Should there be any doubt, we begin by stating plainly that the Court is mindful of the fact that disposition of the Commonwealth's motion for relief is controlled by Rule 60(b)(5) and (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. However, inasmuch as the instant adjudication effectively operates to maintain or remove the current injunction against use of the basement area of the BAU, I believe it both relevant and appropriate, albeit technically digressive, to observe that any de novo consideration of the propriety vel non of a federal court injunction in this matter would in all probability result in a determination that, in these circumstances, such relief is not warranted under § 1983.
That hypothetical result would seem to follow from an application of the Supreme Court's recent decision in Rizzo v. Goode, 423 U.S. 362, 46 L. Ed. 2d 561, 96 S. Ct. 598 (1976), a § 1983 case that I am inclined to read as a firm instruction to the federal judiciary that intrusion by injunctive decree into the internal affairs of a state agency is impermissible in the absence of a clear violation of constitutional rights or breach of constitutional duties on the part of state officers.
In the context of the instant case, the lesson gleaned by this Court from Rizzo v. Goode might be stated as follows: Absent a violation of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishments, the rationally-based, nondiscriminatory election of state prison authorities to confine an inmate in one place as opposed to another is not properly subject to federal judicial review. Such a decision is managerial in nature, part and parcel of the day-to-day administration of prison affairs, and, as such, should not be interfered with by the district court. In a legal/political sense, federal intervention in such circumstances contravenes important considerations of comity and federalism; pragmatically, it ignores the manifest lack of judicial expertise in the conduct and management of correctional institutions. See Finney v. Arkansas Board of Correction, 505 F.2d 194, 200 (8th Cir. 1974).
We need not belabor matters relating to the obvious and crucial qualification on the message perceived in Rizzo v. Goode. Suffice it to say that it is now apparent to the Court that, at least under present institutional procedures, the temporary confinement of Western Penitentiary inmates in the basement portion of the BAU in and of itself entails no violation of constitutionally-guaranteed rights. In this regard, it is clear from the Court's own view of the premises that such familiar terms as "dungeon" and "hole" are misleading exaggerations as applied to the BAU basement detention facility.
Though certainly not a particularly pleasant place of confinement (a description equally applicable to the vast majority of penal facilities in the United States), the area is bright, dry and clean, the individual cells small but reasonably adequate for use on the temporary (48-hour maximum) basis mandated by prison authorities and assumed by the Court herein. In sum, the basement area of the BAU is an austere but acceptably humane emergency detention facility. Standing alone, the temporary confinement of prisoners therein is plainly neither unconscionable nor susceptible to characterization as cruel and unusual punishment.
Nor would the envisioned institutional use of the BAU basement facility violate other rights secured by virtue of the Federal Constitution. In this regard, it has at no time been suggested, and the record is devoid of anything to indicate, that confinement in the area has occurred on an invidiously discriminatory basis. Moreover, the testimony of Deputy Superintendent Zimmerman at the hearing before this Court, coupled with the Court's view of the premises in question, impels the conclusion that use of the BAU basement facility is at least rationally related to the Commonwealth's legitimate need for a secure area of the prison in which unruly, defiant and/or dangerous inmates can be temporarily segregated from the rest of the prison population to act out their anger or frustrations with the least possible disturbance to the orderly management of the institution. No other or better facility is presently available for this purpose at Western Penitentiary. The only alternatives are new construction at that institution or transfer of such inmates to another correctional facility. In these circumstances, the Court would be strongly inclined to deny injunctive relief in a de novo proceeding.
The question now before the Court, however, is not what result it would reach de novo, but rather whether it should vacate the consent judgment of January 18, 1973 and restore the parties to the status quo. As previously indicated, that question is controlled by Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5) and (6), which provides as follows:
"On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or his legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons: . . . (5) . . . it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application; or (6) any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment." (emphasis supplied)
While it need hardly be stated that the language highlighted above is exceedingly broad, the Court recognizes that Rule 60(b)(6) "confers no standardless residual discretionary power to set aside judgments on mere second thought," Mayberry v. Maroney, supra at 337 (concurring opinion), but "'provides for extraordinary relief and may only be invoked upon a showing of exceptional circumstances.'" Id. at 335 (quoting Torockio v. Chamberlain Mfg. Co., 56 F.R.D. 82 (W.D. Pa. 1972), aff'd, 474 F.2d 1340 (3d Cir. 1973)). Our Court of Appeals has explained the standard embodied by the Rule in the following terms:
"To accomplish justice, a court may vacate a judgment for any adequate reason coming within the 'other reason' wording of clause (6) of the Rule. Klapprott v. United States, 335 U.S. 601, 69 S. Ct. 384, 93 L. Ed. 266 (1949). There must, however, be adequate evidence of changed circumstances or reasons before a judgment may be modified under either segment [(5) or (6)] of Rule 60(b)." Mayberry v. Maroney, supra at 335.