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Richard Surrick

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Richard Surrick
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Title:   Senior Judge
Position:   Seat #3T
Appointed by:   Bill Clinton
Active:   06/05/2000 - 01/31/2011
Senior:   02/01/2011 - Present
Preceded by:   Lowell Reed, Jr.
Succeeded by:   Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro
Past post:   Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Pennsylvania, Judge
Past term:   1978 - 2000
Personal History
Born:   1937
Hometown:   Media, PA
Undergraduate:   Dickinson College, B.A., 1960
Law School:   Dickinson College, J.D., 1965
Grad. School:   U. of Virginia School of Law, LL.M., 1982
Richard Barclay Surrick is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He joined the court in 2000 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton. Surrick assumed senior status on February 1, 2011.

Early life and education

Born in Media, Pennsylvania, Surrick graduated from Dickinson College with his bachelor's degree in 1960, and with his Juris Doctor in 1965. Surrick received an LL.M from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1982.[1]

Professional career

Surrick worked as a private practice attorney in the State of Pennsylvania from 1965 to 1977. He then served as Chief of the Appellate Division in the Office of the Public Defender in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, from 1965 to 1974. Surrick then served as Judge for the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas from 1978 to 2000.[1]

Judicial career

Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Surrick was nominated to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President Bill Clinton on April 11, 2000, to a seat vacated by Lowell Reed, Jr. Surrick was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 24, 2000, on a Senate vote and received commission on June 5, 2000.[2]

Notable cases

Case against city for failure to detect child's torture dismissed (2014)

     United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Weston v. City of Philadelphia, et al, 13-6073)

On May 6, 2014, Judge Surrick dismissed a lawsuit filed against the City of Philadelphia by Vickie Weston, over the abuse of her daughter, Beatrice Weston. Beatrice was placed in Linda Weston's custody in 2002, and endured ten years of torture at the hands of her aunt, a paroled murderer.[3]

In the underlying case, Linda was given custody of Beatrice after Vickie suffered a debilitating aneurysm. A family court judge signed off on the arrangement, ordering that the Department of Human Services (DHS) check in on Beatrice from time to time. After living in her aunt's custody for nearly a decade, Beatrice was found in 2011, and was the victim of "the worst abuse" Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey had "ever seen in [his] entire career in law enforcement." Linda also kept four mentally disabled adults trapped as prisoners in her basement in an alleged attempt to steal their Social Security benefits.[3][4]

Vickie filed suit against Philadelphia, alleging that the city showed "deliberate indifference and a reckless disregard" for her parental rights when it placed her daughter in a convicted murder's custody. She also alleged that had DHS performed its duties as ordered by the court, Beatrice's deplorable living conditions would have been discovered. Vickie's complaint alleged that her daughter was forced into prostitution, beaten, starved, and made to drink and bathe in her own urine. Beatrice filed her own lawsuit against the city in 2012.[3][4]

Despite the allegations levied against Linda, Judge Surrick dismissed the case, noting that the two-year statute of limitations for filing the claim expired. Surrick said Vickie's lawsuit should have been filed in 2002 in reference to her parental rights, also stating that based on rumors, Vickie "knew that [her daughter] was being injured and she knew the cause [yet] took no action." Judge Surrick tossed out the case, further commenting that he found Vickie's behavior "unreasonable as a matter of law."[3]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Lowell Reed, Jr.
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Seat #3T
Succeeded by:
Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro

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