Case: In re: the Petition of C.Z., A.O., and Z.S.-W., on behalf of all similarly situated individuals

20-00024 | Pennsylvania state trial court

Filed Date: April 1, 2020

Closed Date: May 26, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: The Juvenile Law Center, the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, and DLA Piper filed a petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requesting that they take immediate action to reduce the population of youth detentions in Pennsylvania. While the petition was denied, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania directed the Pennsylvania judiciary to limit the detention of new juveniles and to consider individual juveniles for release. On April 1, 2020, the Juvenile Law Center, the Youth S…

COVID-19 Summary: The Juvenile Law Center, the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, and DLA Piper filed a petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requesting that they take immediate action to reduce the population of youth detentions in Pennsylvania. While the petition was denied, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania directed the Pennsylvania judiciary to limit the detention of new juveniles and to consider individual juveniles for release.


On April 1, 2020, the Juvenile Law Center, the Youth Sentencing & Reentry Project, and DLA Piper filed a petition with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting that the Court "reduce the numbers of youth in detention, correctional and other residential facilities across the Commonwealth." Petitioners argued that under state law the Supreme Court had legal authority to reduce youth detentions. They also argued that continuing to detain youths raised significant constitutional concerns, specifically their due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and their rights under the Eighth Amendment.

The petitioners urged the court to take several measures to reduce youth detention, including reconsidering the detention of youths charged as adults, prohibiting the detention of any youth for probation and failure to appeal violations, and suspending all conditions of probation for youth that would require the youth to not adhere to social distancing recommendations. Furthermore, they asked that all juvenile courts conduct a review of all youth held in county detention centers and to order their release unless their release posed a substantial risk that outweighed the risk to the youth. They also asked the court to appoint a Special Master to oversee and monitor the implementation and enforcement of the Supreme Court’s order.

On April 7, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order denying the petition. In the order, the court recognized the seriousness of the potential of an outbreak of COVID-19 in juvenile facilities, but denied the petition because the immediate release of juveniles would fail to account for individual decisions. Still, the court directed that President Judges engage with county leaders to immediately review the capabilities of residential placements where juveniles were housed to address COVID-19 and to identify juveniles for potential release while still considering individual circumstances. Judges were directed to take efforts to limit the introduction of new juveniles into the juvenile detention system during the pandemic.

The deadline for reconsideration was on May 26; the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Cedar Hobbs (6/15/2020)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bennion, David (Pennsylvania)

Cambria, Bridget (Pennsylvania)

Donohoe, Carol Anne (Pennsylvania)

Feierman, Jesica R. (Pennsylvania)

Fine, Lauren (Pennsylvania)

Heller, Nathan P. (Pennsylvania)

Hoffmann, Karen (Pennsylvania)

Kline, Jacquelyn M. (Pennsylvania)

Kurtz, Jamie (Massachusetts)

Levick, Marsha (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bennion, David (Pennsylvania)

Cambria, Bridget (Pennsylvania)

Donohoe, Carol Anne (Pennsylvania)

Feierman, Jesica R. (Pennsylvania)

Fine, Lauren (Pennsylvania)

Heller, Nathan P. (Pennsylvania)

Hoffmann, Karen (Pennsylvania)

Kline, Jacquelyn M. (Pennsylvania)

Kurtz, Jamie (Massachusetts)

Levick, Marsha (Pennsylvania)

Lindell, Karen U. (Pennsylvania)

Norwood, Summer (District of Columbia)

Robb, Emily (Pennsylvania)

Saleski, Courtney Gilligan (Pennsylvania)

Visser, Joanna (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Boynton, Alan R. (Pennsylvania)

Daley, Michael P (Pennsylvania)

Eisenberg, Ronald (Pennsylvania)

Graziano, Jill Marie (Pennsylvania)

Holmes, Timothy A. (Pennsylvania)

McLees, Matthew J. (Pennsylvania)

Perez, Theron (Pennsylvania)

Piatkowski, Tracy Saylor (Pennsylvania)

Schwab, Gregory George (Pennsylvania)

Serafin, Kenneth J. (Pennsylvania)

Shank, Claudia Nadine (Pennsylvania)

Shapiro, Joshua D. (Pennsylvania)

Zerbe, Anne Elizabeth (Pennsylvania)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Silva, Joseph (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Pennsylvania state supreme court

April 7, 2020 Docket

Application for Extraordinary Relief Under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction

Pennsylvania state supreme court

April 1, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Order Denying Application for Extraordinary Relief Under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction

Pennsylvania state supreme court

229 A.3d 240

April 7, 2020 Order/Opinion

Application for Relief to File Reply Brief in Support of Petitioners' Application for Extraordinary Relief Under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction

C.N. v. Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Pennsylvania state supreme court

April 15, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Answer of Department of Corrections Secretary John E. Wetzel to Petitioner's Application for Extraordinary Relief under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Wolfe

Pennsylvania state supreme court

April 21, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

IN RE C.Z.

Juvenile Law Center

Detention centers, jails, and other congregate care facilities are breeding grounds for the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. For the safety of youth, staff and community, children who can be safely … April 1, 2020 https://jlc.org/cases/re-cz

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 1, 2020

Closing Date: May 26, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Incarcerated youth in various Pennsylvania juvenile facilities

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

Juvenile Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania , State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Special Case Type(s):

Appellate Court is initial court

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Denied

Release Granted

Release Requested

Type of Facility:

Government-run