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Case Name U.S. v. New Castle County EE-DE-0040
Docket / Court 85-692 ( D. Del. )
State/Territory Delaware
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On November 27, 1985, the United States filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. It sued New Castle County and its Public Safety, Police, and Personnel Departments under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. Represented by the ... read more >
On November 27, 1985, the United States filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. It sued New Castle County and its Public Safety, Police, and Personnel Departments under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. Represented by the Department of Justice, the United States sought an injunction to prevent New Castle County from discriminating against women in police hiring. Specifically, it claimed that the defendants required aspiring police officers to take a physical agility test that disproportionately excluded women.

The case developed from a complaint that a female applicant filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that the allegations were true. After its reconciliation efforts failed, the EEOC referred the case to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The applicant settled her personal dispute with defendants on the same day that this lawsuit was filed for $4,500.

New Castle County entered into a consent decree with the DOJ days later. The County did not admit liability. But it agreed to either scrap or modify the physical agility test. In addition, the County offered priority hiring to women who had been rejected solely because they failed the physical agility test. And it promised to develop job ads targeting women and increase mentorship opportunities. The consent decree also set forth recordkeeping requirements, and reporting and monitoring terms. The decree was set to last for 4 years, after which the County could move for its dissolution. The Court approved this Consent Decree on December 5, 1985.

The case was not dissolved, however. Instead, in May 1992, the parties stipulated to entry of a supplemental consent decree -- that decree is not available to us. The docket has no more entries after that, so presumably, (but not for certain) the case is closed.

Timothy Leake - 06/15/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Promotion
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) New Castle County
New Castle County Department of Public Safety
New Castle County Police Department
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1985 - n/a
Filing Year 1985
Case Ongoing Perhaps, but long-dormant
Docket(s)
85-692 (D. Del.)
EE-DE-0040-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/1992
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consent Decree
EE-DE-0040-0002.pdf | Detail
Date:
Source: Papers of Melissa Marshall
Complaint
EE-DE-0040-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/27/1985
Source: Papers of Melissa Marshall
Agreement and Release
EE-DE-0040-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/27/1985
Source: Papers of Melissa Marshall
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Judges Wright, Caleb Merrill (D. Del.) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carpenter, William C. Jr. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0001 | EE-DE-0040-0002
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0001 | EE-DE-0040-0002
Goldlust, Perry F. (Delaware) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0003
Marshall, Melissa (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0001 | EE-DE-0040-0002 | EE-DE-0040-0003
Meese, Edwin III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0001
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Green, Scott A. (Delaware) show/hide docs
EE-DE-0040-0002 | EE-DE-0040-0003

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