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 ...
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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