Case: Torres v. DuBois

94-00270 | Massachusetts state trial court

Filed Date: Jan. 18, 1994

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On January 18, 1994 prisoners of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, Massachusetts, who had been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit (DDU) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the Superior Court of Massachusetts challenging the conditions of their confinement. They were represented by the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Their complaint alleged violations of the Massachusetts' and United States' Constitutions and of Massachusetts law an…

On January 18, 1994 prisoners of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, Massachusetts, who had been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit (DDU) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the Superior Court of Massachusetts challenging the conditions of their confinement. They were represented by the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Their complaint alleged violations of the Massachusetts' and United States' Constitutions and of Massachusetts law and regulations for the following: unlawful conditions of confinement, inadequate medical and psychiatric care, unlawful use of excessive force, inadequate food, denial of access to the courts, and unlawful hearings for prisoners confined to the department disciplinary unit. The Superior Court Department, Suffolk County (Judge Peter M. Lauriat), granted summary judgment to defendants on eight of the thirteen counts. (No decision is available). Accordingly, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The Court (Judge Joan E. Lynch) held that: (1) conditions in DDU did not pose substantial risk of serious harm to inmates, and thus did not violate the Eighth Amendment or the Massachusetts Constitution; (2) placement in DDU was not confinement in "isolation unit," and thus, was not subject to statutory 15-day limit; (3) inmates received procedural due process rights implicated by placement in DDU; and (4) statute requiring officials to treat inmates with kindness merited by inmate behavior was inapplicable. Victor Torres v. DuBois, 695 N.E.2d 200 (1998).

No further information is available about this case.

Summary Authors

Rebecca Bloch (4/12/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Lynch, Sandra Lea (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gill, Laurie S. (Massachusetts)

Laferrera, Joseph J. (Massachusetts)

Lewis, Scott P. (Massachusetts)

Reinstein, John (Massachusetts)

Zipin, Janet M. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bean, Thomas O. (Massachusetts)

Judge(s)

Lynch, Sandra Lea (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gill, Laurie S. (Massachusetts)

Laferrera, Joseph J. (Massachusetts)

Lewis, Scott P. (Massachusetts)

Reinstein, John (Massachusetts)

Zipin, Janet M. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bean, Thomas O. (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

94-00270

Complaint

Jan. 18, 1994

Jan. 18, 1994

Complaint

94-00270

Opinion

Torres v. Commissioner of Correction

Massachusetts state supreme court

June 5, 1998

June 5, 1998

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Aug. 24, 2022, 3:04 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 18, 1994

Case Ongoing: Unknown

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners of the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, Massachusetts, who had been placed in a Department Disciplinary Unit (DDU)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

MCI-Cedar Junction (Walpole , Norfolk), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Assault/abuse by staff

Disciplinary procedures

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run