University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bel v. Hall PC-MA-0011
Docket / Court 73-1654 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts 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 alleged that their constitutional rights ... read more >
Prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Bridgewater, Massachusetts 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 alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by poor sanitation, insufficient heating, and inoperable shower facilities.

On March 24, 1975, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Wendell Garrity) held that the unsanitary conditions at the jail subjected the plaintiffs to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of their constitutional rights and remanded the case to the special master for consideration of remedial proposals. Bel v. Hall, 392 F.Supp. 274 (D.Mass. 1975). We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.

Kristen Sagar - 07/29/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
General
Bathing and hygiene
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
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 Inmates alleging that confinement in a unit of a state correctional institution was unconstitutional under the Eight Amendment
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Order Duration 1975 - n/a
Filing Year 1973
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum and Order Adopting Master's Report (392 F.Supp. 274) (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/24/1975
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Garrity, Wendell Arthur Jr. (D. Mass.)
PC-MA-0011-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Pool, James M. (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0011-0002
Defendant's Lawyers LaCroix, Dennis (Massachusetts)
PC-MA-0011-0002

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