Past Cases & Projects

Philadelphian with disabilities threatened with eviction for exercising her rights

Landlord Pelham Court LP threatened Brenda Harrison with eviction when she withheld rent while confined to her apartment by a broken elevator. She is now suing in federal court under the Fair Housing Act.

Curtis Shiver and Carolyn Shiver v. Moshe Zenwirth and EY Realty

Curtis and Carolyn Shiver are low-income parents of four children in Philadelphia. Shortly after moving into their new home in July of 2016, the Shivers faced a wide range of problems with the home, including a lack of electricity, flooding in the basement and backyard, and heating issues. After repeated complaints to EY Realty, the […]

Ensuring Accountability in Philadelphia Elections

According to state law, whenever a question related to a Home Rule Charter appears on a ballot, the President Judge must appoint temporary election overseers to serve in the place of the City Commissioners. This law has not been followed in Philadelphia for at least 15 years.

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now v. Thomas Ridge

The Law Center litigated a 1995 federal lawsuit compelling Pennsylvania to comply with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 to make it easier for citizens to vote. This case resulted in Pennsylvania enacting a court-ordered plan that registered and updated registrations for Pennsylvania residents at various government locations, driver’s license centers, transportation agencies, and other state-funded programs.

La Finquita Community Farm

Community gardeners in South Kensington claim right to land they have stewarded for 29 years by adverse possession. Members of the Philadelphia Catholic Worker, a longstanding South Kensington community-based organization, filed litigation in order to establish its ownership and gain.

Discrimination Against Deaf Employees

A complaint alleged that UPS had illegally denied deaf employee Michael MacDonald reasonable accommodations for equal access to the workplace. The complaint alleged that UPS, a $58 billion company, denied Mr. MacDonald the accommodations of an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter on numerous occasions for over a year. In August 2016, this matter was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

FEOP: Heard v. Genesis

Taheera Heard is a 38-year-old African-American woman who was sought out by a recruiter and offered a job as a Senior IT Auditor at the administrative offices of Genesis. Our lawsuit alleged that after making an initial job offer, and setting a conditional start date, Genesis never got back to Ms. Heard to finalize the start date, and it was only months later that Ms. Heard received notice that she was not being hired because of the results of a background check. The complaint alleged that Genesis based its decision not to hire on unrelated criminal charges, even though Ms. Heard had previously disclosed her record to the company. In anticipation of her new position, Ms. Heard had already quit her previous job, and so became unemployed. In August 2016, the lawsuit was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

Banfield v. Cortes

The Law Center, along with the National watchdog group Voter Action, attorney Michael Daly of the firm Drinker Biddle and Reath, and private attorney Marian Schneider are representing 26 Pennsylvania voters who filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Secretary of State in August of 2006 and alleged that their votes were at risk of being lost or altered because of operational or security failures of the Pennsylvania-certified systems, and that such failures have in fact occurred on DREs in elections in Pennsylvania and in other states.

Abusive Truancy Policy in Lebanon, PA

Rather than confront the truancy problem with a constructive policy that would actually get kids back in school, the Lebanon School District responded by adopting an abusive and counterproductive policy of levying exorbitant truancy fines – seemingly designed to push kids out rather than pull them back in.

The Philadelphia Project

We are educating parents and other advocates about their rights, representing individual families in administrative hearings, and, with the information gained from those individual cases, filing class action lawsuits to address systemic issues.