Manitoba Solitary Confinement Class Action
Koskie Minsky LLP is prosecuting a class action against the Government of Manitoba regarding its use of solitary confinement in provincial jails for adults and youth.
Solitary confinement involves the segregation of a person in a room or area without any meaningful human contact for at least twenty-two hours in a day. In the jails operated by the Government of Manitoba, adult and youth inmates as young as twelve years old are regularly placed into solitary confinement for long periods of time, sometimes indefinitely.
This class action alleges that the Government of Manitoba’s use of solitary confinement in provincial jails has been negligent, has breached fiduciary duties, and has breached sections 7 and 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This case was certified as a class proceeding by the Manitoba Court of King’s Bench on May 4, 2022. The Court certified the following class:
Inmates with a Serious Mental Illness
All current and former inmates, who were alive as of September 12, 2016, who were subjected to Disciplinary Segregation or Preventive Segregation for any length of time at one of the Provincial Custodial Facilities between September 12, 2012 to May 4, 2022; who were diagnosed by a medical doctor before or during their incarceration with at least one of the following disorders, as defined in the relevant Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM”):
- Schizophrenia (all sub-types),
- Delusional disorder,
- Schizophreniform disorder,
- Schizoaffective disorder,
- Brief psychotic disorder,
- Substance-induced psychotic disorder (excluding intoxications and withdrawal),
- Psychotic disorder not otherwise specified,
- Major depressive disorders,
- Bipolar disorder I,
- Bipolar disorder II,
- Neurocognitive disorders and/or Delirium, Dementia and Amnestic and Other Cognitive Disorders,
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; or
- Borderline Personality Disorder;
and who suffered from their disorder, in a manner described in Appendix “A” to the Statement of Claim, and who reported such diagnosis and suffering to the Government of Manitoba and/or its agents before or during their segregation.
All current and former inmates, who were alive as of September 12, 2016, who, while under the age of 18, were subjected to Preventive Segregation at one of the Provincial Custodial Facilities for any length of time between September 12, 2006 to May 4, 2022.
Inmates in Prolonged Solitary Confinement
All current and former inmates, who were alive as of September 12, 2016, who were subjected to Solitary Confinement for 15 or more consecutive days at one of the Provincial Custodial Facilities between September 12, 2012 to May 4, 2022.
For more information, or if you think you might be a class member, please contact 1-866-777-6344 or email@example.com
February 16, 2023
The period for class members to opt out of this action has now closed.
November 18, 2022
The Notice Program for certification of this case has begun. For more information about certification in this case and to view the Court-approved notices, visit: https://manitobasegregationclassaction.ca/
If you want to remove yourself from the class action – also called “opting out” – you must submit an Opt-Out Form by February 16, 2023. The Opt-Out Form is available here: https://manitobasegregationclassaction.ca/documents.html
May 4, 2022
We are pleased to share that the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench has certified this action as a class proceeding. You can read the Court’s decision here. We will provide further updates in the coming days.
May 27, 2021
The Statement of Claim for this proposed class action has been issued by the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench.
- February 16, 2023
What is a class action?
A class action is a lawsuit which provides a method for a large group of people with common claims to join together to advance one large claim. Class actions are a more efficient and cost-effective way for groups of people with common claims to gain access to the legal system and seek justice.
What does certification mean?
In order for an action to proceed as a class action, the court must determine whether it is appropriate for the case to be treated as a class action. Some of the factors the courts consider are the extent to which the claims of the class
members are common, and whether a class action is preferable to other methods (such as individual actions) of advancing the issues. The decision as to whether a class action should be certified takes place at a certification hearing and is decided by a judge. If certified, a representative plaintiff will advance the action on behalf of all of the class members.
How do I know if I am a Class Member?
The certification order will always contain a description of who is a class member. We post the certification orders in our actions so that you can review them. You do not need to “sign up” to become involved in a class action. If you are included in the class description, you are automatically a class member who will be affected by the outcome of the class action unless you decide to “opt out”.
Are Class Members notified of the certification of the class proceeding?
Yes. After the claim has been certified, the court will authorize notice to be given to the members of the class.
Can I opt out of a class action and pursue independent legal action?
Yes. When a class action is certified, class members are always given an opportunity to opt out of the action. A deadline is imposed for opting out. If you do not opt out by the given deadline, class members will be bound by the outcome of the class action, whether it is successful or unsuccessful. If you opt out, you will not receive any benefit if the action is successful.
Will there be any cost to class members for legal fees?
Typically, class actions are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the class action lawyers will be paid only if the class action is successful at trial or settled. In that case, class counsel fees may be paid by the defendants or out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by the court. In addition, the plaintiff may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund which, if funding is granted, may provide funding for disbursements.
I still have questions…
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