Case: Brewster v. Dukakis

3:76-cv-04423 | U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Filed Date: Dec. 15, 1976

Closed Date: 1992

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 15, 1976, residents of the Northampton State Hospital in Massachusetts filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of Massachusetts in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had violated their constitutional rights by failing to provide them with suitable treatment under the least restrictive conditions, by discriminating against them with respect to benefit allocation pursuant to federal statu…

On December 15, 1976, residents of the Northampton State Hospital in Massachusetts filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of Massachusetts in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had violated their constitutional rights by failing to provide them with suitable treatment under the least restrictive conditions, by discriminating against them with respect to benefit allocation pursuant to federal statutory programs, failing to provide alternative housing arrangements, failing to provide adequate mental health care, and failing to provide programming for them.

On January 6, 1978, the parties entered into a Consent Decree in the case. The Decree provided for changes in the areas of programming, staffing, transportation, vocational training, job placement, medical care, counseling, provision of alternative care environments and housing arrangements, funding, and mental health care requirements.

On March 19, 1981, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Frank Harlan Freedman) found that the defendants had failed to comply with the terms of the Consent Decree by failing to release funding for the programs specified by the Decree in a timely manner. The Court ordered the defendants to release the funds and to account for all expenditures. The defendants appealed.

On August 19, 1981, the District Court (Judge Freedman) held that the plan proposed by the defendants for retraining all hospital and community employees was inadequate. The Court then ordered the state to develop a plan for a system of independently and legally trained advocates, all of whom would be paid by the state and capable of representing clients in connection with legal issues arising from their disability or status of prior or concurrent institutionalization. Brewster v. Dukakis, 520 F.Supp. 882 (D.Mass. 1981). The defendants appealed.

On November 16, 1981, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Judges Levin Hicks Campbell, Hugh Henry Bownes, and Stephen Gerald Breyer) issues a temporary injunction to stay the District Court's order that the defendants must immediately release funding pursuant to the consent decree. On December 23, 1981, the District Court (Judge Freeman) issued an order compelling defendants to implement certain provisions of the Consent Decree and extending the time that the defendants had to obtain funding. The defendants appealed.

On March 24, 1982, the First Circuit (Judge Frank Morey Coffin) upheld the District Court's order with the modification that the defendants could not be required to go beyond what their good-faith professional best efforts could reasonably be expected to accomplish. Brewster v. Dukakis, 675 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1982).

On June 28, 1982, the First Circuit (Judge Breyer) vacated the District Court's order regarding the provision of a legal services program, holding that the District Court had no legal authority to require the Commonwealth to pay for a broad legal services program for people who are mentally ill or have an intellectual disability. Brewster v. Dukakis, 687 F.2d 495 (1st Cir. 1982).

On July 16, 1982, the District Court (Judge Freedman) ordered the defendants to pay $386,204.01 in attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs. Brewster v. Dukakis, 544 F.Supp. 1069 (D.Mass. 1982). The defendants appealed. On March 14, 1986, the First Circuit (Judge Coffin) affirmed the District Court's attorney fee award, with a $5000 reduction of the fee. Brewster v. Dukakis, 786 F.2d 16 (1st Cir. 1986).

On March 12, 1987, the District Court (Judge Freedman) issued an order of disengagement, finding that the parties had substantially complied with the Consent Decree and holding that the case would be closed within three years if the Court found that the Decree had been fully accomplished within that time period.

On January 6, 1992, the District Court vacated the Consent Decree and dismissed the case.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (1/3/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Aldrich, Bailey (Massachusetts)

Boudin, Michael (Massachusetts)

Bownes, Hugh Henry (New Hampshire)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Coffin, Frank Morey (Maine)

Freedman, Frank Harlan (Massachusetts)

Pettine, Raymond James (Rhode Island)

Selya, Bruce Marshall (Rhode Island)

Torruella, Juan R. (Puerto Rico)

Judge(s)

Aldrich, Bailey (Massachusetts)

Boudin, Michael (Massachusetts)

Bownes, Hugh Henry (New Hampshire)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Coffin, Frank Morey (Maine)

Freedman, Frank Harlan (Massachusetts)

Pettine, Raymond James (Rhode Island)

Selya, Bruce Marshall (Rhode Island)

Torruella, Juan R. (Puerto Rico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Burnes, Nonnie S. (Massachusetts)

Costanzo, Cathy E. (Massachusetts)

Costello, Jan C. (Massachusetts)

Fleischner, Robert D. (Massachusetts)

Jones, Boisfeuillet Jr. (Massachusetts)

Lesser, Thomas B. (Massachusetts)

Newman, William C. (Massachusetts)

Schwartz, Steven J. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barnico, Thomas A. (Massachusetts)

Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)

Broad, Michael (Massachusetts)

Harshbarger, Scott (Massachusetts)

Mohl, Bruce E. (Massachusetts)

Pardee, William L. (Massachusetts)

Rosenfeld, S. Stephen (Massachusetts)

Valvo, Carl (Massachusetts)

White, Catherine A. (Massachusetts)

Other Attorney(s)

Heins, Marjorie (Massachusetts)

Hennessey, Patricia E. (New York)

Kogan, Terry S. (Massachusetts)

Leibensperger, Edward P. (Massachusetts)

Leubsdorf, John D. (Massachusetts)

Moriearty, Scott C. (Massachusetts)

Ogle, Kurt A. (Massachusetts)

Vance, Verne W. Jr. (Massachusetts)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Bone, Robert G. (Massachusetts)

Ponsor, Michael Adrian (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Brewster v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Oct. 22, 1993 Docket

Third Amended Complaint

July 12, 1977 Complaint

Final Consent Decree

Dec. 6, 1978 Order/Opinion

Findings and Order

March 19, 1981 Order/Opinion

Memorandum

520 F.Supp. 882

Aug. 19, 1981 Order/Opinion

Memorandum and Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

Nov. 16, 1981 Order/Opinion

Memorandum

Dec. 23, 1981 Order/Opinion

Order

Dec. 23, 1981 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

675 F.2d 1

March 24, 1982 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

687 F.2d 495

June 28, 1982 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Brewster v. Dukakis: Developing Community Services Through Use of a Consent Decree

Robert L. Okin

June 1, 1984

The Massachusetts Experience with Funded Deinstitutionalization: A Decade of Promises, Products and Problems Under the Brewster v. Dukakis Consent Decree

Jeffrey Geller, et al.

Jan. 1, 1989

Second-Generation Deinstitutionalization, II: The Impact of Brewster v. Dukakis on Correlates of Community and Hospital Utilization

Jeffrey Geller, et al.

Aug. 1, 1990

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link

Ps' Response in opposition to Ds' Motion to Enlarge Time to Resp. to Ps' motion for attorney's fees. (mef) (Entered: 01/04/1991)

Jan. 2, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order entered ALLOWING Ds' motion to ext. time to resp. to Ps' motion for attorney's fees to 2/01/91. (mef) (Entered: 01/04/1991)

Jan. 4, 1991

Ds' Motion to extend time to 2/08/91 to Resp. to Ps' motion for attorneys' fees. (mef) (Entered: 02/01/1991)

Jan. 31, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] motion to extend time to 2/08/91 to Resp. to Ps' motion for attorneys' fees. (mef) (Entered: 02/01/1991)

Jan. 31, 1991

Ds' Motion to Bar Further Attorney's Fee Awards (fmr) (Entered: 02/11/1991)

Feb. 11, 1991

Ds' Memorandum in opposition to Motion for Attorneys' Fees and in support of Motion to Bar Further Fee Awards (fmr) (Entered: 02/11/1991)

Feb. 11, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] motion to extend time to resp. to Ds' motion to bar fees and for leave to file reply brief to Ds' oppos. to motion for fees. (Both due 3/01/91) (mef) (Entered: 02/20/1991)

Feb. 14, 1991

Ps' Motion to extend time to resp. to Ds' motion to bar fees and for leave to file reply brief to Ds' oppos. to motion for fees (fmr) (Entered: 02/14/1991)

Feb. 14, 1991

Ps' Reply Memorandum in support of their Motion for an Interim Award of Attorney's Fees. (mef) (Entered: 03/04/1991)

March 4, 1991

Ps' Memorandum in opposition to [0-1] Ds' motion to Bar Further Attorney's Fee Awards (mef) (Entered: 03/04/1991)

March 4, 1991

Ps' Motion for status conf. re cuts to community mental health services (fmr) (Entered: 05/07/1991)

May 7, 1991

Ds' Response motion for status conf. re cuts to community mental health (fmr) (Entered: 05/17/1991)

May 17, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Memorandum and Order entered. The Court hereby ORDERS defendants to pay to plaintiffs the sum of $24,915.00 for reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in the case. The Court DENIES defendants' motion to bar attorney fee awards in the future. (mef) (Entered: 06/10/1991)

June 10, 1991

Joint Motion for entry of final judgment for fees to Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman (fmr) Modified on 07/01/1991 (Entered: 07/01/1991)

June 28, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] motion for entry of final judgment for fees (mef) (Entered: 07/01/1991)

June 28, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Final Judgment entered as to Interim Award of Attorney's Fees from 4/01/89 - 10/31/90 by the Court. (mef) (Entered: 07/01/1991)

June 28, 1991

Ds' Notice of Amendment to Inpatient Facilities Plan (fmr) (Entered: 08/30/1991)

Aug. 30, 1991

Ps' Response in opposition to Ds' Amendments to Inpatient Facility Plan (fmr) (Entered: 09/11/1991)

Sept. 11, 1991

Notice of Hearing: Hearing re: Court Disengagement from Consent Decree on 12/17/91 at 10:00 A.M. before Chief Judge Freedman. (mef) (Entered: 11/20/1991)

Nov. 19, 1991

Ds' Notice of Substitute Amendment to Inpatient Facilities Plan. (mef) (Entered: 12/04/1991)

Dec. 4, 1991

Ds' Substitute Amendment to Inpatient Facilities Plan filed. (mef) (Entered: 12/17/1991)

Dec. 4, 1991

Ps' Memorandum in Support of Proposed Orders of Disengagement filed. (mef) (Entered: 12/17/1991)

Dec. 13, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Clerk's Notes: Hearing on final disengagement. Arguments of counsel, court monitor, and statement of the Alliance. The Court takes the matter under advisement. (mef) (Entered: 12/17/1991)

Dec. 17, 1991

Statement of the ALLIANCE filed. (mef) (Entered: 12/17/1991)

Dec. 17, 1991

Case taken under advisement with Chief Judge Freedman. (mef) (Entered: 12/17/1991)

Dec. 17, 1991

Monitor's Report (fmr) (Entered: 12/20/1991)

Dec. 20, 1991

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . Order of Dismissal entered. The Consent Decree entered on December 7, 1978 is VACATED, the Court's active jurisdiction over the case and the mental health system in Western Massachusetts is ENDED, and this action is DISMISSED; and Ordered that notwithstanding the foregoing order, the defendants are enjoined from violating Section III and Paragraph 43 of the Disengagement Order which shall remain in effect. (mef) (Entered: 01/06/1992)

Jan. 6, 1992

Chief Judge Frank H. Freedman . JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL entered pursuant to the Order of the Court entered this date. (mef) (Entered: 01/06/1992)

Jan. 6, 1992

Case closed (mef) (Entered: 01/06/1992)

Jan. 6, 1992

Joint Motion to ext. time to 3/01/92 to file P's req. for attorney's fees. to Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman (mef) (Entered: 01/17/1992)

Jan. 17, 1992

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1]. P's req. for attorney's fees due by 3/01/92. (mef) (Entered: 01/17/1992)

Jan. 17, 1992

Joint motion to ext. time to 4/10/92 for the Pltfs. to file Req. for Attorney's Fees. (mef) (Entered: 03/02/1992)

March 2, 1992

Transcript dated 2/24/92 of hearing re: Disengagement held before Senior Judge Freedman on 12/17/91 filed. (mef) (Entered: 03/02/1992)

March 2, 1992

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] joint motion to ext. time to 4/10/92 for the Pltfs. to file Req. for Attorney's Fees. (mef) (Entered: 03/03/1992)

March 3, 1992

Ps' Motion for attorney fees for the period from 11/01/90 to 4/10/92. (mef) (Entered: 04/07/1992)

April 7, 1992

Ps' Memorandum in support of [0-1] motion for attorney fees for the period from 11/01/90 to 4/10/92. (mef) (Entered: 04/07/1992)

April 7, 1992

Ds' Motion to ext. to 5/15/92 to resp. to Ps' motion for attorney's fees. (mef) (Entered: 04/20/1992)

April 20, 1992

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] motion. D's resp. to motion reset to 5/15/92 for [0-1] motion for attorney fees. (mef) (Entered: 04/21/1992)

April 21, 1992

Ds' Motion to Bar Further Attorneys' Fee Awards. (mef) (Entered: 05/18/1992)

May 18, 1992

Ds' Memorandum in opposition to [0-1] motion for attorney fees and in support of its motion to bar further fee award. (mef) (Entered: 05/18/1992)

