Plaintiff and "intervenors," inmates at Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, were subject to G.L.c. 22E Sec. 3 which required persons convicted of certain crimes to submit samples of their deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA"). Plaintiff and the intervenors sued in state court seeking, inter alia, a ...
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Plaintiff and "intervenors," inmates at Souza Baranowski Correctional Center, were subject to G.L.c. 22E Sec. 3 which required persons convicted of certain crimes to submit samples of their deoxyribonucleic acid ("DNA"). Plaintiff and the intervenors sued in state court seeking, inter alia, a declaration that 103 C.M.R. Sec. 405.18 and the DNA Assessment Procedures promulgated by the defendant Department of Correction relating to the determination of indigence and assessment of costs of collecting and processing DNA samples were invalid. The plaintiff and the intervenors claimed that they were indigent and that the Department of Correction froze their personal accounts and confiscated funds to pay DNA costs.
The issue had been previously litigated; in two prior decisions, Massachusetts Superior Court judges had held that the Department of Correction's reliance on 405.18(2) and its DNA Assessment Procedures in determining indigence for purposes of assessing DNA costs violates G.L.c. 22E, Sec. 4(b). Therefore, the court ordered immediate trial on the merits.
After trial, the Superior Court of Massachusetts (Judge Kottmyer) entered an Order for Judgment on April 9, 2001. The court held that to the extent that it purports to authorize the Commissioner to define indigence for purposes of assessment of DNA costs and to deduct DNA costs from inmate accounts without consent, 103 C.M.R. Sec. 405.18 was beyond the authority of the Department of Correction. The court also held that the Department of Correction's DNA Assessment Procedures were similarly flawed. The Department of Correction was enjoined, as of April 6, 2001, from deducting DNA costs from wages earned by inmates or from any inmate account without consent. The Department of Correction was thus ordered to reimburse each of the intervenors $110, the amount which had been confiscated from their funds to pay DNA costs. Welsh v. Department of Correction et al., 2001 WL 717094 (Mass. Super. April 9, 2001)
There is no docket available for this case, and there are no available documents other than the April 9, 2001 Order for Judgment discussed above, which also contained Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law. Thus, there is no indication of any subsequent activity in the case. Theresa Spaulding - 07/19/2005