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The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Allison v. the Geo Group, Inc. JC-PA-0027
Docket / Court 2:08-cv-00467-JD ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On January 30, 2008, two arrestees detained at jails operated by the Geo Group Inc., a private corrections management company, filed a nationwide 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging that the Geo Group, Inc. engaged in ... read more >
On January 30, 2008, two arrestees detained at jails operated by the Geo Group Inc., a private corrections management company, filed a nationwide 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleging that the Geo Group, Inc. engaged in improper strip-search practices at its facilities in violation of the plaintiff's Fourth Amendment Constitutional rights.

The Geo Group, Inc. manages numerous correctional, detention, mental health, and residential treatment facilities in the United States and operated the George W. Hill Correctional Facility in Thornton, Pennsylvania under a contract with Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The Plaintiffs were arrested and brought to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility where they were allegedly strip-searched without reasonable suspicion in front of other inmates pursuant to the Geo Group’s blanket policy of strip-searching every pre-trial detainee that entered its facilities, regardless of the crime charged and without making a determination whether there was a reasonable suspicion that the detainee possessed weapons or contraband.

The Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory, monetary, and injunctive relief, as well as class certification. Specifically, the Plaintiff's requested monetary damages for Fourth Amendment violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, declaratory judgment as to the Fourth Amendment violations, and preliminary and permanent injunctions as to the Fourth Amendment violations. Additionally, the Plaintiff's brought claims under state law for battery, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

On May 2, 2008, the Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims. The Plaintiffs did not oppose the motion. On May 30, 2008, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Judge Jan E. Dubois) granted the Defendant's motion to dismiss.

On September 18, 2008, the Defendant filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. On March 25, 2009, the District Court (Judge Dubois) denied the Defendant's motion. Allison v. Geo Group, Inc., 611 F. Supp. 2d 433 (E.D.Pa. 2009)

On March 1, 2010 the parties reached a settlement agreement. The terms of the settlement provided that since January 31, 2008 the Defendant stopped strip-searching without reasonable suspicion, and the Defendant instituted new strip search policies that are constitutional. All officers and employees will have access and training regarding the Defendant's strip search policy. An injunction order to ensure the Defendant's compliance with the revised strip search policy will remain in force for eighteen months from the date of the final approval of the settlement. Additionally, the settlement entitled each class member to a share of the $2.999 million settlement.

The approved settlement class is described as follows: All persons who were placed into the custody of one or more of the Jails after being detained for misdemeanors, summary offenses, or other crimes that did not involve the possession or distribution of drugs, possession of weapons, crimes of violence, or felonies, who had no history of such charges, and did not behave in a manner at intake that would give intake officers reasonable suspicion that the inmate was carrying or concealing contraband, but were strip searched upon their admission into one or more of the Jails pursuant to Defendants’ then existing strip search policy.

The Class Period is from January 30, 2006 to January 30, 2008 for George W. Hill Correctional Facility, Frio County Detention Center, Dickens County Detention Center, Tri-County Detention Center, and Newton County Correctional Center, and from January 30, 2005 to January 30, 2008 for Guadalupe County Correctional Facility.

On October 22, 2010 the District Court (Judge Dubois) granted final approval regarding the settlement agreement.

Joe Reiter - 04/08/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Geo Group, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Arrestees strip-searched pursuant to a blanket policy of strip-searching every pre-trial detainee that entered its facilities, regardless of the crime charged and without making a determination whether there was a reasonable suspicion
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
2:08-cv-00467-JD (E.D. Pa.) 11/01/2010
JC-PA-0027-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
AMENDED COMPLAINT 03/28/2008
JC-PA-0027-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MOTION OF DEFENDANT THE GEO GROUP, INC. TO DISMISS THE COMPLAINT 05/02/2008
JC-PA-0027-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF THE MOTION OF DEFENDANT THE GEO GROUP, INC. TO DISMISS COUNTS IV, VI, AND VII OF PLAINTIFFS’ COMPLAINT 05/02/2008
JC-PA-0027-0003 PDF | Detail
ORDER AND STIPULATION CONCERNING DEFENDANT THE GEO GROUP, INC'S MOTION TO DISMISS CERTAIN COUNTS OF PLAINTIFFS' AMENDED COMPLAINT 05/30/2008 (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0027-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MOTION OF DEFENDANT THE GEO GROUP, INC. FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS 09/18/2008
JC-PA-0027-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM 03/25/2009 (611 F.Supp.2d 433) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0027-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
AMENDED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 03/01/2010
JC-PA-0027-0010 PDF | Detail
MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ AND DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT AND CLASS CERTIFICATION 09/27/2010
JC-PA-0027-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL TO CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND JUDGMENT 10/13/2010 (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0027-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL TO CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND JUDGMENT 10/22/2010 (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0027-0008 PDF | Detail
Judges DuBois, Jan Ely (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0027-0005 | JC-PA-0027-0007 | JC-PA-0027-0008 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Clarke, Jennifer R. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0010 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Feinberg, Jonathan H. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0006 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010
Hayes, Christopher G. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Johns, Benjamin F. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0006 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Levin, Daniel C. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Rudovsky, David (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0006 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Sauder, Joseph G. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0006 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Schaffer, Charles (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0001 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-0010
Defendant's Lawyers Begley, Sara A (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0002 | JC-PA-0027-0003 | JC-PA-0027-0004 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Edelstein, Miriam S. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0002 | JC-PA-0027-0003 | JC-PA-0027-0004 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-9000
McClure, Shannon Elise (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0002 | JC-PA-0027-0003 | JC-PA-0027-0004 | JC-PA-0027-0006 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Short, Caroline P. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0027-0002 | JC-PA-0027-0003 | JC-PA-0027-0004 | JC-PA-0027-0006 | JC-PA-0027-0009 | JC-PA-0027-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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