. It was reported that they had found an expert witness and had begun developing the report, but the witness unexpectedly passed away, effectively bringing them back to square one. They now have to hire a new expert witness to work on the report, and until then, there is no trial setting for the case.
If no report is filed by the deadline, it is likely that the case will be disposed of without any kind of trial. If the report is filed, Starke County officials will have a period of time to counter that report with their own expert witness report, and the case will likely proceed to trial.
What’s important to note in all of this is the fact that Starke County had been looking into the possibility of and entertaining discussions about building a newer, more modern and larger jail before the lawsuit was even filed. The attorney for Starke County in this case, Mark Boveri, says that if the county follows through and builds a new jail, it would likely render moot most of the issues presented in the lawsuit.