Posts tagged "1016616"

Cantell, et al. v. Commissioner of Correction, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-166-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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;   SJC-12015   ROBERT CANTELL & others[1]  vs.  COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION & others.[2]       Suffolk.     March 10, 2016. – October 21, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.[3]     Commissioner of Correction.  Administrative Law, Regulations.  Imprisonment, Segregated confinement.  Due Process of Law, Prison classification proceedings, Prison regulation.  Moot Question.  Practice, Civil, Moot case, Dismissal of appeal, Class action.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 20, 2012.   Motions to dismiss and for class certification were heard by Elizabeth M. Fahey, J.   After review by the Appeals Court, the Supreme Judicial Court granted leave to obtain further appellate review.     Bonita Tenneriello for the plaintiffs. Sheryl F. Grant for the defendants. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Amy Fettig & Jamelia N. Morgan, of the District of Columbia, Phillip Kassell, Matthew R. Segal, & Jessie J. Rossman for American Civil Liberties Union & others. Ruth A. Bourquin, Deborah Harris, Margaret E. Monsell, & Jamie A. Sabino for Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & others. Adam Sanders, pro se.     BOTSFORD, J.  The named plaintiffs in this putative class action are inmates serving criminal sentences in various Massachusetts prison facilities.  For varying lengths of time, each of them has been placed in a “special management unit” (SMU) in nondisciplinary administrative segregation.  In January, 2012, the plaintiffs commenced this action against the Commissioner of Correction (commissioner) and the superintendents of the correctional institutions in which the plaintiffs were housed (collectively, defendants).  The plaintiffs allege that their placements in the SMUs, essentially in conditions of solitary confinement, violate their State and Federal constitutional rights to due process as well as regulations of the Department of Correction (department), and they seek to represent a class of similarly situated prisoners confined in SMUs.  In early 2013, following the release of this court’s decision in LaChance v. Commissioner of Correction, 463 Mass. 767 (2012) (LaChance I), a judge in the Superior Court denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and allowed the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ amended complaint. The plaintiffs appealed to the Appeals Court.[4]  A divided panel of that court dismissed the appeal as moot because by then it was undisputed that no named plaintiffs remained in SMUs.  Cantell v. Commissioner of Correction, 87 Mass. App. Ct. 629 […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 21, 2016 at 4:57 pm

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