University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Ptaschnik v. Luzerne County Correctional Facility PC-PA-0028
Docket / Court 3:98-cv-01887 ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On November 19, 1998, an inmate in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility filed a lawsuit alleging violations of her civil rights in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton Division. The Plaintiff, represented by a group of public interest attorneys, ... read more >
On November 19, 1998, an inmate in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility filed a lawsuit alleging violations of her civil rights in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton Division. The Plaintiff, represented by a group of public interest attorneys, sought equitable relief, claiming that the defendant's refusal to provide an abortion violated her constitutional right to privacy.

On November 20, 1998 the Court entered a decree enjoining the Defendant from preventing the Plaintiff from obtaining an abortion. Furthermore, the court ordered that the Defendant arrange for transportation to a medical center to obtain an abortion the next day at the Plaintiff's expense. The court based its decree on the authority of Monmouth County Correctional Institutional Inmates v. Lanzano, in which the 3rd Circuit held that a denial of abortion services constituted a violation of the 8th Amendment.

The court additionally held that in the future, any request for an elective abortion shall be honored as a necessary medical procedure and provided at the County's expense if the applicant demonstrates an inability to pay.

Justin Benson - 04/08/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Luzerne County Correctional Facility
Plaintiff Description Inmate in a county jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:98−cv−01887 (M.D. Pa.) 11/19/1998
PC-PA-0028-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Decree 11/20/1998 (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Kosik, Edwin Michael (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0028-0001 | PC-PA-0028-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Frietsche, Sue (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0028-9000
Heller, Simon (New York)
PC-PA-0028-9000
Lemberg, Jennifer (New York)
PC-PA-0028-9000
Martinez, Katherine Hall (New York)
PC-PA-0028-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Blaum, James P. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0028-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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