Tuesday, October 09, 2018

No Immunity For Order That Kept Plaintiff Away From Her Church

In Krupien v. Ritcey, (MA App., Sept. 26, 2018), a Massachusetts appellate court held that officials of the state-run Chelsea Soldiers' Home do not have qualified immunity in a suit against them under the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act alleging free exercise infringement.  The multi-building campus on which the Home was located included a chapel open to the public.  The lawsuit grew out of a stay-away directive issued during the investigation of a complaint that Teresa Krupien injured her co-worker's wrist while transferring a patient from a bed to a wheelchair. Until modified, the order to keep off the campus prohibited Krupien from attending her church for 37 days, including Christmas. the court concluded that reasonable officials would have known that the order was not narrowly tailored.