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Case Name County of Allegheny v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania JC-PA-0021
Docket / Court No. 3649 CD 1983 ( State Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
This case is a by-product of the jail overcrowding suit Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania [JC-PA-5 of this collection]. In that case, the District Court ordered that starting January 1, 1984, the Allegheny County ... read more >
This case is a by-product of the jail overcrowding suit Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania [JC-PA-5 of this collection]. In that case, the District Court ordered that starting January 1, 1984, the Allegheny County Jail would have a population cap of 500 male and 30 female prisoners. Violations of that cap would were to result in a $5,000 fine per inmate released to comply with the Court's order. Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, 565 F.Supp. 1278 (W.D. Penn. 1983).

In an attempt to alleviate the over-crowding, Allegheny County requested that the Commonwealth take certain inmates from its jail and transfer them to the Commonwealth's prison system. The Commonwealth refused. The County then filed a complaint in mandamus and in equity in December 28, 1983 in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania seeking an order compelling the Commonwealth to receive certain prisoners from the County's jail. The County also moved for a preliminary injunction. The Commonwealth Court held that neither mandamus nor injunction would issue and it dismiss the County's petition without leave to amend. Allegheny County v. Commonwealth, 480 A.2d 1330 (Pa.Cmwlth 1984). The County appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which reversed. The County's petition was ordered reinstated, leave was granted to further amend the petition and a preliminary injunction was issued. Allegheny County v. Commonwealth, 490 A.2d 402 (Pa. 1985) (Allegheny I)

In 1986, the County filed another petition in the Commonwealth Court seeking relief in mandamus to compel transfer of additional inmates from the County to the Commonwealth's Bureau of Corrections to ease jail overcrowding. After a hearing on the merits, the Commonwealth Court denied the County's petition. Following an appeal and remand on a taxing issue, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed. Allegheny County v. Commonwealth, 544 A.2d 1309 (Pa. 1988) (Allegheny II).

Note that while during and following litigation of Allegheny I and II, the jail overcrowding case of Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht continued in federal court. [See JC-PA-5 for a complete summary and listing of relevant case documents].

Dan Dalton - 02/01/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Plaintiff Description County of Allegheny petitioning to compel state correctional facilities to accept inmates from the county's overcrowded jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 1985 - 1987
Case Closing Year 1988
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-PA-0005 : Inmates of the Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht (W.D. Pa.)
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 and Order 09/06/1984 (480 A.2d 1330)
JC-PA-0021-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 03/29/1985 (490 A.2d 402)
JC-PA-0021-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 03/21/1988 (538 A.2d 873)
JC-PA-0021-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion of the Court 07/28/1988 (544 A.2d 1305)
JC-PA-0021-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Craig, David (State Trial Court)
JC-PA-0021-0001
Crumlish, James C. Jr, (State Trial Court)
JC-PA-0021-0001
Doyle, Joseph T. (State Trial Court)
JC-PA-0021-0001
Flaherty, John P. Jr. (State Supreme Court)
JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003 | JC-PA-0021-0004
Hutchinson, William D. (Third Circuit)
JC-PA-0021-0002
Larsen, Rolf (State Supreme Court)
JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003
MacPhail, John (State Appellate Court)
JC-PA-0021-0001
McDermott, James T. (State Supreme Court)
JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003
Nix, Robert N.C. Jr. (State Supreme Court)
JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003 | JC-PA-0021-0004
Palladino, Madeline (State Trial Court)
JC-PA-0021-0001
Papadakos, Nicholas P. (State Supreme Court)
JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003 | JC-PA-0021-0004
Rodgers, Samuel L. (State Trial Court)
JC-PA-0021-0001
Stout, Juanita Kidd (State Supreme Court)
JC-PA-0021-0004
Zappala, Stephen A. (State Trial Court)
JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Biondo, Dennis R. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0001 | JC-PA-0021-0002
Diamantopulos, George C. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0003
Dodaro, James J. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0003 | JC-PA-0021-0004
McLean, James H. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0001 | JC-PA-0021-0002
Pellegrini, Dante (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Filipi, Francis R. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0001 | JC-PA-0021-0002 | JC-PA-0021-0003 | JC-PA-0021-0004
Halloran, Thomas F. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0002
Warshaw, Allen C. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0021-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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