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Case Name Beehler v. Jeffes PC-PA-0027
Docket / Court 3:83-cv-01024 ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Steve Gold
Case Summary
On July 25, 1983, the female inmates of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at Muncy filed a class action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton Division. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On July 25, 1983, the female inmates of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at Muncy filed a class action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton Division. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from Women's Law Project and American Civil Rights Union, asked the court for equitable relief.

The plaintiffs' claims are based on sex discrimination, unsafe conditions of confinement, violations of their due process rights, and interference with their religious freedom. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that the programs, services and facilities for female inmates were inferior to those afforded male prisoners in Pennsylvania correctional institutions.

On June 30, 1986, in a published opinion by Chief Judge William J. Nealon, the Court concluded that because of the claim preclusive aspect of the res judicata doctrine, plaintiffs in this case are precluded from asserting the majority of their § 1983 and federal constitutional claims. In the current action, many of the plaintiffs' claims involve the same causes of action raised and made part of the consent decree in an earlier case, Imprisoned Citizens Union v. Shapp, Case Nos. 70-2545, 70-3054, 71-0513, 71-1006 (E.D.Pa.) ("I.C.U.") (posted on this site at PC-PA-0005). However, the Court also concluded that those causes of action based on physical safety hazards, a lack of privacy, gender discrimination and reliance on unreliable urine tests are not precluded in this case.

On January 10, 1992, Judge Edwin M. Kosik concluded that the 8th Amendment constitutional right of the plaintiffs was not violated. Accordingly, the plaintiff's claim for equitable relief was denied. At some point in this case, the parties reached a settlement (referred to as "stipulation" in the Docket) and it was approved by Judge Edwin M. Kosik. However, the details of the settlement cannot be reproduced and verified at this moment. Plaintiffs were also awarded counsel fees and costs from the defendants in the amount of $545,327.49 at the end of the case.

Plaintiffs appealed the case to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In March, 1993, the Court of Appeals denied appellants' request for a rehearing and affirmed the judgment of the District Court.

Xin Chen - 03/30/2011

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Sex discrimination
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Law library access
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Plaintiff Description All female prisoners who are or will be confined at the State Correctional Institution at Muncy, PA.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Steve Gold
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 07/25/1983
Case Closing Year 1993
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

3:83−cv−01024 (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0027-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/10/1994
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Published Opinion (664 F.Supp. 931) (M.D. Pa.)
PC-PA-0027-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/30/1986
Source: Westlaw
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Judges Kosik, Edwin Michael (M.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
Nealon, William Joseph Jr. (M.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Behravesh, Ann E. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Borden, Rebecca (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Dolan, Daniel R. (New Mexico) show/hide docs
Gold, Stephen F. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Goodman, Harold I. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Harris, Deborah (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Harvey, Thomas B. III (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Kolbert, Kathryn (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Nicholas, Susan Cary (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0027-0001 | PC-PA-0027-9000
Place, Thomas M (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0027-0001 | PC-PA-0027-9000
Presser, Stefan (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0027-0001 | PC-PA-0027-9000
Rubino, Stephen C. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
Wharton, Linda (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Brier, Daniel T. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Doyle, Daniel J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Neuhauser, Gregory R. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Otto, Theodore G. III (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
Zapp, Amy (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs

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