University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Haverty v. Commissioner of Correction PC-MA-0028
Docket / Court SUCV1995-03634 ( State Court )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Case Summary
On June 30, 1995, prisoners at MCI-Cedar Junction (MCI) filed this §1983 suit in Suffolk Superior Court against the Massachusetts Department of Correction alleging violations of their Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the conditions of confinement in the East Wing ... read more >
On June 30, 1995, prisoners at MCI-Cedar Junction (MCI) filed this §1983 suit in Suffolk Superior Court against the Massachusetts Department of Correction alleging violations of their Fourteenth Amendment rights. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that the conditions of confinement in the East Wing units violated their due process rights, and that defendant's policy for identifying, classifying, and punishing prison gangs violated their equal protection rights. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The incidents underlying the case began on April 3, 1995, when about a dozen prisoners attacked a correctional officer in MCI's East Wing. In response, defendant instituted a lockdown that continued through August. Plaintiffs' challenge was to two policies implemented during during this lockdown.

On July 14, 1995, the trial court (Judge Paul A. Chernoff) ordered defendants to meet minimum requirements regarding inmates' out-of-cell time; access to showers, cleaning equipment and cleansers; and access to the law library and paralegals. 1995 WL 17814072.

On November 15, 1995, the trial court certified two classes for the action. The due process claim class was defined as "all prisoners who are now confined or may at some point be confined at/in any housing unit other than the Department Disciplinary Unit" at MCI. Regarding the equal protection claims, the class was defined as "Hispanic inmates who have been or will in the future be assigned to the Plymouth housing units" at MCI. 2003 WL 25530367 at fn3.

On October 13, 1999, the trial court (Charles M. Grabau) granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on the due process claim and denied summary judgment as to all other claims. 11 Mass.L.Rptr. 252. Defendants appealed.

On October 10, 2002, the Supreme Judicial Court (Chief Justice Marshall) affirmed in part, holding that the Departmental Segregation Units (DSU) regulations apply to the East Wing blocks at MCI-CJ and must be obeyed. 437 Mass. 737 (2002); 776 N.E.2d 973.

On February 7, 2003, the trial court (Patrick J. King) ruled on the equal protection claim, granting equitable relief to prisoners in the form of good time credits. 2003 WL 25530367. Defendants' application for leave to take an interlocutory appeal was allowed by Justice Cordy of the Supreme Judicial Court.

On August 8, 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court (Justice Spina) found that the trial court was not authorized to award unearned good time credits as an equitable remedy. 440 Mass. 1 (2003); 792 N.E.2d 989.

Timothy Shoffner - 04/30/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Disciplinary segregation
Racial segregation
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Massachusetts
Plaintiff Description Due process class: "all prisoners who are now confined or may at some point be confined in any housing unit other than the Department Disciplinary Unit” at MCI-Cedar Junction. Equal protection class: "Hispanic inmates who have been or will in the future be assigned to the Plymouth housing units" at MCI-Cedar Junction.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1995 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2003-J-0038 (State Court of Appeals) 02/03/2003
PC-MA-0028-9001 PDF | Detail
State Court Website
SJC-08951 (State Supreme Court) 09/10/2003
PC-MA-0028-9002 PDF | Detail
State Court Website
SJ-2003-0026 (State Supreme Court) 11/05/2003
PC-MA-0028-9000 PDF | Detail
State Court Website
General Documents
Memorandum and Rulings 07/14/1995 (1995 WL 17814072)
PC-MA-0028-0005 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 10/13/1999 (11 Mass. L. Rptr. 252)
PC-MA-0028-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 10/10/2002 (437 Mass. 737)
PC-MA-0028-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Findings of Fact, Rulings of Law, and Order for Judgment 02/07/2003 (2003 WL 25530367)
PC-MA-0028-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 08/08/2003 (440 Mass. 1)
PC-MA-0028-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Chernoff, Paul Court not on record
PC-MA-0028-0005
King, Patrick J. (State Trial Court)
PC-MA-0028-0004
Marshall, Margaret H. (State Supreme Court)
PC-MA-0028-0001
Spina, Francis X (State Supreme Court)
PC-MA-0028-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Kassel, Phillip J (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0028-9000 | PC-MA-0028-9001 | PC-MA-0028-9002
White, Nancy Ankers (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0028-9002
Defendant's Lawyers Berner, Joel J. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0028-9001 | PC-MA-0028-9002
Pingeon, James R. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0028-9000 | PC-MA-0028-9002
Salzman, William D. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0028-9000 | PC-MA-0028-9002
Other Lawyers None on record

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