In 1995, death row inmates of the State Correctional Institution at Greene filed a Section 1983 suit in the Western District of Pennsylvania, pro se, against officials of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs claimed that strip searches prior to non contact visits with attorneys ...
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In 1995, death row inmates of the State Correctional Institution at Greene filed a Section 1983 suit in the Western District of Pennsylvania, pro se, against officials of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs claimed that strip searches prior to non contact visits with attorneys were unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment; that they were deprived of equal protection in being denied contact legal visits; and that the lack of confidential meeting rooms for legal visits deprived them of their right to privacy. The matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Ila Jeanne Sensenich for pretrial proceedings who appointed Jere Krakoff as plaintiffs' counsel. Defendants moved for summary judgment in July 1997.
In October 1997, Judge Sensenich filed a report and recommendation that defendants' motion for summary judgment should be granted with respect to the strip search and contact legal visits issues, but denied as to plaintiffs' right to privacy claim. In November, the District Court (Judge Alan N. Bloch) adopted Magistrate Judge Sensenich's report and recommendation. Williams v. Price, 25 F. Supp. 2d 605 (W.D. Pa. 1997). Plaintiffs then moved for summary judgment on the right to privacy issue.
In March 1998, Judge Bloch entered an order granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and entered relief requiring defendants to provide plaintiffs with a place where they could have private conversations with counsel. Immediately subsequently, defendants filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment asserting that the injunction, which had been entered, had not complied with the requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996. Judge Bloch vacated his March 1998 order and again referred the case to Magistrate Judge Sensenich for further proceedings in accordance with the PLRA.
Judge Sensenich granted again plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment holding that defendants had violated plaintiffs' First Amendment right to confidential oral communications with their attorneys. This time, however, the plaintiffs did not request injunctive relief, instead seeking only a declaratory judgment, which was granted. Williams v. Price, 25 F. Supp. 2d 623 (W.D. Pa. 1998).
Litigation regarding attorneys' fees continued until September 1999, when the case was closed.Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005