University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Reese v. Global Tel*Link Corporation PC-PA-0036
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-02197 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 23, 2015, a group of inmates in the Pennsylvania correctional facilities filed this class action lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sued Global Tel*Link Corporation ("GTL") under the Federal Communications Act (the "FCA"), 47 U.S.C. § ... read more >
On April 23, 2015, a group of inmates in the Pennsylvania correctional facilities filed this class action lawsuit in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sued Global Tel*Link Corporation ("GTL") under the Federal Communications Act (the "FCA"), 47 U.S.C. §§201,206,207 and 276, and Pennsylvania law. They alleged that GTL participated in unjust, unreasonable, unfair and deceptive conduct from January 1, 2000 through the present (the "Class Period") by charging exorbitant rates and fees - up to 100 times normal market rates for intrastate telephone calls to and from inmates pursuant to exclusive contracts with correctional facilities throughout the United States. GTL and its subsidiaries serve over 2,200 correctional facilities and 1.1 million inmates in forty-eight states. The plaintiffs sought certification of this action as a class action and declaratory and monetary relief.

The plaintiffs alleged that GTL created a monopoly through exclusive contracts with thousands of correctional facilities, and therefore faces little or no market competition to challenge its intrastate telephone rates. Furthermore, the plaintiffs alleged that in return for this monopoly power, GTL provided kickbacks to the contracting facilities. Reports have estimated that the kickbacks paid to correctional facilities exceed $124 million per year.

During rule-making proceedings, the Federal Communications Commission (the "FCC") looked at whether intrastate charges were unreasonably high, unfair, and far in excess of the cost of providing service. The FCC concluded that they were, and that GTL had exploited their economic position by charging rates for intrastate call greatly exceeding the cost of providing service, in direct violation of Sections 201 and 276 of the FCA that those rates be just, reasonable, and fair.

On June 16, 2015, defendant GTL filed an answer to the complaint. The court has not yet certified the class. As of October 12, 2015, the case is ongoing.

Rachel June-Graber - 10/04/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Phone
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Global Tel*Link Corporation (GTL)
Plaintiff Description Inmates at Pennsylvania correctional facilities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
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 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)
2:15-cv-2197 (E.D. Pa.) 08/17/2015
PC-PA-0036-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 04/23/2015
PC-PA-0036-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges McLaughlin, Mary A. (FISC, E.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0036-9000
Sanchez, Juan Ramon (E.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0036-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berger, Daniel (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001
Burke, Susan L. (District of Columbia)
PC-PA-0036-0001
Ciolko, Edward W. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001
Galloway, Monique Myatt (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001 | PC-PA-0036-9000
Howard, Patrick (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001
Jones, Samantha E. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-9000
Kahana, Peter R. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001 | PC-PA-0036-9000
Moffa, Donna Siegel (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001 | PC-PA-0036-9000
Muhic, Peter A. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001 | PC-PA-0036-9000
Paris, Simon B. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001
Trask, Amanda R. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001 | PC-PA-0036-9000
Twersky, Michael Y. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-0001 | PC-PA-0036-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Feeney, Brian T. (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0036-9000
Sklaire, Michael R. (Virginia)
PC-PA-0036-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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