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Case Name Logory v. County of Susquehanna JC-PA-0036
Docket / Court 3:09-cv-01448 ( M.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Post-WalMart decisions on class certification
Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On July 24, 2009, an inmate at the Susquehanna County Jail filed a putative class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiff sued the County of Susquehanna under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of the Fourth Amendment. Specifically, ... read more >
On July 24, 2009, an inmate at the Susquehanna County Jail filed a putative class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiff sued the County of Susquehanna under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of the Fourth Amendment. Specifically, the plaintiff challenged the Susquehanna Prison policy of delousing, showering and strip-searching all inmates, regardless of the nature of their charged crime or the likelihood that the individual was concealing a weapon or contraband. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary damages, and class certification.

Although the case was initially assigned to Judge Thomas I. Vanaskie, it was later reassigned to Chief Judge Yvette Kane and then to Judge A. Richard Caputo.

The parties sought class-action status for a statewide class of those who were strip-searched after being charged with minor violations or misdemeanors in the judicial district.

Meanwhile, as litigation in this case continued, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that blanket strip search policies were constitutional.
Florence v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders of County of Burlington, 621 F.3d 296 (3d Cir. 2010).

In light of the new holding, the plaintiff sought class certifications for two new classes pertaining solely to the delousing portion of the strip search procedure. The plaintiffs claimed that the delousing policy was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment and that it violated the detainees' rights to refuse unwanted medical treatments under the Fourteenth Amendment.

On October 5, 2011, Judge Caputo certified the Fourteenth Amendment Class but denied the Fourth Amendment Class, on the grounds that the court in Florence held that the strip search procedures, including the delousing portion, were reasonable. 621 F.3d 296. The liability class consisted of all people who had been placed into the custody of the Susquehanna County Jail after being sentenced or as pre-trial detainees who were deloused upon their entry into Susquehanna County Jail. The defendants appealed this decision, but the Court of Appeals denied the petition to appeal the order. Extensive discovery followed between 2012-2013.

On September 13, 2013, Judge Caputo granted the Defendant’s motion for summary judgment with respect to the constitutionality of the delousing policy. The Court reasoned that the state had a legitimate interest in maintaining a sanitary facility, that the policy was reasonable, and accommodating inmates’ right to refuse the treatment would substantially burden the defendant. 2013 WL 5201571.

The case is now closed.

Averyn Lee - 02/08/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Strip search policy
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) the Country of Susquehanna
Plaintiff Description The Fourth Amendment Class–All persons who have been placed into custody of the Susquehanna County Jail as pre-trial detainees who were deloused upon their entry into the Susquehanna County Jail. The Fourteenth Amendment Class–All persons who have been placed into custody of the Susquehanna County Jail after being sentenced or as pre-trial detainees who were deloused upon their entry into the Susquehanna County Jail.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2009
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:09-cv-01448-ARC (M.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0036-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-PA-0036-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/29/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Class Certification [ECF# 51] (277 F.R.D. 135) (M.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0036-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/05/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 101] (2013 WL 5201571) (M.D. Pa.)
JC-PA-0036-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/13/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Caputo, A. Richard (M.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0001 | JC-PA-0036-0002 | JC-PA-0036-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Keach, Elmer Robert III (New York) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0003 | JC-PA-0036-9000
LaDuca, Charles Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0003 | JC-PA-0036-9000
Levin, Daniel C. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0003 | JC-PA-0036-9000
Steinberg−Sporn, Beverly (New Jersey) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0003 | JC-PA-0036-9000
Thompson, Brendan S (Maryland) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0003 | JC-PA-0036-9000
Warren, Alexandra C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-0003 | JC-PA-0036-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Donohue, Michael J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JC-PA-0036-9000

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