University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Sclafani v. Mici PC-MA-0051
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-12550-LTS ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On December 19, 2019, three plaintiffs who were incarcerated in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging discriminatory denial of adequate medical care. Their complaint asserted that this denial violates the Americans with Disabilities Act ... read more >
On December 19, 2019, three plaintiffs who were incarcerated in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts alleging discriminatory denial of adequate medical care. Their complaint asserted that this denial violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts represented the plaintiffs in conjunction with private counsel. The defendants are the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Superintendents of MCI Cedar Junction, and the Superintendent of MCI Norfolk in their official capacities. The case is assigned to Judge Leo T. Sorokin.

Prior to incarceration, the plaintiffs had each been in treatment for Opioid Use Disorder and had been prescribed buprenorphine as part of a Medication-Assisted Treatment plans. Blanket policies in the Massachusetts Department of Correction automatically reduce prisoners’ buprenorphine dose to no more than 8mg per day and forcibly remove individuals from buprenorphine after 90 days, refusing to provide any further access. Because of this policy, each of the plaintiffs had their treatment plans significantly altered and prematurely ended. They are seeking injunctive relief, declaratory judgement against the Massachusetts Department of Correction policy, and attorney’s fees.

On Feb. 27, 2020, the parties entered into a settlement agreement. The settlement includes 11 components: 1) Defendants must provide plaintiffs with the proper dose of buprenorphine consistent with an individualized treatment plan prescribed by a specialist; 2) Defendants must inform plaintiffs' counsel of a decrease in buprenorphine dosage within 48 hours; 3) Defendants will provide buprenorphine based on each plaintiffs individual need rather than a blanket policy; 4) Defendants must provide medical documentation to the plaintiffs regarding any decrease in their buprenorphine dosage; 5) Defendants will house the plaintiffs in units consistent with their custody levels; 6) the plaintiff Sclafani is entitled to reclassification review upon implementation of a buprenorphine maintenance treatment plan; 7) Defendants will allow the plaintiff Sclafani access to work placements and programming while participating in his rehabilitation program; 8) Defendants will ensure that the plaintiffs buprenorphine maintenance programs do not interfere with their access to services, programs, or activities; 9) The parties agree to file a joint motion to dismiss after execution of the settlement, allowing the court to retain jurisdiction until Dec. 31, 2020; 10) Each party will bear its own attorneys fees and other costs; 11) Modification of the agreement must be mutually agreed to in writing.

The parties filed a joint motion to dismiss on Feb 28, 2020 and the terms of its settlement remain under the courts jurisdiction until December 31, 2020.

Alex Moody - 03/04/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Massachusetts Department of Correction
Massachusetts Department of Correction
Plaintiff Description Three prisoners currently incarcerated in Massachusetts who had begun medication-assisted treatment before beginning their sentences.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
None yet
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 12/19/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:19-cv-12550-LTS (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0051-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/04/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-MA-0051-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/19/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement
PC-MA-0051-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/27/2020
Source: ACLU
show all people docs
Judges Sorokin, Leo Theodore (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Armellino, Christine (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Frederickson, Robert III (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Levy, Ira J. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
McCready, Laura K. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Rossman, Jessie J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Sanchez, Marielle E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Segal, Matthew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Valenti, Alexandra D. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Zalcenstein, Aviv A. (New York) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0001 | PC-MA-0051-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Silva, Philip W. IV (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-MA-0051-0003 | PC-MA-0051-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -