Case: King v. Greenblatt

1:72-cv-00788 | U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Filed Date: March 6, 1972

Closed Date: June 21, 1999

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1972, Michael G. King, Jr. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against state officials concerning conditions at the Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons in Bridgewater. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys. This lawsuit was litigated with Williams v. Lesiak. (MH-MA-0003) The lawsuit settled in 1974 and the district court (Judge Charles Edward Wyzanski, Jr.) entered two consent decrees. The decrees placed primary au…

In 1972, Michael G. King, Jr. filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against state officials concerning conditions at the Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons in Bridgewater. The plaintiffs were represented by private attorneys. This lawsuit was litigated with Williams v. Lesiak. (MH-MA-0003) The lawsuit settled in 1974 and the district court (Judge Charles Edward Wyzanski, Jr.) entered two consent decrees.

The decrees placed primary authority of the center with the Department of Mental Health, which was to exercise that authority so that residents were subject to the least restrictive environment. The decrees prohibited defendants from using solitary confinement for purposes of punishment or discipline and provided other constitutional guidelines. In December of 1981, the plaintiffs sued, seeking enforcement of the consent decrees. After an appeal and remand, the district court entered judgment for the defendants and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (District Judge Ronald Lagueux, sitting by designation) affirmed, finding that there had been no due process violation. Pearson v. Fair, 935 F.2d 401 (1st Cir. 1999).

In 1992, the district court appointed a Special Master to advice the court regarding the continued viability of the consent decrees. Individuals challenged this order and asked for a mandamus asserting that the district court lacked the jurisdiction to appoint a master. The First Circuit (Judge Bruce Selya) denied this request. In re Pearson, 990 F.2d 653 (1st Cir. 1993).

Judge John J. McNaught officially consolidated the Williams and King cases in 1994 and appointed counsel for a class of 48 incarcerated individuals who alleged constitutional violations in the facility. As a result of state legislation, control of the center was transferred to the state Department of Corrections. The Department of Corrections presented the court with a proposed plan for administering the facility and in 1995, Judge McNaught directed the parties to reach a consensus on the rules and regulations that would govern the facility. That did not occur.

On October 31, 1996, Judge A. David Mazzone granted Massachusetts's motion to modify the decrees but denied a motion to vacate the previous decrees. On June 21, 1999, Judge Mazzone granted the motion to vacate the consent decrees, because the court found that the conditions at the center that had been the basis of the consent decrees had been remediated, and the court also found that the Department of Corrections had demonstrated the intent and ability to operate the facility in a manner consistent with the rights of plaintiff patients and the goals of the treatment. King v. Greenblatt, 53 F. Supp. 2d 117 (D. Mass. 1999). Judge Mazzone ordered the case closed on that date.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (5/30/2007)

Related Cases

Williams v. Lesiak, District of Massachusetts (1972)

Pearson v. Fair, District of Massachusetts (1981)

People


Judge(s)

Aldrich, Bailey (Massachusetts)

Bownes, Hugh Henry (New Hampshire)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Coffin, Frank Morey (Maine)

Lagueux, Ronald Rene (Rhode Island)

Lay, Donald Pomery (Minnesota)

Mazzone, A. David (Massachusetts)

Selya, Bruce Marshall (Rhode Island)

Stahl, Norman H. (Massachusetts)

Judge(s)

Aldrich, Bailey (Massachusetts)

Bownes, Hugh Henry (New Hampshire)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Coffin, Frank Morey (Maine)

Lagueux, Ronald Rene (Rhode Island)

Lay, Donald Pomery (Minnesota)

Mazzone, A. David (Massachusetts)

Selya, Bruce Marshall (Rhode Island)

Stahl, Norman H. (Massachusetts)

Torruella, Juan R. (Puerto Rico)

Wyzanski, Charles Edward Jr. (Massachusetts)

Zobel, Rya Weickert (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Donelan, Charles (Massachusetts)

Follett, Jeffrey S. (Massachusetts)

Geiger, David R. (Massachusetts)

Halpern, Joseph D. (Massachusetts)

Handler, Jonathan I. (Massachusetts)

Henn, John H. (Massachusetts)

Keefe, Robert Dennis (Massachusetts)

Moskowitz, Joan (Massachusetts)

Reed, Sarah B. (Massachusetts)

Reilly, Stephen C. (Massachusetts)

Russell, Peter F. (Massachusetts)

Scibelli, Anthony A. (Massachusetts)

Whitham, Michele A. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)

Brown, Douglas S. (Massachusetts)

Davis, Scott M. (Massachusetts)

Delinsky, Stephen R. (Massachusetts)

DeWolfe, Ronald (Massachusetts)

Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)

Harshbarger, Scott (Massachusetts)

Pardee, William L. (Massachusetts)

Parker, Kathleen King (Massachusetts)

Ross, Abbe L. (Massachusetts)

Schultz, Stephen (Massachusetts)

Shannon, James M. (Massachusetts)

Smith, Barbara Healy (Massachusetts)

Sorokin, Leo Theodore (Massachusetts)

Yogman, Judith (Massachusetts)

Other Attorney(s)

Eisenberg, Beth (Massachusetts)

Hitt, John R. (Massachusetts)

Pingeon, James R. (Massachusetts)

Wechsler, Peter T. (Massachusetts)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Gleason, Herbert P. (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (Pacer)

Aug. 20, 2004 Docket

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

560 F.2d 1024

Aug. 15, 1977 Order/Opinion

[Untitled]

Greenblatt v. King

Supreme Court of the United States

438 U.S. 916, 98 S.Ct. 3146, 57 L.Ed.2d 1161

July 3, 1978 Order/Opinion

Opinion

489 F.Supp. 105

April 23, 1980 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

Pearson v. Fair

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

808 F.2d 163

Dec. 31, 1986 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

Pearson v. Fair

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

935 F.2d 401

June 3, 1991 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

Pearson v. Fair

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

980 F.2d 37

Nov. 24, 1992 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

In re Pearson

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

990 F.2d 653

March 16, 1993 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

52 F.3d 1

April 6, 1995 Order/Opinion

[Untitled]

Supreme Court of the United States

516 U.S. 863, 116 S.Ct. 175, 133 L.Ed.2d 115

Oct. 2, 1995 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Caged Canary

Elizabeth Alexander

The United States has experienced an explosion in the number of people in prison, an explosion that cannot be attributed to changes in the crime rate, but rather reflects changes in public policy, pa… Dec. 1, 2008 http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/...

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 6, 1972

Closing Date: June 21, 1999

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Residents/Inmates at the Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Massachusetts (Bridgewater, Plymouth), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

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: 1974 - 1999

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Disability:

Least restrictive environment

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medical care, unspecified

Mental health care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run