University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Pearson v. Fair PC-MA-0007
Docket / Court Unknown ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1981, patients at a treatment center for sexually dangerous persons filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs asked the court to make the defendants comply with ... read more >
In 1981, patients at a treatment center for sexually dangerous persons filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Massachusetts Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs asked the court to make the defendants comply with policies and procedures that had been adopted by the treatment center following settlement of earlier litigation.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Joseph L. Tauro) ordered the defendants to comply with revised policies and procedures, and both parties appealed the court's decision. On December 31, 1986, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a per curiam opinion vacating the district court's order and remanding the case back to the district court because the order had been entered without evidentiary hearing or articulated findings of fact or conclusions of law. Pearson v. Fair, 808 F.2d 163 (1st Cir. 1986).

On remand, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge A. David Mazzone) entered a judgment for the defendants, but awarded the plaintiffs a fraction of their requested attorneys' fees. Both parties appealed the decision. On June 3, 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Judge Ronald R. Lagueux) affirmed the lower court's decision on the merits but vacated the lower court's decision to award attorneys' fees, remanding to allow the district court to clarify how it arrived at the fee award. Pearson v. Fair, 935 F.2d 401 (1st Cir. 1991).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Mazzone) again granted a limited award of attorneys' fees. On November 24, 1992, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Judge Juan R. Torruella) ruled that inmates would be awarded 15% of the requested attorneys' fees. Pearson v. Fair, 980 F.2d 37 (1st Cir. 1992). We have no further information on the proceedings of this case.

Kristen Sagar - 03/13/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Massachusetts Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Patients at treatment center for sexually dangerous persons
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Case Listing MH-MA-0004 : King v. Greenblatt (D. Mass.)
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Reported Opinion 12/31/1986 (808 F.2d 163)
PC-MA-0007-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/03/1991 (935 F.2d 401)
PC-MA-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 11/24/1992 (980 F.2d 37)
PC-MA-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Breyer, Stephen Gerald (First Circuit, SCOTUS)
PC-MA-0007-0002
Campbell, Levin Hicks (First Circuit, D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Lagueux, Ronald Rene (D.R.I.)
PC-MA-0007-0002
Selya, Bruce Marshall (D.R.I., FISCR, First Circuit)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Torruella, Juan R. (First Circuit, D.P.R.)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Zobel, Rya Weickert (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0007-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Geiger, David R. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Halpern, Joseph D. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Henn, John H. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Whitham, Michele A. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Harshbarger, Scott (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0003
Ross, Abbe L. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Shannon, James M. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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