Case: County of Allegheny v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

No. 3649 CD 1983 | Pennsylvania state trial court

Filed Date: 1983

Closed Date: 1988

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case is a by-product of the jail overcrowding suit Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania [JC-PA-5 of this collection]. In that case, the District Court ordered that starting January 1, 1984, the Allegheny County Jail would have a population cap of 500 male and 30 female prisoners. Violations of that cap would were to result in a $5,000 fine per inmate released to comply with the Court's order. Inmates of Al…

This case is a by-product of the jail overcrowding suit Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania [JC-PA-5 of this collection]. In that case, the District Court ordered that starting January 1, 1984, the Allegheny County Jail would have a population cap of 500 male and 30 female prisoners. Violations of that cap would were to result in a $5,000 fine per inmate released to comply with the Court's order. Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht, 565 F.Supp. 1278 (W.D. Penn. 1983).

In an attempt to alleviate the over-crowding, Allegheny County requested that the Commonwealth take certain inmates from its jail and transfer them to the Commonwealth's prison system. The Commonwealth refused. The County then filed a complaint in mandamus and in equity in December 28, 1983 in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania seeking an order compelling the Commonwealth to receive certain prisoners from the County's jail. The County also moved for a preliminary injunction. The Commonwealth Court held that neither mandamus nor injunction would issue and it dismiss the County's petition without leave to amend. Allegheny County v. Commonwealth, 480 A.2d 1330 (Pa.Cmwlth 1984). The County appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which reversed. The County's petition was ordered reinstated, leave was granted to further amend the petition and a preliminary injunction was issued. Allegheny County v. Commonwealth, 490 A.2d 402 (Pa. 1985) (Allegheny I)

In 1986, the County filed another petition in the Commonwealth Court seeking relief in mandamus to compel transfer of additional inmates from the County to the Commonwealth's Bureau of Corrections to ease jail overcrowding. After a hearing on the merits, the Commonwealth Court denied the County's petition. Following an appeal and remand on a taxing issue, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed. Allegheny County v. Commonwealth, 544 A.2d 1309 (Pa. 1988) (Allegheny II).

Note that while during and following litigation of Allegheny I and II, the jail overcrowding case of Inmates of Allegheny County Jail v. Wecht continued in federal court. [See JC-PA-5 for a complete summary and listing of relevant case documents].

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/1/2007)

Related Cases

Owens v. Robinson, Western District of Pennsylvania (1975)

People


Judge(s)

Craig, David (Pennsylvania)

Crumlish, James C. Jr, (Pennsylvania)

Doyle, Joseph T. (Pennsylvania)

Flaherty, John P. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Hutchinson, William D. (Pennsylvania)

Larsen, Rolf (Pennsylvania)

MacPhail, John (Pennsylvania)

McDermott, James T. (Pennsylvania)

Nix, Robert N.C. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Palladino, Madeline (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Craig, David (Pennsylvania)

Crumlish, James C. Jr, (Pennsylvania)

Doyle, Joseph T. (Pennsylvania)

Flaherty, John P. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Hutchinson, William D. (Pennsylvania)

Larsen, Rolf (Pennsylvania)

MacPhail, John (Pennsylvania)

McDermott, James T. (Pennsylvania)

Nix, Robert N.C. Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Palladino, Madeline (Pennsylvania)

Papadakos, Nicholas P. (Pennsylvania)

Rodgers, Samuel L. (Pennsylvania)

Stout, Juanita Kidd (Pennsylvania)

Zappala, Stephen A. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Biondo, Dennis R. (Pennsylvania)

Diamantopulos, George C. (Pennsylvania)

Halloran, Thomas F. (Pennsylvania)

McLean, James H. (Pennsylvania)

Pellegrini, Dante (Pennsylvania)

Warshaw, Allen C. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Filipi, Francis R. (Pennsylvania)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Dodaro, James J. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

No. 3649 CD 1983

Opinion and Order

Pennsylvania state appellate court

480 A.2d 1330

Sept. 6, 1984

Sept. 6, 1984

Order/Opinion

No. 3649 CD 1983

Opinion

Pennsylvania state supreme court

490 A.2d 402

March 29, 1985

March 29, 1985

Order/Opinion

No. 3649 CD 1983

Order

Pennsylvania state supreme court

538 A.2d 873

March 21, 1988

March 21, 1988

Order/Opinion

No. 3649 CD 1983

Opinion of the Court

Pennsylvania state supreme court

544 A.2d 1305

July 28, 1988

July 28, 1988

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1983

Closing Date: 1988

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

County of Allegheny petitioning to compel state correctional facilities to accept inmates from the county's overcrowded jail

Plaintiff Type(s):

City/County Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1985 - 1987

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run