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Case Name Nelson v. Heyne JI-IN-0002
Docket / Court 72-1970 ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On May 12, 1972, a class action lawsuit was filed, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, on behalf of boys confined at the Indiana Boys School (IBS) in Plainfield, Indiana, against the Indiana Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by the Youth ... read more >
On May 12, 1972, a class action lawsuit was filed, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, on behalf of boys confined at the Indiana Boys School (IBS) in Plainfield, Indiana, against the Indiana Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by the Youth Advocacy Program and Legal Services' Legal Education Program, sought declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their constitutional rights.

According to the court, juveniles detained at IBS were beaten, isolated, and pharmaceutically tranquilized as punishment for misbehavior. Detainees were required to attend weekly Protestant or Catholic services, regardless of their religious beliefs. IBS censored both incoming and outgoing mail, ostensibly searching for contraband. Finally, IBS did not consistently provide rehabilitative treatment to detainees, although their policies indicated that individualized rehabilitation plans would be developed and implemented for all juveniles.

On June 15, 1972, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana (Judge Robert Allen Grant) held that the conditions of corporal punishment, punitive isolation, and behavior-controlling tranquilizers used as ISB violated the Eighth Amendment's bar on cruel and unusual punishment. Nelson v. Heyne, 355 F. Supp. 451 (N.D. Ind. 1972). The court, however, found that the religious services did not force juveniles to alter their beliefs or practice any religion. The court ordered IBS to cease all unconstitutional practices and develop and implement policies, which would preclude future constitutional violations.

On February 8, 1973, the court (Judge Grant) filed a supplemental opinion in which it held that juveniles have a due process right to rehabilitative treatment. The court ordered both parties file proposed specific findings of fact and conclusions of law to identify specific constitutional standards for programming. Nelson v. Heyne, 355 F. Supp. 451 (N.D. Ind. 1972). On January 31, 1974, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Roger Joseph Kiley) affirmed the lower court's rulings. Nelson v. Heyne, 491 F.2d 352 (7th Cir. 1974).

We do not have the pleadings or any information on subsequent proceedings.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 05/26/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Mail
Personal injury
Religious programs / policies
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Indiana Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Boys confined at the Indiana Boys School in Plainfield, Indiana.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1972 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1973
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum and Order 02/08/1973 (355 F.Supp. 451) (N.D. Ind.)
JI-IN-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 01/31/1974 (491 F.2d 352)
JI-IN-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 06/17/1974 (417 U.S. 976)
JI-IN-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Grant, Robert Allen (N.D. Ind.)
JI-IN-0002-0001
Kiley, Roger Joseph (Seventh Circuit)
JI-IN-0002-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers DiGrazia, Thomas A. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0001 | JI-IN-0002-0002
Forhan, John P. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0001 | JI-IN-0002-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Diamond, Darrel K. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0002
McCoy, Dale E. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0001
Sendak, Theodore (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0002
Other Lawyers Broden, Thomas F. Jr. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0001
Faust, Ralph (Missouri)
JI-IN-0002-0001
Lauer, T. E. (Missouri)
JI-IN-0002-0001
Shaffer, Thomas L. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0002-0001

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