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MORRIS v. CRUMLISH

March 24, 1965

Roosevelt MORRIS
v.
James C. CRUMLISH, Jr., Howard Leary, William Lennox and Edward J. Hendrick.*



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LUONGO

This is a suit under the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983. The jurisdiction of this court is founded on 28 U.S.C.A. § 1343. Since injunctive relief alone is sought, by agreement of the parties the matter will be disposed of as on final hearing for permanent injunction and not as for preliminary injunction.

FACTS

 The lineup, as practiced by the defendants, is conducted in a specially designated room in the Admissions Building at the Philadelphia Detention Center. The Admissions Building is the first one encountered upon entrance to the Center and is connected by passages to the buildings containing cell blocks and dormitories where the inmates are housed. In the Admissions Building are also located administrative offices, infirmary, medical and dental offices, visiting room and facilities for interviewing and classifying inmates upon their arrival at the institution.

 The lineup room is divided into two parts by a glass partition. Inmates remain in the custody and control of the institution's guards on one side of the glass partition, while police and victims of crimes under investigation are on the other side. On the inmates' side is a platform on which they are made to stand and, upon order, to present front, side and rear views of themselves to the viewers. Lights are trained on the platform to make those on view more visible to the viewers and the viewers less visible to them. There is a system of communication between the two sections by which requests are transmitted by the police to the guards and by which the voices of the inmate-suspects, responding to questions as to name and age, are heard by the viewers.

 Lineups are held at the Detention Center only on Thursday evenings. The police notify the Superintendent of the Center in advance which of the inmates they desire to have placed in a lineup on a specified Thursday evening. The inmate and his counsel are notified and counsel is given the opportunity to be present. As many as four or five lineups are conducted in an evening. Victims of several crimes may be present while an inmate suspected of a particular crime is on view.

 It is not feasible to have inmates subjected to the view of victims in cell blocks, dormitories or other general population areas because of the danger of harm to the viewers and the threat to the security of the institution.

 Not all persons awaiting trial are placed in lineups nor is the lineup used in the investigation of all crimes. The lineup is used in the investigation of not more than 15% To 20% Of major felonies and is seldom used in investigation of lesser crimes. Requests to place persons in lineups are not made indiscriminately, they are made only when the police, on the basis of information already in their possession, have reason to believe that an inmate may have been involved in the commission of a major crime under investigation. The information may consist of one or more of several items such as:

 (a) Similarity of modus operandi described by the victim with that known to have been used by an inmate in the commission of other crimes for which he is charged or has been convicted in the past;

 (b) Possession by an inmate at the time of his apprehension of articles said to have been taken from the victim of another crime; *fn2"

 (c) Geographical area of operations;

 (d) Physical description.

 The Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C.A. § ...


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