Case: Davis v. City of Philadelphia

2:03-cv-01400 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: March 4, 2003

Closed Date: 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 4, 2003, plaintiff, an indigent resident of Philadelphia incarcerated for failure to pay traffic fines, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and all those similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the City of Philadelphia. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, alleged that defendant's practices, resulting in the incarceration of indigent residents that failed to pay traffic fines violate…

On March 4, 2003, plaintiff, an indigent resident of Philadelphia incarcerated for failure to pay traffic fines, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of himself and all those similarly situated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against the City of Philadelphia. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, alleged that defendant's practices, resulting in the incarceration of indigent residents that failed to pay traffic fines violated the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. The plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the practices violated the plaintiffs' rights, an injunction enjoining the alleged practices, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that his and others' rights were violated by the City's practice of arresting individuals for alleged Motor Vehicle Code violations and then subjecting them to incarceration following Philadelphia Traffic Court proceedings conducted without the assistance of counsel, notice of specific charges against them, opportunity to prepare a defense, cross-examine witnesses, or offer evidence on their own behalf. The plaintiff and other members of the class were allegedly not released until they paid substantial amounts of money to satisfy fines levied against them.

On March 18, 2003, the District Court (Judge Timothy J. Savage) ordered that no defendant brought before The Philadelphia Traffic Court shall be ordered incarcerated for failure to post bail or security pending a trial at which the defendant shall be afforded the right to counsel and shall be advised of his or her right to appeal to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

On June 11, 2003, the parties submitted a settlement agreement. Subsequently, on July 8, 2003, the District Court (Judge Savage) issued a settlement order resolving the case. The settlement order, pursuant to the parties' settlement agreement, certified the proposed class solely as to the issues of declaratory and injunctive relief and acknowledged that the parties had engaged in serious, good faith negotiations relating to the establishment of procedures to resolve the issues related to the class action. More specific terms of the settlement agreement are not readily available.

Summary Authors

Brendan Brown (10/3/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Brody, Anita Blumstein (Pennsylvania)

Savage, Timothy J. (Pennsylvania)

Strawbridge, David R. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Denenberg, Alan E (Pennsylvania)

Feinberg, Jonathan H. (Pennsylvania)

Messing, Paul (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Fenerty, Margaret M (Pennsylvania)

Reilly, Suzanne (Pennsylvania)

Resnick, Michael R (Pennsylvania)

Scott, Jeffrey M. (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Brody, Anita Blumstein (Pennsylvania)

Savage, Timothy J. (Pennsylvania)

Strawbridge, David R. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Denenberg, Alan E (Pennsylvania)

Feinberg, Jonathan H. (Pennsylvania)

Messing, Paul (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Fenerty, Margaret M (Pennsylvania)

Reilly, Suzanne (Pennsylvania)

Resnick, Michael R (Pennsylvania)

Scott, Jeffrey M. (Pennsylvania)

Williams, A. Taylor (Pennsylvania)

Expert/Monitor/Master

O'Donnell, Margo Wolf (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

March 4, 2003 Docket
1

Complaint

March 4, 2003 Complaint
5-1

Order

March 18, 2003 Order/Opinion
10

Settlement Order

July 8, 2003 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, JOHN DOE(S), FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI, PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT, RICHARD ROE(S) ( Filing fee $ 150 receipt number 883159.), filed by EBONY DAVIS.(aam, ) Additional attachment(s) added on 10/3/2007 (om, ). (Entered: 03/05/2003)

March 4, 2003

Summons Issued as to CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI, PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT.4 mailed To: Counsel on 3/5/03 (aam, ) (Entered: 03/05/2003)

March 4, 2003

DEMAND for Trial by Jury by EBONY DAVIS. (aam, ) (Entered: 03/05/2003)

March 4, 2003
2

SUMMONS Returned Executed by EBONY DAVIS re: Wayne Clinton served Summons and Complaint upon CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI, PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT by Personal Service. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA served on 3/7/2003, answer due 3/27/2003; FRANCIS E. KELLY served on 3/7/2003, answer due 3/27/2003; FORTUNATO PERRI served on 3/7/2003, answer due 3/27/2003; PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT served on 3/7/2003, answer due 3/27/2003. (fdc, ) (Entered: 03/10/2003)

