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Case Name Nunes v. UMass Correctional Health PC-MA-0036
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-12013-RWZ ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On November 22, 2010, HIV-positive prisoners incarcerated by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections ("DOC") filed a lawsuit against UMass Correctional Health and the Massachusetts DOC. They brought the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; ... read more >
On November 22, 2010, HIV-positive prisoners incarcerated by the Massachusetts Department of Corrections ("DOC") filed a lawsuit against UMass Correctional Health and the Massachusetts DOC. They brought the case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794, et seq.; and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq. The plaintiffs, represented by Massachusetts Prisoners' Legal Services, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the state's policies related to the distribution of HIV medications constituted cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, and a denial of equal protection and the right to privacy, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.

For many years prior to this lawsuit, prisoners in the Massachusetts DOC were able to keep their medications in their cells. This "Keep on Person" ("KOP") program enabled HIV-positive prisoners to take their medications consistently and privately. When UMass Correctional Health - an arm of the University of Massachusetts Medical School hired by the DOC to provide health services to prisoners - terminated the KOP program, HIV-positive prisoners were required to go to the "med line" at their prison's health services unit for each dose of medicine. No other medications were removed from the KOP program. Plaintiffs claimed that the removal of HIV medication from the KOP program has hindered plaintiffs' access to their needed medications and, as a result, has increased the risk for error, contagion, infection, breach of privacy, and the exacerbation of existing illnesses.

On October 3, 2013, District Judge Rya Zobel granted defendants' motion for summary judgment on all claims. 2013 WL 5505364 (D. Mass 2013). On plaintiffs' appeal, on September 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Judges Kayatta, Baldock (sitting by designation), and Selya, affirmed the grant of summary judgment in an opinion by Judge Kayatta. Nunes v. Mass. Dept. of Correction, 2014 WL 4494202, ___ F.3d ___ (1st Cir. 2014).

Nate West - 10/05/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Conditions of confinement
Records Disclosure
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Medical/Mental Health
HIV/AIDS
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are HIV-positive inmates incarcerated by the Massachusetts DOC who must physically go to the health services unit to retrieve their needed medications and are forbidden from keeping their medications in their cells.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
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)
1:10-cv-12013 (D. Mass.) 09/12/2014
PC-MA-0036-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/22/2010
PC-MA-0036-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/21/2011 (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0036-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Protective Order 04/08/2011 (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0036-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/16/2011 (2011 WL 1868752) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0036-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/30/2011 (2011 WL 4595018) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0036-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Take Leave to Amend Civil Complaint 1:10-cv-12013-RWZ, Memorandum in Support, and Amended Complaint 10/25/2011
PC-MA-0036-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Department of Correction and Peter Heffernan's Motion for Summary Judgment and Memorandum in Support 12/14/2012
PC-MA-0036-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DEFENDANTS, UMASS CORRECTIONAL HEALTH, LEONARD MCGUIRE, WARREN FERGUSON, JUDITH STEINBERG, AND THOMAS GROBLEWSKI’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT 12/14/2012
PC-MA-0036-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Consolidated Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment 02/14/2013
PC-MA-0036-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/03/2013 (2013 WL 5505364) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0036-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/12/2014 (766 F.3d 136)
PC-MA-0036-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Baldock, Bobby Ray (Tenth Circuit, D.N.M., FISCR)
PC-MA-0036-0011
Kayatta, William Joseph Jr. (First Circuit)
PC-MA-0036-0011
Selya, Bruce Marshall (First Circuit, D.R.I., FISCR)
PC-MA-0036-0011
Zobel, Rya Weickert (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0036-0002 | PC-MA-0036-0003 | PC-MA-0036-0004 | PC-MA-0036-0005 | PC-MA-0036-0010 | PC-MA-0036-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Pritchard, Tatum A. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-0009 | PC-MA-0036-9000
Thompson, Joel (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-0001 | PC-MA-0036-0009 | PC-MA-0036-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bello, James A. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-0008 | PC-MA-0036-9000
Colletti, Jennifer N. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-9000
Delanders, Robert V. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-9000
Grant, Sheryl (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-0007 | PC-MA-0036-9000
Pierce, Jennifer N. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-9000
Quinn, Christopher (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-9000
Weigand, Tory A. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0036-0008 | PC-MA-0036-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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