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Case Name Lester v. Commissioner of Philadelphia Prisons JC-PA-0015
Docket / Court 87-5893 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
In 1988, inmates confined at the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center, a jail, represented by private counsel, filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against prison officials. Plaintiffs alleged that there were unwarranted acts of violence against ... read more >
In 1988, inmates confined at the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center, a jail, represented by private counsel, filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against prison officials. Plaintiffs alleged that there were unwarranted acts of violence against inmates by staff.

The parties reached a settlement which was approved by the court in June 1988. Under the terms of the agreement, the Philadelphia Prison Society was to investigate any allegations of the use of physical force against inmates by prison officials. The results of all investigations were to be forwarded to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and the Board of Directors of the Philadelphia Prisons.

In 1991, plaintiffs sought to modify the agreement by including the Federal Bureau of Investigations to the list of recipients of the Prison Society's findings. The District Court (Judge Clarence C. Newcomer) denied the motion holding that plaintiffs had failed to show any extreme circumstances or unexpected hardship sufficient to justify modification of the consent decree. Lester v. Commissioner of Philadelphia Prisons, 1991 WL 8423 (E.D. Pa. January 22, 1991). Litigation regarding attorneys' fees continued until April 1991. Lester v. Commissioner of Philadelphia Prisons, 1991 WL 75128 (E.D. Pa. April 29, 1991).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent decision, dated April 29, 1991.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center
Plaintiff Description inmates confined at the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1988 - 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
Memorandum 01/22/1991 (1991 WL 8423 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 908) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0015-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum 04/29/1991 (1991 WL 75128 / 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 6012) (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0015-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Judges Newcomer, Clarence Charles (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0015-0001 | JC-PA-0015-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gordon, Leonard B. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0015-0001 | JC-PA-0015-0002
McCaney, Michael J. Jr. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0015-0001 | JC-PA-0015-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Drummer, Bruce W. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0015-0001 | JC-PA-0015-0002
Vilim, Guy (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0015-0001 | JC-PA-0015-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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