Refunds

The class-action suit is seeking the following refunds incurred as a result of illegal speed limit signs in Massachusetts:

The Supreme Judicial Court has authorized the recovery of compensatory damages for losses precipitated by an ultra vires violation.  In Souza v. Bristol County Sheriff, the Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the Superior Court judgment declaring certain fees on inmates unlawful (ultra vires) and ordering the sheriff, “in his official capacity, to reimburse the plaintiffs in various specified amounts, together with interest and costs.”

When faced with a finding of fraud on the court, “[t]he judge has broad discretion to fashion a judicial response warranted by the fraudulent conduct.”  Commissioner of Probation v. Adams, quoting Rockdale Mgmt. v. Shawmut Bank.  Thus, this Court may start with exercising its equitable powers to vacate judgments against motorists, and the remedy can address punishment, restitution, and deterrence.  Rules Practice § 60.09, at 384.

The Supreme Court has authorized the recovery of proven compensatory damages for losses precipitated by a constitutional violation.  Carey v. Piphus.  As a general rule, “[w]e employ common law tort causation principles when conducting inquiries into causation under § 1983.”  Drumgold v. Callahan, and cases cited (§ 1983 plaintiff must show by a preponderance of evidence that he would not have been convicted but for the withholding of evidence).

The facts here clearly demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that the Selectmen’s deceptive acts caused motorists harm.  Because the fabricated prima facie evidence was allowed to be introduced against them at trial – it was instrumental in their being found responsible for Speeding in violation of a phony speed limit signs.  See Whitlock v. Bruegmann (exhaustive causation analysis of “fabrication of evidence” resulting in constitutional deprivation without due process).