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Case Name Torres v. DuBois PC-MA-0008
Docket / Court 94-0270 ( State Court )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On January 18, 1994 prisoners of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, Massachusetts, who had been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit (DDU) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the Superior Court of Massachusetts challenging the conditions of ... read more >
On January 18, 1994 prisoners of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, Massachusetts, who had been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit (DDU) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the Superior Court of Massachusetts challenging the conditions of their confinement. They were represented by the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Their complaint alleged violations of the Massachusetts' and United States' Constitutions and of Massachusetts law and regulations for the following: unlawful conditions of confinement, inadequate medical and psychiatric care, unlawful use of excessive force, inadequate food, denial of access to the courts, and unlawful hearings for prisoners confined to the department disciplinary unit. The Superior Court Department, Suffolk County (Judge Peter M. Lauriat), granted summary judgment to defendants on eight of the thirteen counts. (No decision is available). Accordingly, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The Court (Judge Joan E. Lynch) held that: (1) conditions in DDU did not pose substantial risk of serious harm to inmates, and thus did not violate the Eighth Amendment or the Massachusetts Constitution; (2) placement in DDU was not confinement in "isolation unit," and thus, was not subject to statutory 15-day limit; (3) inmates received procedural due process rights implicated by placement in DDU; and (4) statute requiring officials to treat inmates with kindness merited by inmate behavior was inapplicable. Victor Torres v. DuBois,695 N.E.2d 200 (1998).

No further information is available about this case.

Rebecca Bloch - 04/12/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) MCI-Cedar Junction
Plaintiff Description prisoners of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, Massachusetts, who had been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit (DDU)
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint 01/18/1994
PC-MA-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Opinion 06/05/1998 (695 N.E.2d 200)
PC-MA-0008-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Lynch, Neil L. (State Supreme Court)
PC-MA-0008-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gill, Laurie S. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0008-0001
Laferrera, Joseph J. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0008-0001
Lewis, Scott P. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0008-0001 | PC-MA-0008-0002
Reinstein, John (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0008-0001 | PC-MA-0008-0002
Zipin, Janet M. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0008-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Bean, Thomas O. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0008-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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