University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Boone v. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania JC-PA-0023
Docket / Court 2:05-cv-01851-MAM ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On April 21, 2005, a woman represented by private attorneys from several Philadelphia, New York, and D.C. law firms filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She alleged that the City of Philadelphia ... read more >
On April 21, 2005, a woman represented by private attorneys from several Philadelphia, New York, and D.C. law firms filed a class action civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She alleged that the City of Philadelphia of had an unconstitutional blanket policy and/or practice of strip searching all pre-trial detainees remanded to the custody of the Philadelphia Prison System, regardless of criminal charge or reasonable suspicion. Plaintiff alleged that the policy required all arrestees to disrobe in front of a corrections officer, who then conducted visual inspection of the genitals and body cavities, using a flashlight to illuminate body cavities. Plaintiff claimed the practice violated the Fourth Amendment and sought declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and class certification for the thousands who allegedly suffered the same indignities. The City of Philadelphia, the prison system, and officials responsible for that system, as defendants, answered by generally denying the allegations.

Following discovery, the parties filed cross-motions for partial summary judgment. By order dated June 9, 2006, the District Court (Judge Mary A. McLaughlin) denied the motions, advising the parties that the motions could be refiled after resolution of the issue of class certification.

Plaintiff moved for class certification on February 16, 2007, and for a preliminary injunction on March 23, 2007. Both motions were still pending at the time of this summary. Between the motion filings, on February 23, 2007, plaintiff filed an amended complaint adding a male plaintiff and naming only the City of Philadelphia as the defendant. Discovery proceedings continued and, on July 3, 2007, Judge McLaughlin's unpublished order directed that the matter was set for a settlement conference on July 24, 2007, before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth T. Hey.

On February 20, 2009, the parties entered into a $5.9 million settlement. The agreement established the following two settlement classes:

Subclass I:

All persons in the Settlement Class, EXCEPT for persons who (1) were charged with certain violence, drug and/or weapons (hereinafter "VDW") related misdemeanor charges at the time of their admission, or (2) were charged with bench warrants and/or probation violations where the underlying charge was a VDW misdemeanor charge, or (3) had convictions for felonies and/or VDW misdemeanor charges predating the date of their admission.

Subclass II:

All persons in the Settlement Class who were (1) charged with VDW misdemeanor charges at the time of their admission, or (2) were charged with bench warrants and/or probation violations where the underlying charge was a VDW misdemeanor charge, or (3) had convictions for felonies and/or VDW misdemeanor charges predating the date of their admission.

On November 3, 2009, the court entered a Memorandum and Opinion and a separate Memorandum and Order, granting final approval of the proposed settlement.

Kristen Sagar - 06/16/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Search policies
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of Philadelphia
Plaintiff Description All persons who have been/will be placed into the custody of the PPS after being charged with minor crimes and were/will be strip searched upon entry into the PPS pursuant to the policy, custom and practice of the PPS and the City of Philadelphia.
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 Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2009 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
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 ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:05-cv-01851-MAM (E.D. Pa.) 11/03/2009
JC-PA-0023-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 04/21/2005
JC-PA-0023-0002 PDF | Detail
Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification 02/16/2007
JC-PA-0023-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 02/16/2007
JC-PA-0023-0005 PDF | Detail
First Amended Class Action Complaint 02/23/2007
JC-PA-0023-0004 PDF | Detail
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction 03/23/2007
JC-PA-0023-0003 PDF | Detail
Settlement Agreement 02/19/2009
JC-PA-0023-0006 PDF | External Link | Detail
Order Preliminarily Approving Settlement Agreement 02/20/2009 (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0023-0007 PDF | External Link | Detail
Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Judgment 11/03/2009 (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0023-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum 11/03/2009 (E.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0023-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hey, Elizabeth T. (E.D. Pa.) [Magistrate]
JC-PA-0023-9000
McLaughlin, Mary A. (E.D. Pa., FISC)
JC-PA-0023-0007 | JC-PA-0023-0008 | JC-PA-0023-0009 | JC-PA-0023-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Birley, Kevin (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006
Cuneo, Jonathan W. (District of Columbia)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006
Feldman, Laura (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005
Hayes, Christopher G. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006
Keach, Elmer Robert III (New York)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006 | JC-PA-0023-9000
LaDuca, Charles Joseph (District of Columbia)
JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006 | JC-PA-0023-9000
Levin, Daniel C. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006 | JC-PA-0023-9000
Mason, Gary E. (District of Columbia)
JC-PA-0023-0001 | JC-PA-0023-0002 | JC-PA-0023-0003 | JC-PA-0023-0004 | JC-PA-0023-0005 | JC-PA-0023-0006 | JC-PA-0023-9000
Migliaccio, Nicholas A. (District of Columbia)
JC-PA-0023-0006
Schneider, Charles A. (District of Columbia)
JC-PA-0023-0005
Warren, Alexandra C. (District of Columbia)
JC-PA-0023-0006 | JC-PA-0023-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Diffily, Kelly (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-9000
Ewing, Eleanor N. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-9000
Maguire, Mark (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-9000
Scott, Jeffrey M. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-9000
Sitarski, Lynne A. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-9000
Smith, Shelley R. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-0006
Straw, Craig M. (Pennsylvania)
JC-PA-0023-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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