University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Clark v. Brewer PC-IA-0010
Docket / Court 4:76-cv-80054-CRW ( S.D. Iowa )
State/Territory Iowa
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On Feb. 12, 1976, an inmate at the Iowa State Penitentiary filed a lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 against prison officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Central Division. The inmate, represented by the Prisoners Assistance Clinic, challenged the constitutional validity of ... read more >
On Feb. 12, 1976, an inmate at the Iowa State Penitentiary filed a lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 against prison officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, Central Division. The inmate, represented by the Prisoners Assistance Clinic, challenged the constitutional validity of the "close management policy" (the procedural method of determining whether a prisoner should remain in administrative solid lockup) adopted by the prison.

The District Court (Judge William Stuart) held that the system for review of inmates in administrative solid lockup needed revision and ordered the prison to submit guidelines for determining in a rational manner whether an inmate should be retained in administrative solid lockup. But, as the parties neared agreement on the necessary revisions, the United States Supreme Court decided Herwitt v. Helms, 459 U.S. 450 (1983). The defendants, believing Herwitt changed the relevant law, reraised several issues in the District Court. The District Court held that close management inmates were entitled to frequent review hearings, that inmates were entitled to written notice of impending review hearings, and that inmates had a right to call witnesses at close management review hearings. Clark v. Brewer, 578 F.Supp. 1501 (S.D. Iowa 1983). The order was subsequently modified on February 14, 1984. Clark v. Nix, 578 F.Supp. 1515 (S.D. Iowa 1984).

The defendants appealed and the plaintiff cross appealed. The Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge George G. Fagg) affirmed in part and reversed in part. The U.S. Court of Appeals held that reclassification hearings did not need to be as frequent as the District Court's order required, that inmates would not presumptively be allowed to call witnesses for these hearings, and that inmates need not be informed of criteria that would guarantee their release from close management. Otherwise, the order was affirmed. Clark v. Brewer, 776 F.2d 226 (8th Cir. 1985).

The docket for this case begins when the case was reopened in September 1991, apparently on a contempt motion and a request for relief by the plaintiffs. At this point, several other inmates were allowed to intervene, though it does not appear that the court certified a class of plaintiffs. According to the docket, one plaintiff moved for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on November 21, 1991, but the District Court (Judge Charles R. Wolle) denied the motions on December 23, 1991 and, oddly, again in March 1992. In October 1992, the plaintiffs moved for disbursement and were granted $603.75. On April 5, 1993, the District Court ordered the case to be closed as there were no remaining issues to be decided.

Nonetheless, according to the docket, the plaintiffs moved four years later, on December 23, 1997, for appointment of counsel and for an order to show cause why the parties were not in contempt of the prior order. On December 30, 1997, the court ordered respondents to show cause why they should not be held in contempt. Upon defendant's opposition to the motion for order to show cause, the District Court granted plaintiffs' motion for appointed counsel. However, the plaintiffs' request for relief was ultimately denied without prejudice. This is odd, but no addition information is available. Plaintiffs moved for reimbursement of out of pocket expenses and on June 14, 2000 were granted $163.10 and the case was administratively closed.

Rebekah Henn Sullivan - 08/11/2005

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Affected Gender
Administrative segregation
Disciplinary procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Iowa State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description Inmate challenging as unconstitutional his continued segregation in close management status
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
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 1983 - 1998
Case Closing Year 2000
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

76-80054 (S.D. Iowa) 06/14/2005
PC-IA-0010-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Ruling and Order 12/19/1983 (578 F.Supp. 1501) (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0010-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Modification Order 02/14/1984 (578 F.Supp. 1515) (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0010-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 10/30/1985 (776 F.2d 226)
PC-IA-0010-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Arnold, Richard Sheppard (E.D. Ark., W.D. Ark., Eighth Circuit)
Bowman, Pasco Middleton II (Eighth Circuit)
Fagg, George Gardner (Eighth Circuit)
Stuart, William Corwin (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0010-0002 | PC-IA-0010-0003
Wolle, Charles Robert (S.D. Iowa)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Getspudas, Mary (Iowa)
Lipman, Jeffrey M (Iowa)
Mears, Philip B. (Iowa)
Schwartz, Barbara A. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0010-0001 | PC-IA-0010-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Gordon E. (Iowa)
Hulting, Patricia M (Iowa)
Hunacek, Mark (Iowa)
Lindebak, Layne M. (Iowa)
Miller, Thomas J. (Iowa)
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -