University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections PC-PA-0026
Docket / Court 4:10-cv-02672-CCC ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On December 30, 2010, the United States filed a Complaint against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in the United State District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The United States sought injunctive relief and civil penalties against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections ... read more >
On December 30, 2010, the United States filed a Complaint against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in the United State District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The United States sought injunctive relief and civil penalties against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and Department of General Services ("the Commonwealth") for claims arising under the Clean Air Act in connection with the operation of four state correctional facilities located in Muncy, Bellefonte (Rockview), Somerset, and Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

The same day, the parties filed a proposed Consent Decree under which the Commonwealth agreed to control particulate matter emissions at the facilities by either shutting down coal-fired boilers, installing air emission controls, or converting the coal-fired boilers to natural gas-fired boilers. The Commonwealth was assessed a civil penalty of $300,000 for past violations and stipulated to penalties ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per day in the event of future violations.

The district court approved the consent decree on March 10, 2011.

Denise Heberle - 01/07/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description United States of America
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
civil penalties
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies 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 ]

  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 ]

Links Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Written: Jun. 04, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:10-cv-02672-CCC (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-PA-0026-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/30/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 3]
PC-PA-0026-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/30/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree & Judgment [ECF# 7] (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0026-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/10/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amendment to March 10, 2012 Consent Decree [ECF# 8] (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0026-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/13/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Conner, Christopher C. Court not on record
PC-PA-0026-0003 | PC-PA-0026-0004 | PC-PA-0026-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cerutti, Stephen (Pennsylvania)
PC-PA-0026-9000
Kane, Katherine M (District of Columbia)
PC-PA-0026-0001 | PC-PA-0026-0002 | PC-PA-0026-9000
Moreno, Ignacia S (District of Columbia)
PC-PA-0026-0001 | PC-PA-0026-0002 | PC-PA-0026-9000

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