University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Cerilli v. Meachum PC-CT-0014
Docket / Court 95-CV-0622-DJS ( D. Conn. )
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1995 and 1996 several convicted sex offenders filed lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against the State of Connecticut, the Department of Corrections, and the Office of Adult Probation. The plaintiffs were incarcerated sex offenders ... read more >
In 1995 and 1996 several convicted sex offenders filed lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against the State of Connecticut, the Department of Corrections, and the Office of Adult Probation. The plaintiffs were incarcerated sex offenders and sex offenders on probation. The plaintiffs, who were represented by private counsel, sought compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief. They alleged that a probation policy, which provided a sex offender notification policy, and a Connecticut statute, which required that convicted sex offenders submit a blood sample for analysis and inclusion in a DNA data bank, violated their right to privacy and the constitutional guarantees of due process, equal protection, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. The challenge to the sex offender notification policy and the challenge to the requirement of the blood sample for the DNA data bank began independently and were consolidated in September 1996.

One of the plaintiffs, a sex offender on probation, sought a preliminary injunction to enjoin the defendants from disseminating information about the sexual offenses to which he plead guilty to his employer, neighbors, and the general community. On August 27, 1996, the District Court (Judge Dominic J. Squatrito) granted the plaintiff a preliminary injunction. Roe v. Office of Adult Probation, 938 F. Supp. 1080 (D. Conn. 1996). The defendants appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Jon O. Newman) vacated the District Court's grant of the preliminary injunction and remanded the case. Roe v. Office of Probation, 125 F.3d 47 (2d Cir. 1997).

On cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment in part. The court dismissed all of the plaintiffs' federal claims and declared the statute constitutional. The state law claims were dismissed without prejudice, leaving the plaintiffs free to re-file in state court.

The plaintiffs appealed only the equal protection and unreasonable search and seizure issues. On September 16, 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Rosemary S. Pooler) declared the Connecticut statute constitutional, reasoning that the governmental interest outweighed the intrusion of giving a blood sample. Roe v. Marcotte, 193 F.3d 72 (2d Cir. 1999). The court further held that the statute did not violate the guarantee of equal protection, reasoning that there was no evidence presented that demonstrated a compelling need to test other violent felons.

The case is closed.

Kaitlin Corkran - 06/12/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Classification / placement
Search policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Department of Corrections
Office of Adult Probation
State of Connecticut
Plaintiff Description Inmates brought claims against Connecticut state officials challenging constitutionality of Connecticut statute requiring convicted sex offenders incarcerated on statute's effective date to submit blood sample for analysis and inclusion in DNA data bank
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:96-cv-0001-DJS (D. Conn.) 09/22/1999
PC-CT-0014-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:95-cv-02656-DJS (D. Conn.) 11/15/1999
PC-CT-0014-9002 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
95-622 (D. Conn.) 03/16/2000
PC-CT-0014-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order 08/27/1996 (938 F.Supp. 1080) (D. Conn.)
PC-CT-0014-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 09/08/1997 (125 F.3d 47)
PC-CT-0014-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 09/16/1999 (193 F.3d 72)
PC-CT-0014-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Fitzsimmons, Holly B. (D. Conn.) [Magistrate]
PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9002
Godbold, John Cooper (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
PC-CT-0014-0003
Kearse, Amalya Lyle (Second Circuit)
PC-CT-0014-0001
Miner, Roger Jeffrey (Second Circuit, N.D.N.Y.)
PC-CT-0014-0003
Newman, Jon Ormond (Second Circuit, D. Conn.)
PC-CT-0014-0003
Pooler, Rosemary S. (Second Circuit, N.D.N.Y.)
PC-CT-0014-0001
Smith, Thomas P. (D. Conn.) [Magistrate]
PC-CT-0014-9002
Squatrito, Dominic J. (D. Conn.)
PC-CT-0014-0002 | PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9001 | PC-CT-0014-9002
Straub, Chester J. (Second Circuit)
PC-CT-0014-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Clifford, John P. Jr. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0002 | PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9001
Costas, Peter L. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0001 | PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9002
Cuyler, Aviva (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0003
Gersten, Eliot B. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0002 | PC-CT-0014-0003 | PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Bayer, Aaron S. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0001
Blumenthal, Richard (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0001 | PC-CT-0014-0003
Chapple, Margaret Quilter (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0001 | PC-CT-0014-0002 | PC-CT-0014-0003 | PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9001 | PC-CT-0014-9002
D'Auria, Gregory T. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0003
John-Nicholson, Loida (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-9000
O'Neill, Terrance M. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0001
O'Neill, Stephen J. (Connecticut)
PC-CT-0014-0002 | PC-CT-0014-0003 | PC-CT-0014-9000 | PC-CT-0014-9001 | PC-CT-0014-9002
Other Lawyers None on record

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