Case: U.S. v. New Castle County

1:85-cv-00692 | U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

Filed Date: Nov. 27, 1985

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 27, 1985, the United States filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. It sued New Castle County and its Public Safety, Police, and Personnel Departments under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. Represented by the Department of Justice, the United States sought an injunction to prevent New Castle County from discriminating against women in police hiring. Specifically, it claimed that the defendants required aspirin…

On November 27, 1985, the United States filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. It sued New Castle County and its Public Safety, Police, and Personnel Departments under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. Represented by the Department of Justice, the United States sought an injunction to prevent New Castle County from discriminating against women in police hiring. Specifically, it claimed that the defendants required aspiring police officers to take a physical agility test that disproportionately excluded women.

The case developed from a complaint that a female applicant filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC found reasonable cause to believe that the allegations were true. After its reconciliation efforts failed, the EEOC referred the case to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The applicant settled her personal dispute with defendants on the same day that this lawsuit was filed for $4,500.

New Castle County entered into a consent decree with the DOJ days later. The County did not admit liability. But it agreed to either scrap or modify the physical agility test. In addition, the County offered priority hiring to women who had been rejected solely because they failed the physical agility test. And it promised to develop job ads targeting women and increase mentorship opportunities. The consent decree also set forth recordkeeping requirements, and reporting and monitoring terms. The decree was set to last for 4 years, after which the County could move for its dissolution. The Court approved this Consent Decree on December 5, 1985.

The case was not dissolved, however. Instead, in May 1992, the parties stipulated to entry of a supplemental consent decree -- that decree is not available to us. The docket has no more entries after that, so presumably, (but not for certain) the case is closed.

Summary Authors

Timothy Leake (6/15/2019)

People


Judge(s)

Wright, Caleb Merrill (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Carpenter, William C. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)

Goldlust, Perry F. (Delaware)

Marshall, Melissa (District of Columbia)

Meese, Edwin III (District of Columbia)

Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Green, Scott A. (Delaware)

Judge(s)

Wright, Caleb Merrill (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Carpenter, William C. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)

Goldlust, Perry F. (Delaware)

Marshall, Melissa (District of Columbia)

Meese, Edwin III (District of Columbia)

Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Green, Scott A. (Delaware)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:85-cv-00692

Docket

May 18, 1992

May 18, 1992

Docket

1:85-cv-00692

Agreement and Release

No Court

Nov. 27, 1985

Nov. 27, 1985

Settlement Agreement
1

1:85-cv-00692

Complaint

Nov. 27, 1985

Nov. 27, 1985

Complaint
5

1:85-cv-00692

Consent Decree

May 15, 1992

May 15, 1992

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 4, 2022, 3:10 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed; FILING FEE $ RECEIPT # (ds) (Entered: 05/15/1992)

Nov. 27, 1985

Nov. 27, 1985

2

JOINT MOTION by U.S.A., New Castle County, NCC Dept Public Safe, NCC Dept Personnel, NCC Police Dept for entry of consent decree re: [2−1] joint motion (ds) (Entered: 05/15/1992)

Nov. 27, 1985

Nov. 27, 1985

3

Proposed Consent Decree filed by U.S.A., New Castle County, NCC Dept Public Safe, NCC Dept Personnel, NCC Police Dept (ds) (Entered: 05/15/1992)

Nov. 27, 1985

Nov. 27, 1985

Case closed (ko) (Entered: 03/12/1992)

Dec. 6, 1985

Dec. 6, 1985

So Ordered [3−1] proposed order ( signed by Judge Caleb M. Wright ) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 05/15/1992)

Dec. 6, 1985

Dec. 6, 1985

4

STIPULATION & pro. order re order for entry of Supplemental Consent Decree (ds) (Entered: 05/15/1992)

May 15, 1992

May 15, 1992

5

Proposed Supplemental Consent Decree filed by U.S.A., New Castle County, NCC Dept Public Safe, NCC Dept Personnel, NCC Police Dept (ds) (Entered: 05/15/1992)

May 15, 1992

May 15, 1992

So Ordered granting [4−1] stipulation ( signed by Judge Caleb M. Wright ) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 05/18/1992)

May 18, 1992

May 18, 1992

So Ordered [5−1] proposed order ( signed by Judge Caleb M. Wright ) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 05/18/1992)

May 18, 1992

May 18, 1992

Case Details

State / Territory: Delaware

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Civil Rights Division Archival Collection

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 27, 1985

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

New Castle County (Wilmington, New Castle), County

New Castle County Department of Public Safety (Wilmington, New Castle), County

New Castle County Police Department (Wilmington, New Castle), County

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1985 - None

Content of Injunction:

Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Hire

Promotion

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female