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Case Name King v. Greenblatt MH-MA-0004
Docket / Court 72-788 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Case Summary
In 1972, Michael G. King, Jr. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against state officials concerning conditions at the Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons in Bridgewater. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys. This ... read more >
In 1972, Michael G. King, Jr. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against state officials concerning conditions at the Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons in Bridgewater. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys. This lawsuit was litigated with Williams v. Lesiak. (MH-MA-0003) The lawsuit settled in 1974 and the district court (Judge Charles Edward Wyzanski, Jr.) entered two consent decrees.

The decrees placed primary authority of the center with the Department of Mental Health, which was to exercise that authority so that residents were subject to the least restrictive environment. The decrees prohibited defendants from using solitary confinement for purposes of punishment or discipline and provided other constitutional guidelines. In December of 1981, plaintiffs sued, seeking enforcement of the consent decrees. After an appeal and remand, the district court entered judgment for the defendants and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (District Judge Ronald Lagueux, sitting by designation) affirmed, finding that there had been no due process violation. Pearson v. Fair, 935 F.2d 401 (1st Cir. 1999).

In 1992, the district court appointed a Special Master to advice the court regarding the continued viability of the consent decrees. Inmates challenged this order and asked for a mandamus asserting that the district court lacked the jurisdiction to appoint a master. The First Circuit (Judge Bruce Selya) denied this request. In re Pearson, 990 F.2d 653 (1st Cir. 1993).

Judge John J. McNaught officially consolidated the Williams and King cases in 1994 and appointed counsel for a class of 48 inmates who alleged constitutional violations in the facility. As a result of state legislation, control of the center was transfered to the state Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections presented the court with a proposed plan for administering the facility and in 1995, Judge McNaught directed the parties to reach a consensus on the rules and regulations that would govern the facility. That did not occur.

On October 31, 1996, Judge A. David Mazzone granted Massachusetts's motion to modify the decrees but denied a motion to vacate the previous decrees. On June 21, 1999, Judge Mazzone granted the motion to vacate the consent decrees, because the court found that the conditions at the center that had been the basis of the consent decrees had been remediated, and the court also found that the Department of Corrections had demonstrated the intent and ability to operate the facility in a manner consistent with the rights of plaintiff patients and the goals of the treatment. King v. Greenblatt, 53 F. Supp. 2d 117 (D. Mass. 1999). Judge Mazzone ordered the case closed on that date.

Angela Heverling - 05/30/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Crowding / caseload
Least restrictive environment
Bathing and hygiene
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental health care, unspecified
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Massachusetts
Plaintiff Description Residents/Inmates at the Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1974 - 1999
Filing Year 1972
Case Closing Year 1999
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing MH-MA-0003 : Williams v. Lesiak (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0007 : Pearson v. Fair (D. Mass.)
(D. Mass.)
MH-MA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/20/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reported Opinion (560 F.2d 1024)
MH-MA-0004-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/15/1977
Source: Google Scholar
Untitled (438 U.S. 916)
MH-MA-0004-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/03/1978
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (489 F.Supp. 105) (D. Mass.)
MH-MA-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/23/1980
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (808 F.2d 163)
MH-MA-0004-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/31/1986
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (935 F.2d 401)
MH-MA-0004-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/03/1991
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (980 F.2d 37)
MH-MA-0004-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/24/1992
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (990 F.2d 653)
MH-MA-0004-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/16/1993
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (52 F.3d 1)
MH-MA-0004-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/06/1995
Source: Google Scholar
Untitled (516 U.S. 863)
MH-MA-0004-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/02/1995
Source: Westlaw
Reported Opinion (127 F.3d 190)
MH-MA-0004-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/10/1997
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (149 F.3d 9)
MH-MA-0004-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/07/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order (53 F.Supp.2d 117) (D. Mass.)
MH-MA-0004-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/21/1999
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Aldrich, Bailey (D. Mass., First Circuit)
Bownes, Hugh Henry (D.N.H., First Circuit)
Breyer, Stephen Gerald (First Circuit, SCOTUS)
MH-MA-0004-0004 | MH-MA-0004-0006
Campbell, Levin Hicks (D. Mass., First Circuit)
MH-MA-0004-0002 | MH-MA-0004-0003 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Coffin, Frank Morey (First Circuit)
MH-MA-0004-0002 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Lagueux, Ronald Rene (D.R.I.)
Lay, Donald Pomery (Eighth Circuit)
Mazzone, A. David (D. Mass.)
MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Selya, Bruce Marshall (FISCR, D.R.I., First Circuit)
MH-MA-0004-0003 | MH-MA-0004-0004 | MH-MA-0004-0005 | MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Stahl, Norman H. (D.N.H., First Circuit)
Torruella, Juan R. (D.P.R., First Circuit)
MH-MA-0004-0003 | MH-MA-0004-0005 | MH-MA-0004-0007
Wyzanski, Charles Edward Jr. (D. Mass.)
MH-MA-0004-0001 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Zobel, Rya Weickert (D. Mass.)
Monitors/Masters Gleason, Herbert P. (Massachusetts)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Donelan, Charles (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Follett, Jeffrey S. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-0010 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Geiger, David R. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0003 | MH-MA-0004-0004 | MH-MA-0004-0005 | MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-0007 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-0010 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Halpern, Joseph D. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0003 | MH-MA-0004-0004 | MH-MA-0004-0005 | MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Handler, Jonathan I. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Henn, John H. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0001 | MH-MA-0004-0002 | MH-MA-0004-0003
Keefe, Robert Dennis (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0007 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-0010 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Moskowitz, Joan (Massachusetts)
Reed, Sarah B. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-0007
Reilly, Stephen C. (Massachusetts)
Russell, Peter F. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Scibelli, Anthony A. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0007 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Whitham, Michele A. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0004 | MH-MA-0004-0005 | MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0002 | MH-MA-0004-0003
Brown, Douglas S. (Massachusetts)
Davis, Scott M. (Massachusetts)
Delinsky, Stephen R. (Massachusetts)
Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)
Harshbarger, Scott (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0005 | MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-0007 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Pardee, William L. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0006 | MH-MA-0004-0007 | MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-0010 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Parker, Kathleen King (Massachusetts)
Ross, Abbe L. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0004 | MH-MA-0004-0005
Schultz, Stephen (Massachusetts)
Shannon, James M. (Massachusetts)
Smith, Barbara Healy (Massachusetts)
Sorokin, Leo Theodore (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Yogman, Judith (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Eisenberg, Beth (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Hitt, John R. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-9000
Pingeon, James R. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0008 | MH-MA-0004-0010
Wechsler, Peter T. (Massachusetts)
MH-MA-0004-0009 | MH-MA-0004-9000

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