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Case Name Petition of Kaufman ID-MA-0004
Docket / Court docket unknown ( State Court )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
The Behavioral Research Institute (BRI), now know as the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, is a Massachusetts based residential care facility for children and young adults with severe autism associated with behavioral problems. BRI is known for its use of negative reinforcement also known as ... read more >
The Behavioral Research Institute (BRI), now know as the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, is a Massachusetts based residential care facility for children and young adults with severe autism associated with behavioral problems. BRI is known for its use of negative reinforcement also known as aversive treatments, such as electric shock therapies, to disincentives undesirable behavior. As a result of its use of aversive treatments, BRI has been controversial and the subject of several law suits. This case, along with ID-MA-0002 and ID-MA-0004, are some of the cases brought surrounding various issues related to BRI.

Two wards with disabilities housed at BRI filed a lawsuit in the Probate and Family Court of Bristol County, Massachusetts petitioning the Court for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioners claimed that they were being unjustly deprived of their liberty without due process of law in violation of state statutes. The petitioners requested that they be placed somewhere other than BRI. The Probate and Family Court denied the petition for habeas corpus and the petitioners appealed.

On December 15, 1992, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld the decision of the Probate and Family court to deny the petitions for habeas corpus. The Court held that the petitions failed because habeas corpus is not a means of requesting alternative placements but rather is to contest unjust restraint on liberty. Since the petitioners were merely requesting an alternative placement and were not contesting their general restraint on liberty or any underlying decisions, the petitions were denied. Petition of Kaufman 413 Mass 1010 (1992).

Brian Kempfer - 09/25/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
disability, unspecified
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Confinement/isolation
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Education
Juveniles
Placement in mental health facilities
Restraints : physical
Special education
Youth / Adult separation
Mental Disability
Autism
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Judge Rotenberg Educational Center
Plaintiff Description Two students with severe autism and mental impairments who are residents at a residential school
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1992
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ID-MA-0002 : Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Inc. v. Commissioner of the Department of Mental Retardation (State Court)
ID-MA-0003 : Behavioral Research Institute v. Secretary of Administration (State Court)
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion [Affirming Judgment] 12/15/1992 (413 Mass. 1010)
ID-MA-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Abrams, Ruth (State Supreme Court)
ID-MA-0004-0001
Greaney, John M. (State Supreme Court)
ID-MA-0004-0001
Liacos, Paul J (State Supreme Court)
ID-MA-0004-0001
Lynch, Neil L. (State Supreme Court)
ID-MA-0004-0001
Nolan, Joseph R. (State Supreme Court)
ID-MA-0004-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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