Posts tagged "1114215"

Dexter v. Superintendent, Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Concord (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-142-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   13-P-1844                                       Appeals Court   MICHAEL DEXTER  vs.  SUPERINTENDENT, MASSACHUSETTS CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, CONCORD. No. 13-P-1844. Middlesex.     March 9, 2015. – September 11, 2015.   Present:  Green, Trainor, & Carhart, JJ. Imprisonment, Enforcement of discipline.  Administrative Law, Regulations.  Regulation.   Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 10, 2012.   The case was heard by Peter B. Krupp, J., on motions to dismiss and for summary judgment, and a motion to reconsider or, in the alternative, to alter or amend the judgment was considered by him.     Joan T. Kennedy for the defendant.      TRAINOR, J.  The plaintiff, Michael Dexter, was a pretrial detainee in custody at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Concord (MCI-Concord) for at least part of 2012.[1]  The plaintiff filed a complaint seeking a declaration concerning the property that pretrial detainees are allowed to possess at MCI-Concord.  The defendant filed a motion to dismiss and the plaintiff filed a motion for summary judgment.  A Superior Court judge denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss and granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, entering a declaratory judgment stating:  “103 C.M.R. 403, et seq., shall apply to inmates awaiting trial at MCI-Concord and no such inmate awaiting trial shall be considered a ‘transient inmate’ within the definition of that phrase in 103 C.M.R. 403.06.”  The defendant filed a motion to reconsider, or in the alternative, to alter or amend the judgment, which was denied.  This appeal followed. On appeal we are asked to determine the proper interpretation and application of the inmate property regulation as it applies to pretrial detainees.[2] Prison administrators are permitted “considerable discretion in the adoption and implementation of prison policies.”  Royce v. Commissioner of Correction, 390 Mass. 425, 427 (1983).  “However, the limits of such discretion are established by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Correction.  Once an agency has seen fit to promulgate regulations, it must comply with those regulations.  [A]gency regulations have the force of law.”  Ibid. (citations omitted).  Here, the Department of Correction is bound by its “inmate property” regulation, as promulgated in 103 Code Mass. Regs. §§ 403.00 (2001) (the regulation). The “Applicability” section of the regulation states that it is applicable to “all inmates, whether sentenced or awaiting trial, incarcerated at state correctional institutions.”  103 Code Mass. Regs. § 403.04 (2001) (emphasis supplied).  Section 403.04 makes it clear that […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 12, 2015 at 8:58 am

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