Harbor Schools, Inc. v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Suffolk Superior Court; U.S. District Court, D. Mass.
Harbor Schools operated a residential program for adolescents who had amongst their difficulties, histories of non-violent inappropriate sexual behaviors. Treating such youngsters is highly specialized and can work, with much higher success rates than treatment for older, violent sexual predators. The school`s plan for a modest expansion was opposed by a group of neighbors (including some who moved in many years after Harbor School`s program was established, and who were unaware of its existence). Faced with the likelihood of losing a legal battle, the town`s state representative persuaded the Massachusetts legislature to pass a law prohibiting any state agency from using state funds to contract with Harbor Schools for its expansion. Harbor Schools retained Attorney Margolin to sue the Commonwealth. Concurrent actions raising state and federal law issues, were filed in federal and state court. Superior Court Judge Nonnie Burnes declared the statute unlawful and enjoined its implementation. The Commonwealth did not appeal and Harbor School’s expansion proceeded as planned.