Case: Hudson v. Montgomery County

2:20-cv-01487 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: March 17, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about alleged wrongful retaliation and wrongful discharge of a public defender as a result of an amicus brief that was critical of Montgomery County’s money bail system. A former Montgomery County chief public defender filed this suit against Montgomery Country on March 17th, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She sued the County for First Amendment retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for wrongful discharge under the common law of Pennsyl…

This is a case about alleged wrongful retaliation and wrongful discharge of a public defender as a result of an amicus brief that was critical of Montgomery County’s money bail system. A former Montgomery County chief public defender filed this suit against Montgomery Country on March 17th, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She sued the County for First Amendment retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and for wrongful discharge under the common law of Pennsylvania. Represented by the Civil Rights Corps and Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg & Lin, she sought injunctive relief, reinstatement, and compensatory damages.

Before she was fired, the plaintiff became aware of a class-action mandamus petition filed by the ACLU of Pennsylvania in March 2019: Philadelphia Community Bail Fund v. Arraignment Court Magistrates. In the petition, the Bail Fund alleged that the bail system in Philadelphia County violated both the federal and state constitutions in three ways: 1) lack of consideration of the ability of defendants to pay, 2) purposeful imposition of higher monetary conditions to ensure pretrial incarceration, and 3) lack of due process in its preliminary arraignments. To highlight the existence of similar violations in Montgomery County and throughout Pennsylvania, the plaintiff “directed the filing of” an amicus brief in support of the Bail Fund in early February 2020. She was fired on February 26, 2020, she alleged, as a result.

On May 18th, 2020, Montgomery County moved to dismiss the case. Montgomery County asserted that the speech at issue was not in fact the plaintiff’s own speech because she did not draft, file, or sign the amicus brief in question, and therefore she lacked standing to seek protections under the First Amendment. Moreover, the County argued that the speech in question was not citizen speech since it was prepared as part of the professional duties and with the specialized knowledge of the Montgomery County Office of Public Defender. Finally, the County argued that the wrongful discharge claim should be dismissed because the County had immunity for a claim of wrongful discharge.

The plaintiff filed a response to the motion on June 8th, 2020, and on June 16th, 2020 the defendants filed their reply. Judge Joshua Wolson has not yet ruled on the motion to dismiss. The case is ongoing.

Summary Authors

Madeline Buday (9/24/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16995933/parties/hudson-v-montgomery-county/


Judge(s)

Wolson, Joshua David (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boykin, Olevia (District of Columbia)

Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia)

Rudovsky, David (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Mary Kay (Pennsylvania)

McGarry, Raymond (Pennsylvania)

Nimeroff, Jami B (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Wolson, Joshua David (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boykin, Olevia (District of Columbia)

Gerstein, Charles L. (District of Columbia)

Rudovsky, David (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Mary Kay (Pennsylvania)

McGarry, Raymond (Pennsylvania)

Nimeroff, Jami B (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Sept. 9, 2020 Docket
1

Complaint

March 17, 2020 Complaint
10-1

Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support of its Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6) and 12 (b)(1)

May 18, 2020 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/16995933/hudson-v-montgomery-county/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against MONTGOMERY COUNTY ( Filing fee $ 400 receipt number PPE213130.), filed by KEISHA HUDSON. (Attachments: # 1 Cover Sheets)(tjd) (Entered: 03/20/2020)

1 Cover Sheets

View on PACER

March 17, 2020 PACER

DEMAND for Trial by Jury by KEISHA HUDSON. (tjd)

March 17, 2020 PACER

One Summons Issued as to MONTGOMERY COUNTY. Forwarded To: COUNSEL on 3/20/2020. (tjd)

March 17, 2020 PACER

Summons Issued

March 20, 2020 PACER

Jury Demand

March 20, 2020 PACER
2

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by KEISHA HUDSON. KEISHA HUDSON waiver sent on 3/19/2020, answer due 5/18/2020. (RUDOVSKY, DAVID) (Entered: 03/25/2020)

March 25, 2020 PACER
3

MOTION for Pro Hac Vice filed by KEISHA HUDSON.application pro hac vice.(RUDOVSKY, DAVID) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020 PACER
4

MOTION for Pro Hac Vice filed by KEISHA HUDSON.application pro hac vice.(RUDOVSKY, DAVID) (Entered: 05/06/2020)

May 6, 2020 PACER

Filing Fee (Pro Hac Vice)

May 13, 2020 PACER

Filing Fee for PRO HAC VICE by KEISHA HUDSON. (Filing Fee $40, receipt number 0313-14290581). (RUDOVSKY, DAVID)

May 13, 2020 PACER

Filing Fee for PRO HAC VICE by KEISHA HUDSON. (Filing Fee $40, receipt number 0313-14290651). (RUDOVSKY, DAVID)

May 13, 2020 PACER
5

ORDER THAT THE APPLICATION OF OLEVI BOYKIN TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE IS GRANTED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSHUA D. WOLSON ON 5/14/20. 5/14/20 ENTERED AND E-MAILED, NOT MAILED TO COUNSEL ALONG WITH ECF FORMS.(JL) (Entered: 05/14/2020)

