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Case: Petition of Kaufman

Massachusetts state trial court

Filed Date: 1991

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The Behavioral Research Institute (BRI), now know as the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, is a Massachusetts based residential care facility for children and young adults with severe autism associated with behavioral problems. BRI is known for its use of negative reinforcement also known as aversive treatments, such as electric shock therapies, to disincentives undesirable behavior. As a result of its use of aversive treatments, BRI has been controversial and the subject of several law suits…

The Behavioral Research Institute (BRI), now know as the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, is a Massachusetts based residential care facility for children and young adults with severe autism associated with behavioral problems. BRI is known for its use of negative reinforcement also known as aversive treatments, such as electric shock therapies, to disincentives undesirable behavior. As a result of its use of aversive treatments, BRI has been controversial and the subject of several law suits. This case, along with ID-MA-0002 and ID-MA-0004, are some of the cases brought surrounding various issues related to BRI.

Two wards with disabilities housed at BRI filed a lawsuit in the Probate and Family Court of Bristol County, Massachusetts petitioning the Court for a writ of habeas corpus. The petitioners claimed that they were being unjustly deprived of their liberty without due process of law in violation of state statutes. The petitioners requested that they be placed somewhere other than BRI. The Probate and Family Court denied the petition for habeas corpus and the petitioners appealed.

On December 15, 1992, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts upheld the decision of the Probate and Family court to deny the petitions for habeas corpus. The Court held that the petitions failed because habeas corpus is not a means of requesting alternative placements but rather is to contest unjust restraint on liberty. Since the petitioners were merely requesting an alternative placement and were not contesting their general restraint on liberty or any underlying decisions, the petitions were denied. Petition of Kaufman 413 Mass 1010 (1992).

Summary Authors

Brian Kempfer (9/25/2014)

Related Cases

Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Inc. v. Commissioner of the Department of Mental Retardation, Massachusetts state trial court (1986)

Behavioral Research Institute v. Secretary of Administration, Massachusetts state trial court (1989)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6148834/parties/in-re-sierra-club-inc/


Judge(s)

Abrams, Ruth (Massachusetts)

Greaney, John M. (Massachusetts)

Liacos, Paul J (Massachusetts)

Lynch, Neil L. (Massachusetts)

Nolan, Joseph R. (Massachusetts)

Judge(s)

Abrams, Ruth (Massachusetts)

Greaney, John M. (Massachusetts)

Liacos, Paul J (Massachusetts)

Lynch, Neil L. (Massachusetts)

Nolan, Joseph R. (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

86E-0018-G1

Opinion [Affirming Judgment]

Massachusetts state supreme court

Dec. 15, 1992

Dec. 15, 1992

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6148834/in-re-sierra-club-inc/

Last updated Sept. 9, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
107092427

RESPONSE filed by Petitioner Sierra Club, Inc. to motion to extend time to file response [6054466-3]. Certificate of service dated 12/14/2016. [16-2415] CLERK'S NOTE: Relief selection was incorrect and/or incomplete. Correction made by clerk's office. No further action required. (HMC) [Entered: 12/14/2016 11:23 AM]

Dec. 14, 2016

Dec. 14, 2016

PACER
107093021

ORDER entered: Upon consideration of respondent's motion to extend time and petitioner's response, it is ordered that the time for Respondent to file a response be enlarged to and including January 13, 2017. No further extension of this deadline should be expected. [16-2415] (GRC) [Entered: 12/14/2016 04:58 PM]

Dec. 14, 2016

Dec. 14, 2016

PACER
107097122

MOTION for leave to intervene on behalf of Respondent filed by Movant(s) Public Service Company of New Hampshire. Certificate of service dated 12/23/2016. [16-2415] (SMT) [Entered: 12/23/2016 12:09 PM]

Dec. 23, 2016

Dec. 23, 2016

PACER
107100465

NOTICE issued. The following attorneys have failed to register for an appellate ECF account and will no longer receive notice of court issued documents in this case: Regina McCarthy for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Curt Spalding for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. [16-2415] (CP) [Entered: 01/04/2017 10:30 AM]

Jan. 4, 2017

Jan. 4, 2017

PACER
107103044

ORDER entered by Jeffrey R. Howard, Chief Appellate Judge granting motion for leave to intervene filed by Public Service Company of New Hampshire. Response to the mandamus petition due 01/13/2017 for Public Service Company of New Hampshire. [16-2415] (CP) [Entered: 01/11/2017 10:31 AM]

Jan. 11, 2017

Jan. 11, 2017

PACER
107104241

ANSWER filed by Respondent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to original proceeding docketed [6050046-2]. Certificate of service dated 01/12/2017. [16-2415] (HEG) [Entered: 01/12/2017 11:13 PM]

Jan. 12, 2017

Jan. 12, 2017

PACER
107105672

RESPONSE filed by Intervenor Public Service Company of New Hampshire to original proceeding docketed [6050046-2]. Certificate of service dated 01/13/2017. [16-2415] (SMT) [Entered: 01/13/2017 05:15 PM]

Jan. 13, 2017

Jan. 13, 2017

PACER
107110517

REPLY filed by Petitioner Sierra Club, Inc. to response [6062318-2], answer [6061546-2]. Certificate of service dated 01/26/2017. [16-2415] (HMC) [Entered: 01/26/2017 02:09 PM]

Jan. 26, 2017

Jan. 26, 2017

PACER
107143821

JUDGMENT entered by Jeffrey R. Howard, Chief Appellate Judge; Sandra L. Lynch, Appellate Judge and Rogeriee Thompson, Appellate Judge. Denied [16-2415] (CP) [Entered: 04/19/2017 03:01 PM]

April 19, 2017

April 19, 2017

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Intellectual Disability (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1991

Closing Date: Dec. 15, 1992

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Two students with severe autism and mental impairments who are residents at a residential school

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Judge Rotenberg Educational Center, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Confession of Judgment

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Confinement/isolation

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Education

Juveniles

Placement in mental health facilities

Restraints : physical

Special education

Youth / Adult separation

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Autism

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Mental Illness, Unspecified

Type of Facility:

Non-government for-profit