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Case Name In re: the Petition of C.Z., A.O., and Z.S.-W., on behalf of all similarly situated individuals JI-PA-0009
Docket / Court 24 EM 2020 ( State Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization Juvenile Law Center
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 ... read more >
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.

Cedar Hobbs - 06/15/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
COVID-19
Mitigation Denied
Mitigation Requested
Release Denied
Release Granted
Release Requested
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Special Case Type
Appellate Court is initial court
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
Plaintiff Description Incarcerated youth in various Pennsylvania juvenile facilities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Juvenile Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 04/01/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  IN RE C.Z.
Juvenile Law Center
Date: Apr. 1, 2020
By: Juvenile Law Center
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
State Supreme Court
04/07/2020
24 EM 2020
JI-PA-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
State Supreme Court
04/01/2020
Application for Extraordinary Relief Under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction
JI-PA-0009-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
State Supreme Court
04/07/2020
Order Denying Application for Extraordinary Relief Under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction (229 A.3d 240)
JI-PA-0009-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: State Court Website
State Supreme Court
04/15/2020
Application for Relief to File Reply Brief in Support of Petitioners' Application for Extraordinary Relief Under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction
JI-PA-0009-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
State Supreme Court
04/21/2020
Answer of Department of Corrections Secretary John E. Wetzel to Petitioner's Application for Extraordinary Relief under the Court's King's Bench Jurisdiction
JI-PA-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: State Court Website
show all people docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bennion, David (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0004
Cambria, Bridget (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0004
Donohoe, Carol Anne (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0004
Feierman, Jesica R. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Fine, Lauren (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Heller, Nathan P. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Hoffmann, Karen (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0004
Kline, Jacquelyn M. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0004
Kurtz, Jamie (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001
Levick, Marsha (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Lindell, Karen U. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Norwood, Summer (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001
Robb, Emily (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Saleski, Courtney Gilligan (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Visser, Joanna (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0001 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boynton, Alan R. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Daley, Michael P (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Eisenberg, Ronald (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Graziano, Jill Marie (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Holmes, Timothy A. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0003 | JI-PA-0009-9000
McLees, Matthew J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Perez, Theron (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Piatkowski, Tracy Saylor (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Schwab, Gregory George (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-0003 | JI-PA-0009-9000
Serafin, Kenneth J. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Shank, Claudia Nadine (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Shapiro, Joshua D. (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000
Zerbe, Anne Elizabeth (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
JI-PA-0009-9000

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