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Case Name Vazquez v. Carver JC-PA-0011
Docket / Court 86-3020 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1986, inmates of Lehigh County Prison (a jail) filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the jail officials. Plaintiffs asserted that the conditions of confinement at the facility constituted a violation of their rights under the Eighth and ... read more >
In 1986, inmates of Lehigh County Prison (a jail) filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the jail officials. Plaintiffs asserted that the conditions of confinement at the facility constituted a violation of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, plaintiffs complained of: overcrowding; poor sanitation and living conditions; inadequate medical screening and exercise; and improper classification procedures. The court appointed private counsel and certified the class.

Following 6 days of testimony and argument, the District Court (Judge Huyett) denied plaintiffs motion for a preliminary injunction, but noted that upon the making of a more complete record the totality of conditions at LCP would be held unconstitutional. Vazquez v. Carver, 1987 WL 14847 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 1987). Following an increase in the population, plaintiffs again sought a preliminary injunction. Judge Huyett granted plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction requiring defendants to reduce the prison population from 420 to 310 inmates within forty-five days. Vazquez v. Carver, 729 F. Supp. 1063 (E.D. Pa. 1989).

In 1990, the parties negotiated a settlement and the court approved the consent decree. The consent decree set population limits and addressed a number of the issues raised in the complaint. The consent decree established a one-year monitoring period with no provision for extension. In 1996, defendants sought to terminate the consent decree under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The District Court (Judge Cahn) held that although the consent decree had not been satisfied so as to otherwise warrant its termination, termination was warranted under the PLRA. Vazquez v. Carver, 18 F. Supp. 2d 503 (E.D. Pa. 1998). Plaintiffs appealed but the Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion. Vazquez v. Carver, 181 F.3d 85 (3d Cir. 1999), cert denied, 530 U.S. 1264 (2000).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent decision, dated June 26, 2000.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Classification / placement
Fire safety
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Lehigh County Prison
Plaintiff Description inmates of Lehigh County Prison
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1990 - 1996
Case Closing Year 1996
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum and Order 07/27/1987 (1987 WL 14847 / 1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 6828) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0011-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Decision 03/01/1988 (845 F.2d 1019)
JC-PA-0011-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum and Order 10/05/1989 (729 F.Supp. 1063) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0011-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 12/05/1989 (1989 WL 147591 / 1989 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14639) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0011-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum 06/22/1998 (18 F.Supp.2d 503) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0011-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 06/30/1999 (181 F.3d 85)
JC-PA-0011-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Decision 06/26/2000 (530 U.S. 1264)
JC-PA-0011-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Cahn, Edward Norman (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0011-0002
Huyett, Daniel Henry III (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0011-0001 | JC-PA-0011-0003 | JC-PA-0011-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers DAmore, Frank Michael (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0011-0003
Dennis, Andre L. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0011-0001 | JC-PA-0011-0003 | JC-PA-0011-0005
Norford, Lawrence C. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0011-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Caffrey, Thomas M. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0011-0003 | JC-PA-0011-0005
Perkin, Henry S. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0011-0001 | JC-PA-0011-0003 | JC-PA-0011-0005
Other Lawyers None on record

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