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Case Name Cepulonis v. Fair PC-MA-0022
Docket / Court 78-3233 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
This class action was brought by inmates of the Departmental Segregation Unit of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Walpole against officials of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, claiming that defendants had defaulted in their constitutional obligation to assist them in the ... read more >
This class action was brought by inmates of the Departmental Segregation Unit of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Walpole against officials of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, claiming that defendants had defaulted in their constitutional obligation to assist them in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing an adequate law library or adequate legal assistance from persons trained in the law. The plaintiffs were represented by private counsel.

In a decision dated May 9, 1983, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Rya Zobel) found for the plaintiffs. Cepulonis v. Fair, 563 F.Supp. 659 (D. Mass. 1983). Defendants appealed from that finding and from the court's remedial order directing the establishment of a satellite law library holding certain volumes, and the provision of assistance by second and third year law students for five hours a week.

The United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit (Judge Levin H. Campbell), affirmed in part and vacated and remanded in part, holding: the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering that a satellite library be established, in view of the fact that prison officials themselves had suggested the creation of such facility; the district court did not abuse its discretion in its determination of which volumes were to be placed in the library; and that the district court erred in ordering prison officials to provide, in addition to the library, assistance by law students worker under a lawyer's supervision. Cepulonis v. Fair, 732 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1984).

There is no docket available for this case.

Theresa Spaulding - 07/16/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Law library access
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Departmental Segregation Unit of Mass. Correctional Institution
Plaintiff Description inmates of the Departmental Segregation Unit of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Walpole
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1983 - 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
Order 05/09/1983 (563 F.Supp. 659) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0022-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 03/29/1984 (732 F.2d 1)
PC-MA-0022-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bownes, Hugh Henry (D.N.H., First Circuit)
PC-MA-0022-0002
Campbell, Levin Hicks (D. Mass., First Circuit)
PC-MA-0022-0002
Maletz, Herbert Naaman ()
PC-MA-0022-0002
Zobel, Rya Weickert (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0022-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Durrell, Suzanne E. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0022-0001 | PC-MA-0022-0002
Renehan, Richard W. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0022-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0022-0002
Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0022-0001 | PC-MA-0022-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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