Case: Vazquez v. Carver

2:86-03020 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: May 21, 1986

Closed Date: 1996

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1986, inmates of Lehigh County Prison (a jail) filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the jail officials. Plaintiffs asserted that the conditions of confinement at the facility constituted a violation of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, plaintiffs complained of: overcrowding; poor sanitation and living conditions; inadequate medical screening and exercise; and improper classification procedures. The cour…

In 1986, inmates of Lehigh County Prison (a jail) filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the jail officials. Plaintiffs asserted that the conditions of confinement at the facility constituted a violation of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, plaintiffs complained of: overcrowding; poor sanitation and living conditions; inadequate medical screening and exercise; and improper classification procedures. The court appointed private counsel and certified the class.

Following 6 days of testimony and argument, the District Court (Judge Huyett) denied plaintiffs motion for a preliminary injunction, but noted that upon the making of a more complete record the totality of conditions at LCP would be held unconstitutional. Vazquez v. Carver, 1987 WL 14847 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 1987). Following an increase in the population, plaintiffs again sought a preliminary injunction. Judge Huyett granted plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction requiring defendants to reduce the prison population from 420 to 310 inmates within forty-five days. Vazquez v. Carver, 729 F. Supp. 1063 (E.D. Pa. 1989).

In 1990, the parties negotiated a settlement and the court approved the consent decree. The consent decree set population limits and addressed a number of the issues raised in the complaint. The consent decree established a one-year monitoring period with no provision for extension. In 1996, defendants sought to terminate the consent decree under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The District Court (Judge Cahn) held that although the consent decree had not been satisfied so as to otherwise warrant its termination, termination was warranted under the PLRA. Vazquez v. Carver, 18 F. Supp. 2d 503 (E.D. Pa. 1998). Plaintiffs appealed but the Court of Appeals affirmed without opinion. Vazquez v. Carver, 181 F.3d 85 (3d Cir. 1999), cert denied, 530 U.S. 1264 (2000).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent decision, dated June 26, 2000.

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (6/10/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Cahn, Edward Norman (Pennsylvania)

Huyett, Daniel Henry III (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DAmore, Frank Michael (Pennsylvania)

Dennis, Andre L. (Pennsylvania)

Norford, Lawrence C. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Caffrey, Thomas M. (Pennsylvania)

Perkin, Henry S. (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Cahn, Edward Norman (Pennsylvania)

Huyett, Daniel Henry III (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DAmore, Frank Michael (Pennsylvania)

Dennis, Andre L. (Pennsylvania)

Norford, Lawrence C. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Caffrey, Thomas M. (Pennsylvania)

Perkin, Henry S. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Memorandum and Order

1987 WL 14847, 1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 6828

July 27, 1987 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

845 F.2d 1019, 1988 U.S.App.LEXIS 5348

March 1, 1988 Order/Opinion

Memorandum and Order

729 F.Supp. 1063, 1989 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11943

Oct. 5, 1989 Order/Opinion

Memorandum and Order

1989 WL 147591, 1989 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 14639

Dec. 5, 1989 Order/Opinion

Memorandum

18 F.Supp.2d 503

June 22, 1998 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

181 F.3d 85, 1999 U.S.App.LEXIS 16103

June 30, 1999 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

Supreme Court of the United States

530 U.S. 1264, 120 S.Ct. 2723, 147 L.Ed.2d 987

June 26, 2000 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 21, 1986

Closing Date: 1996

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates of Lehigh County Prison

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Lehigh County Prison (Lehigh), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

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: 1990 - 1996

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Fire safety

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run