March 10, 2003
3

Entry of Appearance of A. TAYLOR WILLIAMS, ESQ. on behalf of FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI, PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT, Certificate of Service (fdc) (Entered: 03/11/2003)

March 11, 2003
4

ORDER THAT A SCHEDULING CONFERENCE SHALL BE HELD ON TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2003 AT 11:00 AM. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 3/12/03. 3/12/03 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED.(fdc) (Entered: 03/12/2003)

March 12, 2003
5

ORDER THAT NO DEFENDANT BROUGHT BEFORE THE PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT SHALL BE ORDERED INCARCERATED FOR FAILURE TO POST BAIL OR SECURITY PENDING A TRIAL AT WHICH THE DEFENDANT SHALL BE AFFORDED THE RIGHT TO COUNSEL AND SHALL BE ADVISED OF HIS OR HER RIGHT TO APPEAL TO THE PHILADELPHIA COURT OF COMMON PLEAS. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 3/18/03. 3/18/03 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED. (fdc) Additional attachment(s) added on 3/25/2003 (fdc, ). (Entered: 03/18/2003)

March 18, 2003
6

ORDER THAT A STATUS CONFERENCE SHALL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2003 AT 9:30 AM. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 3/19/03. 3/19/03 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED.(fdc) (Entered: 03/19/2003)

March 19, 2003
7

FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI AND PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT'S Petition to Dissolve the Order of Court entered March 18, 2003, Certificate of Service. (fdc) (Entered: 04/23/2003)

April 22, 2003
8

ORDER THAT A STAUS CONFERENCE SHALL BE HELD ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2003 AT 10:30 AM IN ROOM 4006. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 4/30/03. 4/30/03 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED.(fdc) (Entered: 04/30/2003)

April 30, 2003
9

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT by EBONY DAVIS, FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI, PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT, Certificate of Service. (fdc) (Entered: 06/11/2003)

June 11, 2003
10

ORDER THAT THE CASE IS DISMISSED WITHOUT COSTS PURSUANT TO RULE 41.1(B) OF THE LOCAL RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 7/8/03. 7/8/03 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED.(fdc) (Entered: 07/08/2003)

July 8, 2003
11

ORDER THAT THE PETITION TO DISSOLVE ORDER OF COURT ENTERED 3/18/2003 IS DENIED AS MOOT. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 7/8/2003. 7/9/2003 ENTERED AND COPIES FAXED.(mbh, ) (Entered: 07/09/2003)

July 9, 2003
12

MOTION To Relinquish Jurisdiction filed by FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI.Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order # 2 Exhibit # 3 Exhibit # 4 Exhibit)(WILLIAMS, A.) (Entered: 06/12/2006)

June 12, 2006
13

Letter to Judge Savage RE: REPLY to Response to Motion re 12 MOTION To Relinquish Jurisdiction filed by PHILADELPHIA TRAFFIC COURT, FRANCIS E. KELLY, FORTUNATO PERRI. (WILLIAMS, A.) Modified on 8/2/2006 (np). (Entered: 08/01/2006)

Aug. 1, 2006
14

ORDER THAT DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO RELINQUISH JURISDICTION IS GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT THIS COURT RELINQUISHES JURISDICTION. SIGNED BY JUDGE TIMOTHY J. SAVAGE ON 9/5/06.9/6/06 ENTERED AND COPIES E−MAILED. (fdc) (Entered: 09/06/2006)

Sept. 5, 2006

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 4, 2003

Closing Date: 2006

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A resident of Philadelphia incarcerated for failure to pay traffic fines

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg, LLP

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of Philadelphia (Philadelphia), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Equal Protection

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Issues

Reproductive rights:

Fetus Identity

General:

False arrest

Over/Unlawful Detention

Pattern or Practice