University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bel v. Hall PC-MA-0011
Docket / Court 73-1654 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts 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 alleged that their constitutional rights ... read more >
Prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts 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 alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by poor sanitation, insufficient heating, and inoperable shower facilities.

On March 24, 1975, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Wendell Garrity) held that the unsanitary conditions at the jail subjected the plaintiffs to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of their constitutional rights and remanded the case to the special master for consideration of remedial proposals. Bel v. Hall, 392 F.Supp. 274 (D.Mass. 1975). We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 07/29/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Bathing and hygiene
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
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 Inmates alleging that confinement in a unit of a state correctional institution was unconstitutional under the Eight Amendment
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1975 - 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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum and Order Adopting Master's Report 03/24/1975 (392 F.Supp. 274) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Garrity, Wendell Arthur Jr. (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0011-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Pool, James M. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0011-0002
Defendant's Lawyers LaCroix, Dennis (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0011-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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