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11-cv-12063

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Case Summary: Danilo Lopes v. John Beland, et al, 11-cv-12063 (D. Mass.)

Plaintiff Danilo Lopes, an inmate in the custody of the Massachusetts state prison system, brought this action against Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) officials, MHM Services Inc. (a mental health services provider), and its employees. Plaintiff alleges violation of his federal and state constitutional rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Between 2005 and 2009, Plaintiff was incarcerated in a state prison facility that places each inmate in a single cell. Beginning in 2009, Plaintiff was transferred between various state facilities where DOC officials attempted to place him with a cellmate. Plaintiff refused multiple times, attempting suicide at one facility, and was punished through disciplinary actions. During this process, Plaintiff filed one grievance with DOC officials and one grievance with MHM. DOC officials denied the grievance, which Plaintiff did not appeal, and MHM recommended Plaintiff not be housed separately due to his attempted suicide.

Named defendants from DOC and MHM filed a Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment respectively. Each argued that Plaintiff had not exhausted his administrative remedies prior to filing, so the Prison Litigation Reform Act bars this action. The court agreed to treat DOC’s motion as a Motion for Summary Judgment under federal civil rule 12(d) to allow presentation of matters outside the pleadings pertinent to Plaintiff’s use of administrative remedies. Plaintiff argued that there is a genuine issue of material fact over whether grievances filed constituted exhaustion of available administrative remedies.

This video shows the January 22, 2014 hearing on the defendants’ motions.

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Case Highlights

  • Complaint filed 11/17/2011 (Doc #1)
  • Motion to Dismiss filed by defendants 11/30/2012 (Doc #79)
  • Motion for Summary Judgment filed by defendants 06/17/2013 (Doc #92)
  • Hearing held on motions 1/22/2014 (Doc #109)

 

Case-related documents, including those referenced above, are available via the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service. For more information, visit Pacer.gov.