University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Ben David v. Travisono PC-RI-0005
Docket / Court 73-1314 ( D.R.I. )
State/Territory Rhode Island
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In approximately 1973, Rhode Island prison inmates filed a class action lawsuit against Rhode Island prison officials, police, and their agents in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The inmates, represented by private counsel, sought a preliminary restraining order ... read more >
In approximately 1973, Rhode Island prison inmates filed a class action lawsuit against Rhode Island prison officials, police, and their agents in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The inmates, represented by private counsel, sought a preliminary restraining order against the officials to protect them from retaliatory conduct for the inmates' participation in a substantive lawsuit against the officials for unconstitutional treatment (see Morris v. Travisono, 310 F.Supp. 857 (D.R.I.1970), PC-RI-0006. The decree set forth in this decision was the subject of subsequent and acromonious litigation). The inmates alleged that they had been subject to beatings, mental abuse, inhumane and unsanitary conditions, among other things, as retaliation for participating in that suit.

Following a hearing, the District Court (Chief Judge Raymond J. Pettine) issued a preliminary order from the bench without conducting a factual investigation or ascertaining the plaintiffs' probability of success on the merits. The order stated that inmates had testified to a "parade of horribles," including beatings, gassings and strip lock-ups, and that they feared further retaliation. The court announced that it need not make specific factual findings.

The defendants appealed the order, arguing that it could not be entered without the initial investigations. On April 8, 1974, the First Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Levin H. Campbell) affirmed and modified the order. Though the District Court had no license to ignore the factual investigation requirement, the Court (Judge Campbell) determined that the order was supported by the plaintiffs' fear of harassment if they co-operated in the substantive action. Ben David v. Travisono, 495 F.2d 562 (1st Cir. 1974). However, paragraph one was stricken due to its vague wording. The Court reasoned that it crossed the line between a limited protective order (as issued here) and the more expansive preliminary injunction, as it did not specifically state which actions the defendants were to refrain from.

We have no further information about this case.

Stacey Jensen - 05/22/2006


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Rhode Island
Plaintiff Description Rhode Island Prison Inmates
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1973 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-RI-0006 : Morris v. Travisono (D.R.I.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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
Opinion and Order 03/08/1974 (373 F.Supp. 177) (D.R.I.)
PC-RI-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 04/08/1974 (495 F.2d 562)
PC-RI-0005-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Per Curiam 05/16/1980 (621 F.2d 464)
PC-RI-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Bownes, Hugh Henry (D.N.H., First Circuit)
PC-RI-0005-0003
Campbell, Levin Hicks (D. Mass., First Circuit)
PC-RI-0005-0001 | PC-RI-0005-0003
Coffin, Frank Morey (First Circuit)
PC-RI-0005-0003
Pettine, Raymond James (D.R.I.)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Angelone, Thomas C. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Bass, Stanley A. (New York)
PC-RI-0005-0001 | PC-RI-0005-0002
Boren, Richard A. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Coen, Cary J. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Gonnella, Ralph J. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0001 | PC-RI-0005-0002
Roney, John M. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Stern, Max D. (Massachusetts)
PC-RI-0005-0001 | PC-RI-0005-0002 | PC-RI-0005-0002 | PC-RI-0005-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, W. Slater Jr. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0001
Burke, Edward F. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Coia, Raymond R. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Cooney, Eileen G. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0003
Israel, Richard J. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0001 | PC-RI-0005-0002
Petronio, Everett A. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Ryan, Donald P. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Schreiber, Ira L. (Rhode Island)
PC-RI-0005-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -