Case: United States v. Springfield Police Department

3:22-cv-30043 | U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Filed Date: April 13, 2022

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

(This summary is temporary, while we research the case.) After four years of investigation, on April 13, 2022 the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ), entered into a consent decree with the police department of the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. DOJ had begun their investigation of the Springfield Police Department's (SPD) Narcotic's Bureau, a small plainclothes unit known for violence against civilians, on April 13, 2022. On July 8, 2020, the DOJ published the findings…

(This summary is temporary, while we research the case.)

After four years of investigation, on April 13, 2022 the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ), entered into a consent decree with the police department of the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. DOJ had begun their investigation of the Springfield Police Department's (SPD) Narcotic's Bureau, a small plainclothes unit known for violence against civilians, on April 13, 2022. On July 8, 2020, the DOJ published the findings of their investigation. The report stated that there was reasonable cause to believe that the Narcotics Bureau had engaged in a pattern or practice of excessive force. After an additional two years of negotiation and a change of administrations, DOJ filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to allow it to enter into a consent decree with the SPD. The agreement included provisions on use of force, accountability, oversight, training, supervision, and body worn cameras. Its term was open ended - the parties could move for termination once SPD achieved substantial compliance with its terms for two years.

Summary Authors

Richa Bijlani (6/21/2022)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63232410/parties/united-states-v-springfield-police-department/

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Justice Department Announces Findings of Investigation into Narcotics Bureau of Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department

No Court

July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

Press Release

Findings of Investigation into Narcotics Bureau of Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department

Investigation of the Springfield, Massachusetts Police Department’s Narcotics Bureau

No Court

July 8, 2020

July 8, 2020

Findings Letter/Report

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with City of Springfield to Reform Police Department’s Unconstitutional Practices

No Court

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Press Release

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke Announces Consent Decree with City of Springfield, Massachusetts

No Court

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Press Release
1

3:22-cv-30043

Complaint

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Complaint
2-1

3:22-cv-30043

Settlement Agreement

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63232410/united-states-v-springfield-police-department/

Last updated June 20, 2022, 10:36 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants (Fee Status: US Government), filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Leung, Michelle) (Entered: 04/13/2022)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on RECAP

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Clearinghouse
2

Joint MOTION to Approve Consent Judgment by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Settlement Agreement, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Order)(Leung, Michelle) (Entered: 04/13/2022)

1

View on Clearinghouse

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Clearinghouse
3

Joint MEMORANDUM in Support re 2 Joint MOTION to Approve Consent Judgment filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Leung, Michelle) (Entered: 04/13/2022)

April 13, 2022

April 13, 2022

Clearinghouse
4

NOTICE of Case Assignment. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson assigned to case. Plaintiff's counsel, or defendant's counsel if this case was initiated by the filing of a Notice of Removal, are directed to the Notice and Procedures regarding Consent to Proceed before the Magistrate Judge which can be downloaded here. These documents will be mailed to counsel not receiving notice electronically. Pursuant to General Order 09-3, until the Court receives for filing either a consent to the Magistrate Judge's jurisdiction or the reassignment of the case to a District Judge, the initial assignment of a civil case to the Magistrate Judge is a referral to the Magistrate Judge under 28 USC 636(b) for all pretrial non-dispositive matters and Report and Recommendations, but not for the Rule 16(b) scheduling conference. (Finn, Mary) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
5

Summons Issued as to City of Springfield, Springfield Police Department. Counsel receiving this notice electronically should download this summons, complete one for each defendant and serve it in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and LR 4.1. Summons will be mailed to plaintiff(s) not receiving notice electronically for completion of service.. (Finn, Mary) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
6

NOTICE re 1 Complaint ELECTRONIC NOTICE TO COUNSEL: Counsel shall complete and file in PDF format a Local Category Form. The form can be found on the court's website under Resources/Forms. Counsel will use the event under Other Documents- Civil Cover Sheet & Category Sheet. (Finn, Mary) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
7

Civil Cover Sheet & Category Sheet re 1 Complaint by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (Leung, Michelle) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Torey B. Cummings on behalf of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Cummings, Torey) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Jennifer A. Serafyn on behalf of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Serafyn, Jennifer) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER

Notice of Case Assignment to a Magistrate Judge

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER

Notice - Other

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
10

CONSENT by all parties to Jurisdiction by US Magistrate Judge by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.. (Leung, Michelle) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022

PACER
11

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. All Defendants. (Leung, Michelle) (Entered: 04/15/2022)

April 15, 2022

April 15, 2022

PACER
12

NOTICE of Appearance by Lisa C. deSousa on behalf of City of Springfield, Springfield Police Department (deSousa, Lisa) (Entered: 04/20/2022)

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

PACER
13

Notice of Appearance

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

PACER
14

Notice of Appearance

April 22, 2022

April 22, 2022

PACER

Order on Motion to Approve Consent Judgment

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

PACER
16

Order

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

RECAP

Notice of Hearing

May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022

PACER
18

Notice of Appearance

May 4, 2022

May 4, 2022

PACER
19

Joint statement of counsel

June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

PACER
20

Notice of Appearance

June 6, 2022

June 6, 2022

PACER

Status Conference

June 8, 2022

June 8, 2022

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 13, 2022

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Police Department (Springfield, Hampden), City

City of Springfield (Springfield, Hampden), City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2022 - None

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitoring

Reporting

Training

Issues

General:

Aggressive behavior

Excessive force

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Incident/accident reporting & investigations