May 18, 1992

Ps' Suppl. Motion for attorneys' fee award. (mef) (Entered: 05/27/1992)

May 27, 1992

Ps' Memorandum in support of [0-1] suppl. motion for attorneys' fee award. (mef) (Entered: 05/27/1992)

May 27, 1992

Ps' response in opposition to [0-1] motion to Bar Further Attorneys' Fee Awards. (mef) (Entered: 05/27/1992)

May 27, 1992

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman. Order entered. The Court GRANTS Ps' motion for attorney's fees, and ORDERS Defts. to pay Pltfs. the sum of $12,766.00 for reasonable fees incurred in the case. The Court also GRANTS Ds' motion to bar attorney's fee award from this date forward. (mef) (Entered: 11/18/1992)

Nov. 6, 1992

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman. JUDGMENT ON ATTORNEY'S FEES entered. (mef) (Entered: 11/18/1992)

Nov. 6, 1992

Ds' Offer of Judgment (copy) filed. (mef) (Entered: 11/18/1992)

Nov. 18, 1992

Ps' Notice of appeal filed. Filing fee of $105.00 paid. Copy sent to All Counsel. Original docket sheet and pleadings related to attorneys' fees filed between 4/07/92 - 12/01/92 sent to the Appeals Clerk. Appeal record due on 12/31/92. (mef) (Entered: 12/01/1992)

Dec. 1, 1992

Certified copy of docket and record on appeal forwarded to U.S. Court of Appeals: [0-1] appeal (fmr) (Entered: 12/09/1992)

Dec. 4, 1992

Notice of Docketing ROA from USCA Re: [0-1] appeal USCA NUMBER: 92-2399 (fmr) (Entered: 12/09/1992)

Dec. 8, 1992

Ps' Notice of appeal filed. Filing fee of $105.00 not paid. Copy sent to all counsel. Original notice of appeal sent to the Appeals Clerk. (mef) (Entered: 12/23/1992)

Dec. 23, 1992

Certified copy of docket and record on appeal forwarded to U.S. Court of Appeals: [0-1] appeal (fmr) (Entered: 01/04/1993)

Dec. 30, 1992

Notice of Docketing ROA from USCA Re: [0-1] appeal USCA NUMBER: 93-1013 (fmr) (Entered: 01/07/1993)

Jan. 7, 1993

Ps' Motion to extend time to file new notice of appeal to 1/18/93 (fmr) (Entered: 01/15/1993)

Jan. 15, 1993

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] motion to extend time to file new notice of appeal to 1/18/93 (mef) (Entered: 01/15/1993)

Jan. 15, 1993

Filing fee of $105.00 paid for Notice of Appeal filed on 12/23/92. (mef) Modified on 02/22/1993 (Entered: 02/22/1993)

Feb. 22, 1993

USCA appeal fees received $ 105.00 (eaf) (Entered: 02/24/1993)

Feb. 22, 1993

Terminated document(s) terminating [0-1] motion to Bar Further Attorneys' Fee Awards. Requested by jcs. (jcs) (Entered: 03/04/1993)

March 4, 1993

Closed flag. (fmr) (Entered: 10/23/1997)

Sept. 16, 1993

Mandate of USCA Re: entered AFFIRMING in PART and VACATING in PART Order of the District Court. The case is REMANDED for entry of revised fee award for the period of 6/1/92, increasing the amount of attorney's fees from $12,766.00 to $16,524.00. Costs in favor of the Appellee are taxed at nothing ($0.00) appellee filed no itemized bill of costs. (mef) Modified on 10/25/1993 (Entered: 10/22/1993)

Sept. 16, 1993

Joint motion for entry of judgment filed. (mef) (Entered: 10/22/1993)

Oct. 21, 1993

Senior Judge Frank H. Freedman . Endorsed Order granting [0-1] joint motion for entry of judgment. (mef) (Entered: 10/22/1993)

Oct. 22, 1993

(mef) (Entered: 10/22/1993)

Oct. 22, 1993

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 15, 1976

Closing Date: 1992

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Residents of the Northampton State Hospital in Massachusetts

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, State

Department of Mental Health, State

Northampton State Hospital, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1978 - 1992

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Classification / placement

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Education

Funding

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Individualized planning

Payment for care

Reassessment and care planning

Disability:

Least restrictive environment

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Mental health care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run