Case: Cepulonis v. Fair

1:78-03233 | U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Filed Date: Dec. 15, 1978

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Case Summary

This class action was brought by inmates of the Departmental Segregation Unit of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Walpole against officials of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, claiming that defendants had defaulted in their constitutional obligation to assist them in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing an adequate law library or adequate legal assistance from persons trained in the law. The plaintiffs were represented by private counsel. I…

This class action was brought by inmates of the Departmental Segregation Unit of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Walpole against officials of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, claiming that defendants had defaulted in their constitutional obligation to assist them in the preparation and filing of meaningful legal papers by providing an adequate law library or adequate legal assistance from persons trained in the law. The plaintiffs were represented by private counsel.

In a decision dated May 9, 1983, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Judge Rya Zobel) found for the plaintiffs. Cepulonis v. Fair, 563 F.Supp. 659 (D. Mass. 1983). Defendants appealed from that finding and from the court's remedial order directing the establishment of a satellite law library holding certain volumes, and the provision of assistance by second and third year law students for five hours a week.

The United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit (Judge Levin H. Campbell), affirmed in part and vacated and remanded in part, holding: the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering that a satellite library be established, in view of the fact that prison officials themselves had suggested the creation of such facility; the district court did not abuse its discretion in its determination of which volumes were to be placed in the library; and that the district court erred in ordering prison officials to provide, in addition to the library, assistance by law students worker under a lawyer's supervision. Cepulonis v. Fair, 732 F.2d 1 (1st Cir. 1984).

There is no docket available for this case.

Summary Authors

Theresa Spaulding (7/16/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Bownes, Hugh Henry (New Hampshire)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Maletz, Herbert Naaman (Maryland)

Zobel, Rya Weickert (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Durrell, Suzanne E. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)

Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)

Renehan, Richard W. (Massachusetts)

Judge(s)

Bownes, Hugh Henry (New Hampshire)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Maletz, Herbert Naaman (Maryland)

Zobel, Rya Weickert (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Durrell, Suzanne E. (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)

Gray, Alexander G. Jr. (Massachusetts)

Renehan, Richard W. (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Order

563 F.Supp. 659, 1983 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 17091

May 9, 1983 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

732 F.2d 1, 1984 U.S.App.LEXIS 24050

March 29, 1984 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 15, 1978

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates of the Departmental Segregation Unit of the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Walpole

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Departmental Segregation Unit of Mass. Correctional Institution (Walpole ), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Procedural Due Process

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1983 - None

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Law library access

Type of Facility:

Government-run