University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Augustine v. Ramsey PN-PA-0015
Docket / Court 2:13-cv-06606 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Occupy
Case Summary
On November 13, 2013, twenty-six protesters associated with Occupy Philadelphia, a large continuous political protest, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the City of Philadelphia and nine city police commissions and officers in their ... read more >
On November 13, 2013, twenty-six protesters associated with Occupy Philadelphia, a large continuous political protest, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the City of Philadelphia and nine city police commissions and officers in their capacities. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, claimed, inter alia, that the City of Philadelphia had used excessive force, including assault and battery, to forcefully restrain protesters from exercising their freedom of expression on public property. Plaintiffs brought suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for violations of their First Amendment and Due Process rights, and sought compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that in the early morning of November 30, 2011, police officers removed them from a public space where protesters had been gathering for the previous seven weeks as part of an ongoing protest. The process of removal involved destruction of encampments, and all personal property contained therein. Additionally, the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia police made orders to arrest protesters, which plaintiffs claim was based solely upon the anticipated protests resulting of their decision to evict the protesters. In the process of arrest, plaintiffs were surrounded by defendant police officers on bicycles and corralled against the wall of a building and unable to move. Plaintiffs were then handcuffed and taken into custody.

On March 6, 2014, defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The District Court (Judge Berie M. Schiller) ordered oral arguments on the motion to dismiss, which were held on April 29, 2014.

The case is ongoing as of May 16, 2014.

Richard Jolly - 05/16/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Excessive force
False arrest
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Philadelphia
Deputy Police Commissioner
Police Commissioner
Plaintiff Description A group of twenty-six protesters associated with Occupy Philadelphia claimed, inter alia, that city police retaliated against their protected speech and assembly, used excessive force, and unlawfully arrested and falsely imprisoned them.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:13-cv-6606 (E.D. Pa.) 05/21/2014
PN-PA-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/13/2013
PN-PA-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Schiller, Berle M. (E.D. Pa.)
PN-PA-0015-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hetznecker, Paul J. (Pennsylvania)
PN-PA-0015-0001 | PN-PA-0015-9000
Hoffman, Elizabeth A. (Pennsylvania)
PN-PA-0015-9000
Krasner, Lawrence S. (Pennsylvania)
PN-PA-0015-0001 | PN-PA-0015-9000
Long, Lloyd III (Pennsylvania)
PN-PA-0015-0001 | PN-PA-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Shoffel, Amanda C. (Pennsylvania)
PN-PA-0015-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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