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Case Name Cobb v. Aytch JC-PA-0013
Docket / Court 73-1290 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1973, inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System, represented by Community Legal Services, filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against officials of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and officials of the City of Philadelphia. Plaintiffs alleged that ... read more >
In 1973, inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System, represented by Community Legal Services, filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against officials of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and officials of the City of Philadelphia. Plaintiffs alleged that transfers between county and state prison institutions are violative of their rights under the first, sixth, eighth, and fourteenth amendments.

The parties negotiated a settlement agreement, which permanently enjoined the Commonwealth defendants from receiving any Philadelphia County prisoners for transfer to state institutions, except transferees who voluntarily consented or sentenced prisoners who had been afforded a due process hearing to establish an administrative or punitive reason for transfer. Over the objections of the three city defendants, the District Court (Judge Clarence C. Newcomer) approved the proposed judgment. The City defendants appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded holding that the agreement nullified a legal right of the Superintendent of Philadelphia Prisons. Cobb v. Aytch, 539 F.2d 297 (3d Cir. 1976).

On remand, the court enjoined the future transfer of pretrial detainees because of due process concerns, but held that the due process rights of post-conviction unsentenced inmates were not offended by transfer to state prisons. Cobb v. Aytch, 472 F. Supp. 908 (E.D. Pa. 1979). Both sides appealed.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded. The Court of Appeals held that the district court erred in distinguishing between the rights of a convicted, but unsentenced inmate and a pretrial inmate. Cobb v. Aytch, 643 F.2d 946 (3d Cir. 1981).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent decision, dated March 13, 1981.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Classification / placement
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) All County Prisons
Plaintiff Description inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1976 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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
Opinion of the Court 07/15/1976 (539 F.2d 297)
JC-PA-0013-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 01/29/1979 (472 F.Supp. 908) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0013-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion of the Court 03/13/1981 (643 F.2d 946)
JC-PA-0013-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gibbons, John Joseph (Third Circuit)
JC-PA-0013-0002
Newcomer, Clarence Charles (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0013-0001
Seitz, Collins Jacques (FISCR, Third Circuit)
JC-PA-0013-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Daley, Edmund P. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0003
Paulson, Gregory (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0003
Platt, Elliot B. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0001 | JC-PA-0013-0002 | JC-PA-0013-0003
Torregrossa, Ann S. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Albert, Sheldon L. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002 | JC-PA-0013-0003
Biester, Edward G. Jr. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002
Cohen, Mark N. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0001 | JC-PA-0013-0002
Kitty, Raymond (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0003
Lerner, Benjamin (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002
Moschzisker, Michael Von (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002
Myers, John M. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002
Penny, James M. Jr. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0001 | JC-PA-0013-0002 | JC-PA-0013-0003
Ryan, Joseph P. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002
Other Lawyers Riblet, Douglas (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0013-0002

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