United States v. Safehouse

Safehouse is a public health approach to overdose prevention in Philadelphia. Our proposed services include medically-supervised consumption. Safehouse believes that supervised consumption is legal and will save lives.

In February of 2019, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania filed a civil lawsuit asking a federal court to declare that supervised consumption sites are illegal. This lawsuit does not seek money, seize property, or criminally prosecute any party.

An evidentiary hearing, limited to how Safehouse proposes to operate the site, is scheduled for August 19 and 20. Oral argument, limited to interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act, is scheduled for September 5. The hearing and the argument will be in federal court in Philadelphia.

The pleadings in the case are below.

Complaint for Declaratory Judgment (2/5/19)

Safehouse’s Answer, Affirmative Defenses, Counterclaims to Plaintiff’s Complaint, and Third-party Complaint (4/3/19)

Stipulated Scheduling Order (5/28/19)

Answer and Affirmative Defenses of Plaintiff/Counterclaim (6/10/19)

Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (6/11/19)

Safehouse's Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Department of Justice's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (6/28/19)

Amicus Briefs in support, in opposition, and in support of neither party (7/10/19)
On July 10, 13 amicus (friends of the court) briefs were filed in U.S. v. Safehouse in federal court in Philadelphia. 132 individuals and organizations, composed of 64 current and former prosecutors and law enforcement officials, 8 states, and 6 cities, filed 11 amicus briefs in support of Safehouse. 7 amici filed a brief in opposition and 4 law professors filed a brief in support of neither party.

Order Scheduling Evidentiary Hearing (7/12/19)

Order Scheduling Oral Argument (7/16/19)