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SAUNDERS v. PACKEL
June 30, 1977
CLARENCE V. SAUNDERS, et al.
ISRAEL PACKEL, et al.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: HUYETT
Invoking 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 1343(4), ten present and former inmates of the State Correctional Institution at Graterford filed this action seeking damages and injunctive relief against Stewart Warner, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Correction when this action was filed, and Robert L. Johnson, the Superintendent of the prison at the time of the incidents in issue. Joined as defendants for purposes of injunctive relief are Julius Cuyler, the present Superintendent, and William H. Robinson, the present Commissioner. The plaintiffs claim that two separate prison-wide lockups violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights to both procedural and substantive due process of law, and that the cell searches conducted incident to both lockups violated the Fourth Amendment rights secured to them by the Fourteenth Amendment. On a record consisting of a comprehensive stipulation of facts and various depositions, affidavits, answers to interrogatories and documents, plaintiffs and defendants have filed cross-motions for summary judgment. As to the procedural and substantive due process issues we grant the defendants' motion for summary judgment and deny the plaintiffs' motion. With respect to the cell search issue we deny both motions and the case must proceed to trial.
On September 16, 1973 at about 7:00 P.M. a Graterford employee was slain in the kitchen area. The Pennsylvania State Police were summoned to the prison, and they immediately commenced an investigation of the murder. The investigation focused on Albert Ford and Anthony Schilling, the only two inmates who were in the kitchen area at the time of the murder. Defendant Johnson promptly exercised his authority to order a prison-wide lockup of all inmates to search for weapons and contraband. In a press release issued the following day the Superintendent explained:
A number of inmates are being interrogated. Investigation so far indicates that this was an isolated incident but because of the gravity of this event and the finding of a number of homemade knives in the institution as well as a need to facilitate the investigation, most inmates will be confined to their cells until further notice.
On September 21, 1974 all non-supervisory prison guards staged a walkout in protest of various conditions of their employment. The guards presented the Commonwealth with a list of twenty-six demands. Although the nature of the demands was varied, the dominant theme related to the security of the guards from inmate assault. Included among their list of grievances were demands that:
1. The lockup be continued until the slain prison guard was buried.
2. Inmates be double-locked in cells when they are charged with misconduct or when they are involved in a fight.
3. Guards be given permission to carry mace.
4. The Bureau of Prisons commit itself to hiring fifty new guards at Graterford.
5. State police remain at the Institution until it was deemed "safe".
6. The Institution adopt a policy for the controlled movement of prisoners and a ...
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