May 14, 2020 PACER
6

ORDER THAT THE APPLICATION OF CHARLES GERSTEIN TO APPEAR PRO HAC VICE IS GRANTED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSHUA D. WOLSON ON 5/14/20. 5/14/20 ENTERED AND E-MAILED, NOT MAILED TO COUNSEL ALONG WITH ECF FORMS.(JL) (Entered: 05/14/2020)

May 14, 2020 PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by RAYMOND MCGARRY on behalf of MONTGOMERY COUNTY with Certificate of Service(MCGARRY, RAYMOND) (Entered: 05/15/2020)

May 15, 2020 PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by MARY KAY BROWN on behalf of MONTGOMERY COUNTY with Certificate of Service(BROWN, MARY) (Entered: 05/15/2020)

May 15, 2020 PACER
9

NOTICE of Appearance by JAMI B. NIMEROFF on behalf of MONTGOMERY COUNTY with Certificate of Service(NIMEROFF, JAMI) (Entered: 05/15/2020)

May 15, 2020 PACER
10

MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1) filed by MONTGOMERY COUNTY.Memorandum of Law, Certification, Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Law, # 2 Exhibit A - Amicus Curiae Brief of MontCo PD in Support of Petitioners, # 3 Exhibit B - Docket Entries of Prior Amicus Briefs filed by OPD, # 4 Exhibit C - Certification of Raymond McGarry, Esquire, # 5 Text of Proposed Order)(MCGARRY, RAYMOND) (Entered: 05/18/2020)

1 Memorandum of Law

View on RECAP

2 Exhibit A - Amicus Curiae Brief of MontCo PD in Support of Petitioners

View on PACER

3 Exhibit B - Docket Entries of Prior Amicus Briefs filed by OPD

View on PACER

4 Exhibit C - Certification of Raymond McGarry, Esquire

View on PACER

5 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

May 18, 2020 PACER
11

ORDER THAT PLAINTIFF KEISHA HUDSON REQUEST FOR A ONE-WEEK EXTENSION OF TIME TO RESPOND TO DEFENDANT MONTGOMERY COUNTY'S MOTION TO DISMISS IS GRANTED. HUDSON RESPONSE IS DUE 6/8/20; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSHUA D. WOLSON ON 5/26/20. 5/26/20 ENTERED AND E-MAILED.(JL ) (Entered: 05/26/2020)

May 26, 2020 PACER
12

RESPONSE in Opposition re 10 MOTION TO DISMISS FOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1) filed by KEISHA HUDSON. (GERSTEIN, CHARLES) (Entered: 06/08/2020)

June 8, 2020 PACER
13

MOTION for Leave to File Reply in Further Support of Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint Pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1) filed by MONTGOMERY COUNTY.Certificate of Service. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Reply Brief, # 2 Text of Proposed Order)(MCGARRY, RAYMOND) (Entered: 06/15/2020)

June 15, 2020 PACER
14

ORDER THAT DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE A REPLY IN FURTHER SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT IS GRANTED; ETC.. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSHUA D. WOLSON ON 6/16/20.6/16/20 ENTERED AND E-MAILED.(JL ) (Entered: 06/16/2020)

June 16, 2020 PACER
15

DEFENDANTS REPLY MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN FURTHER SUPPORT OF ITSMOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFFS COMPLAINT PURSUANT TORULES 12(b)(6) and 12(b)(1) (JL) (Entered: 06/16/2020)

June 16, 2020 PACER
16

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney filed by KEISHA HUDSON.Certificate of Service.(BOYKIN, OLEVIA) (Entered: 09/06/2020)

Sept. 6, 2020 PACER
17

ORDER THAT THE 16 MOTION TO WITHDRAW AS ATTORNEY IS GRANTED AND OLEVIA BOYKIN IS GRANTED LEAVE TO WITHDRAW AS COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF IN THIS MATTER. SIGNED BY HONORABLE JOSHUA D. WOLSON ON 9/9/20.9/9/20 ENTERED & E-MAILED.(fdc) (Entered: 09/09/2020)

Sept. 9, 2020 PACER
18

Order on Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim

Sept. 30, 2020 PACER
19

Statement

Oct. 6, 2020 PACER

Remark

Oct. 7, 2020 PACER
20

Order

Oct. 8, 2020 PACER
21

Answer to Complaint

Oct. 14, 2020 PACER
22

~Util - Set Hearings AND Order

Oct. 27, 2020 PACER
23

Order Referring Case to Magistrate Judge-Settlement

Oct. 28, 2020 PACER
24

Notice (Other)

Oct. 28, 2020 PACER
25

~Util - Set Hearings AND Order

Oct. 29, 2020 PACER
26

Pro Hac Vice

Oct. 30, 2020 PACER
27

Order on Motion for Pro Hac Vice

Nov. 3, 2020 PACER
29

Order Dismissing Case

Nov. 17, 2020 PACER

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Speech and Religious Freedom

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 17, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A former Montgomery County chief public defender

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Civil Rights Corps

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Montgomery County (Montgomery), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)