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Case Name Remick v. City of Philadelphia PC-PA-0050
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-01959 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action brought by inmates in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (Philadelphia's jail system), alleging that the conditions within the facility were unconstitutional, due to the plaintiffs' heightened risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. The parties ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action brought by inmates in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons (Philadelphia's jail system), alleging that the conditions within the facility were unconstitutional, due to the plaintiffs' heightened risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19. The parties entered into a partial settlement agreement as to protective equipment, disinfectant, and monitoring, which was approved by the court on June 3. This case is ongoing.


On April 20, 2020, ten individuals held at the Philadelphia Department of Prisons brought this action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Represented by the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and private counsel, the plaintiffs sued the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Department of Prisons under 22 U.S.C. § 2241, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-2202, seeking relief based on deprivations of their Fourteenth and Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, they alleged that because the plaintiffs were at higher risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19 due to their medical conditions or ages, the conditions of the facilities and their continued detention was unconstitutional. The case was assigned to Judge Berle M. Schiller.

Simultaneous with their complaint, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, seeking to certify a class of "all people held in custody within PDP," which included 2 subclasses: (1) Medically Vulnerable Subclass, (2) Disability Subclass.

On April 23, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction and restraining order. The defendants opposed the motion on May 1, seeking to secure conditions that complied with the health and safety standards necessary to protect them. In the alternative, if such conditions were not possible, they requested the court issue a writ of habeas corpus to release a sufficient number of inmates so that the facilities could adhere appropriately to the health and safety standards suggested. The defendants also opposed class certification on May 4.

After various telephone conferences held throughout the month of May, Judge Schiller entered a consent order of partial settlement on June 3. The settlement agreement includes terms regarding protective equipment, disinfectant, monitoring and reporting. The agreement also stated that the parties would continue to discuss and work towards a separate settlement agreement regarding issues of social distancing and cohorting upon the completion of COVID-19 testing. WL 2020 7549880.

The parties continued to have telephone conferences with the court and submit joint status reports. On December 18, the Court ordered that the June 3 partial settlement remained in full effect, adding an order for one-time testing of all staff by January 15, 2021 and to begin testing all inmates with a goal of finishing testing by the same date. WL 2020 7549941. Judge Schiller also ordered the defendants to provide weekly certifications regarding compliance with the June 3 order. On December 28, the defendants moved for reconsideration of the December 18 order.

On December 30, the court ordered that the defendants prepare and submit to the court and plaintiffs an operations and management plan to improve out-of-cell time and also ordered inmate testing to be completed by January 13, 2021.

On January 12, the parties attended a hearing before Judge Schiller, and on January 13, the court ordered that the cohort size for out-of-cell time could be increased to allow for more out-of-cell time for inmates. On January 28, the court issued another order, stating that the prison must steadily increase its cohort sizes to provide additional out-of-cell time to the inmates, increasing to 2 hours per day by February 24. The court also dismissed the defendants' motion for reconsideration as moot.

The parties continue to file joint status reports and the settlement monitoring is ongoing.

Caitlin Kierum - 07/20/2020
Chandler Hart-McGonigle - 11/21/2020
Zofia Peach - 03/18/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
COVID-19
Mitigation Granted
Mitigation Requested
Release Denied
Release Requested
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) City of Philadelphia
Philadelphia Department of Prisons
Plaintiff Description Ten individuals in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, seeking to certify a class of all individuals held within the facility
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 04/20/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Remick et al v. City of Philadelphia
ACLU Pennsylvania
Date: Apr. 20, 2020
By: ACLU Pennsylvania
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D. Pa.
03/04/2021
2:20-cv-01959-BMS
PC-PA-0050-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Pa.
04/20/2020
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief and Petition for Writs of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 1 (& 1-1 to 1-6)]
PC-PA-0050-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
04/20/2020
Plaintiffs-Petitioners' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 2, 2-1]
PC-PA-0050-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
04/23/2020
Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 18, 18-1, 18-2]
PC-PA-0050-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
05/04/2020
The City of Philadelphia's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 24, 24-1, 24-2]
PC-PA-0050-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
05/05/2020
Plaintiffs-Petitioners' Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 26 (& 26-1 to 26-21)]
PC-PA-0050-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
06/03/2020
Consent Order on Partial Settlement Agreement [ECF# 35]
PC-PA-0050-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Pa.
12/18/2020
Order [ECF# 55] (2020 WL 7549941)
PC-PA-0050-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Schiller, Berle M. (E.D. Pa.) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0006 | PC-PA-0050-0007 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barnett, Benjamin R (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Feinberg, Jonathan H. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Feldman, Matthew A (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Kim, Mary H (California) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Lin, Susan M. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Musitief, Theeya (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Nelson-Major, Hayden (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Novy, Nicolas (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Rudovsky, David (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Sachse, Will W. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Szemanski, Ali (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Taylor, Nyssa (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Walczak, Witold J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0002 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Yeh, Su Ming (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0001 | PC-PA-0050-0003 | PC-PA-0050-0005 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Claiborne, Meghan E (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0004 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Cortes, Diana P. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0004 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Pratt, Marcel S. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0004
Straw, Craig M. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0004 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Taylor, Anne B (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0004 | PC-PA-0050-9000
Zabel, Shannon G (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PC-PA-0050-0004 | PC-PA-0050-9000

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