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Case Name Pearson v. Fair PC-MA-0007
Docket / Court Unknown ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1981, patients at a treatment center for sexually dangerous persons 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 asked the court to make the defendants comply with ... read more >
In 1981, patients at a treatment center for sexually dangerous persons 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 asked the court to make the defendants comply with policies and procedures that had been adopted by the treatment center following settlement of earlier litigation.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Joseph L. Tauro) ordered the defendants to comply with revised policies and procedures, and both parties appealed the court's decision. On December 31, 1986, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a per curiam opinion vacating the district court's order and remanding the case back to the district court because the order had been entered without evidentiary hearing or articulated findings of fact or conclusions of law. Pearson v. Fair, 808 F.2d 163 (1st Cir. 1986).

On remand, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge A. David Mazzone) entered a judgment for the defendants, but awarded the plaintiffs a fraction of their requested attorneys' fees. Both parties appealed the decision. On June 3, 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Judge Ronald R. Lagueux) affirmed the lower court's decision on the merits but vacated the lower court's decision to award attorneys' fees, remanding to allow the district court to clarify how it arrived at the fee award. Pearson v. Fair, 935 F.2d 401 (1st Cir. 1991).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Mazzone) again granted a limited award of attorneys' fees. On November 24, 1992, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Judge Juan R. Torruella) ruled that inmates would be awarded 15% of the requested attorneys' fees. Pearson v. Fair, 980 F.2d 37 (1st Cir. 1992). We have no further information on the proceedings of this case.

Kristen Sagar - 03/13/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
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 Patients at treatment center for sexually dangerous persons
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing MH-MA-0004 : King v. Greenblatt (D. Mass.)
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 ]

Links Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Written: Jun. 04, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Reported Opinion (808 F.2d 163)
PC-MA-0007-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/31/1986
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (935 F.2d 401)
PC-MA-0007-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/03/1991
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (980 F.2d 37)
PC-MA-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/24/1992
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Breyer, Stephen Gerald Court not on record
PC-MA-0007-0002
Campbell, Levin Hicks Court not on record
PC-MA-0007-0001
Lagueux, Ronald Rene Court not on record
PC-MA-0007-0002
Selya, Bruce Marshall (FISCR)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Torruella, Juan R. Court not on record
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Zobel, Rya Weickert Court not on record
PC-MA-0007-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Geiger, David R. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Halpern, Joseph D. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001 | PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Henn, John H. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Whitham, Michele A. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0001
Harshbarger, Scott (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0003
Ross, Abbe L. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0002 | PC-MA-0007-0003
Shannon, James M. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0007-0002

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