Case: Ptaschnik v. Luzerne County Correctional Facility

3:98-cv-01887 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Nov. 19, 1998

Closed Date: 1998

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 19, 1998, an inmate in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility filed a lawsuit alleging violations of her civil rights in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton Division. The Plaintiff, represented by a group of public interest attorneys, sought equitable relief, claiming that the defendant's refusal to provide an abortion violated her constitutional right to privacy. On November 20, 1998 the Court entered a decree enjoining the Defenda…

On November 19, 1998, an inmate in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility filed a lawsuit alleging violations of her civil rights in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Scranton Division. The Plaintiff, represented by a group of public interest attorneys, sought equitable relief, claiming that the defendant's refusal to provide an abortion violated her constitutional right to privacy.

On November 20, 1998 the Court entered a decree enjoining the Defendant from preventing the Plaintiff from obtaining an abortion. Furthermore, the court ordered that the Defendant arrange for transportation to a medical center to obtain an abortion the next day at the Plaintiff's expense. The court based its decree on the authority of Monmouth County Correctional Institutional Inmates v. Lanzano, in which the 3rd Circuit held that a denial of abortion services constituted a violation of the 8th Amendment.

The court additionally held that in the future, any request for an elective abortion shall be honored as a necessary medical procedure and provided at the County's expense if the applicant demonstrates an inability to pay.

Summary Authors

Justin Benson (4/8/2011)

People


Judge(s)

Kosik, Edwin Michael (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Frietsche, Sue (Pennsylvania)

Heller, Simon (New York)

Lemberg, Jennifer (New York)

Martinez, Katherine Hall (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Blaum, James P. (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Kosik, Edwin Michael (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Frietsche, Sue (Pennsylvania)

Heller, Simon (New York)

Lemberg, Jennifer (New York)

Martinez, Katherine Hall (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Blaum, James P. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:98-cv-01887

Civil Docket

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

Docket
6

3:98-cv-01987

Decree

Ptaschnik v. Luzerne County Prison Board

Nov. 20, 1998

Nov. 20, 1998

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 4, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT alleging violation of civil rights by refusal to permit abortion. Receipt #: 73801 Amt: $150.00 (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

2

MOTION by plaintiff Karen Ptaschnik for temporary restraining order (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

3

MEMORANDUM by plaintiff Karen Ptaschnik IN SUPPORT OF motion for temporary restraining order [2−1] (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

4

DECLARATION by plaintiff Karen Ptaschnik re complaint [1−1] (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

ATTORNEY SPECIAL ADMISSION form received from: Simon Heller forwarded to judge for approval. Receipt #: 73801 Amt: $10.00 (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

ATTORNEY SPECIAL ADMISSION form received from: Jennifer Lemberg forwarded to judge for approval. Receipt #: 73801 Amt: $10.00 (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

Case file w/ copy of docket to J. Kosik. (ps) (Entered: 11/19/1998)

Nov. 19, 1998

Nov. 19, 1998

5

MINUTE SHEET of 11/20/98 hearing on TRO. CTR: Diana Gilbride. (rm) (Entered: 11/20/1998)

Nov. 20, 1998

Nov. 20, 1998

6

DECREE by Judge Edwin M. Kosik THAT Defts &their agents, employees and successors in office are hereby enjoined from preventing pltf from obtaining an abortion on 11/21/98. Defts are ordered to arrange transportation for pltf on 11/21/98 to Allentown Women's Center in a manner such that she is able to obtain an abortion on that day at the ptlf's expense. Defts are prohibited from using pltf's abortion as a basis for terminating her participation in the child care release program. In the Future, a request for an elective abortion, either at the applicant's expense or the expense of the county when applicant demostrates an inability to assume te costs, will be honored as a necessary medical procedure. Further, this decree is based on the authority of Monmouth Co. Correctional Institutional Inmates vs Lanzano, a case factually very similar to the above− entitled matter, and a panel decision by Higgenbotham, Rosenn &Mansmann, concurring. Further, the Clerk of Court is directed to close this case. THe parties to assume their own costs. (cc: all counsel) (rm) (Entered: 11/20/1998)

Nov. 20, 1998

Nov. 20, 1998

CASE FILE TO SCR CFR. (rm) (Entered: 11/20/1998)

Nov. 20, 1998

Nov. 20, 1998

SUMMONS ISSUED as to defendant Luzerne County Corre, defendant Gene Fischi and handed to Atty for service; with plaintiff packet (kc) (Entered: 01/15/1999)

Jan. 15, 1999

Jan. 15, 1999

7

RETURN OF SERVICE executed upon defendant Luzerne County Correction, defendant Gene Fischi 1/15/99 (sm) (Entered: 03/09/1999)

March 9, 1999

March 9, 1999

8

STENO NOTES of proceedings CTR: Gilbride/Hearing/11−20−98/Scr. (bg) (Entered: 05/16/2002)

May 16, 2002

May 16, 2002

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 19, 1998

Closing Date: 1998

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmate in a county jail

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Luzerne County Correctional Facility (Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Amount Defendant Pays: 0

Issues

Affected Gender:

Female

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run