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UNITED STATES v. ROACH

November 29, 1996

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JOSEPH ROACH, ROBERT LEWIS, LINDA BECKMAN, KEVIN M. BLAKE, AMY BOISSONNEAULT, ROBERT CASSIDY, ROBERT CAVANAUGH, THERESA CLARK, MICHAEL J. COLLINS, SHERYL FITZPATRICK, EDWARD J. GERLACH, DENNIS GREEN, CHARLES R. HADDON, JR., SUSAN LANGAN, DAVID J. LYTLE, NANCY T. MAJOR, JOHN MCCARTHY, JOHN E. MCCORMICK, JAMES OWEN PATRICK MCWILLIAMS, STEPHEN MILLER, JOSEPH F. O'HARA, KATHARINE O'KEEFE, FRANCO S. PAGANANELLI, CHARLES RABICH, WILLIAM CHARLES RAISER, GENE ROOK, EILLEN SITER, ELIZABETH SNOW, JOHN ROBERT SOLLESNES, PRISCILLA A. TAYLOR, JAMES M. TROTT, KAY TRUDELL, HOWARD WALTON, CATHERINE WOMACK, MARY ANN YORINA, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MCGLYNN

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

 McGLYNN, J.

 November 29, 1996

 This preliminary injunction matter arises out of events that occurred on January 16, 1996 at the Reproductive Health and Counseling Center in which the above-named defendants ("Defendants") are alleged to have blocked the clinic's entrances for several hours. Plaintiff United States ("Plaintiff") moves for a preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 65(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 ("FACE"), 18 U.S.C. § 248.

 A hearing was held on August 27, 1996. After consideration of the evidence and the briefs and arguments of counsel, the court makes the following:

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. The Reproductive Heath and Counseling Center ("RHCC") is a reproductive health care facility located on the grounds of Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania. It provides medical services to patients, including the termination of pregnancies.

 2. RHCC's clients come from various cities and states, including Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia.

 3. RHCC is situated on Garden Drive, which is the private property of Crozer-Chester Medical Center, but is open for use by the public.

 4. The RHCC building has three entrances/exits: (1) the front door on Garden Drive; (2) a side door; and, (3) a fire escape that leads from a door on the second floor of the building down to a first floor landing and then to the ground.

 5. On January 16, 1996, beginning around 10:00 am, twenty to twenty-five individuals blocked all three entrances/exits to the clinic by placing themselves directly in front of the front and side doors, and on the landings and bottom steps of the fire escape.

 6. The blockers refused to let anyone enter or exit the clinic, including Jane Green, Executive Director of RHCC, who attempted to leave by the fire escape. Ms. Green and others were only able to exit down the fire escape after appealing to the Defendant Roach.

 7. The crowd dispersed shortly after Ms. Green descended down the fire escape. Approximately an hour later, sometime between 11:00 and 11:45 am, a number of individuals estimated to be fifty to sixty appeared. Again, the clinic's three entrances/exits were blocked by persons standing or sitting in front of each door and on the fire escape steps.

 8. Others walked around the building and Garden Drive handing out leaflets and approaching cars that entered the clinic parking lot. Their objectives were to explain the evils of abortion and to discourage persons providing or seeking abortion services.

 9. It was apparent that the Defendant Roach exercised a leadership role during the events of January 16, 1996.

 10. A law enforcement official saw members of this group pounding on windows of cars entering the clinic parking lot. These individuals continued this conduct, even after the officer asked them to leave the area.

 11. These events continued for five to six hours.

 12. In addition to the Crozer-Chester Hospital Security force, official law enforcement personnel present on January 16, 1996 included officers from the Upland, Parkside and Brookhaven Police Departments, the Delaware County Sheriffs' Department, the State Police, and the United States Marshals Service.

 13. Two patrolmen attempted to assist a clinic client to gain access to the front door of the clinic, but were prevented from doing so by persons who joined hands and together fell to the ground.

 14. Ten to fifteen people attempted to enter the clinic during this episode, but were unsuccessful.

 15. A deputy sheriff twice read the 1984 injunction issued by the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. A deputy United States Marshal twice read the 1989 injunction issued by the Honorable Clarence C. Newcomer.

 16. The people blocking access did not disperse and had to be physically removed from the clinic's entrances/exits and carried by law enforcement officers to the Sheriffs' vans. A few walked to the vans on their own. Those taken into custody were transported to and processed in the Delaware County Courthouse in Media, Pennsylvania.

 17. At the courthouse, the Sheriffs' Department performed the routine processing procedure by writing down the names, addresses and telephone numbers of those arrested. Their photographs were taken and a number was assigned to each person on the list. None of the individuals processed was charged with a crime.

 18. As a result of the events which took place that day, twenty-five clients had to reschedule their procedures until at least after 5:00 pm, and after the police removed those blocking the entrances so that the physician and nurse anesthetist could enter the clinic. Six clients rescheduled for another day. One cancelled, and another never showed. There were no walk-in clients that day.

 19. Prior to the events of January 16, 1996, RHCC had been subjected to similar incidents eighteen times in the last six years. The records suggest that Defendant Roach participated in fourteen of the incidents, and all but ten of the remaining thirty-four Defendants in this case have engaged in ...


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