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Case Name Walker v. Scurr PC-IA-0016
Docket / Court 83-313 ( S.D. Iowa )
State/Territory Iowa
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On June 16, 1983, inmates practicing Native American religion at Iowa State Penitentiary (ISP) filed lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the officers and employees of ISP in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The plaintiffs, at first represented by themselves and ... read more >
On June 16, 1983, inmates practicing Native American religion at Iowa State Penitentiary (ISP) filed lawsuits under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the officers and employees of ISP in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The plaintiffs, at first represented by themselves and later by the University of Iowa Legal Clinic, asked for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging the ISP policy of not allowing Native American religious headbands to be worn in the prison yard violated their constitutional rights.

On May 1, 1984, the District Court (Judge Harold D. Vietor) granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. Reinert v. Haas, 585 F.Supp. 477 (D.C. Iowa 1984). Judge Vietor held that the plaintiffs would probably succeed on the merits of their claim, and that the threat of harm to the plaintiffs was irreparable and the public interest would best be served by issuing the injunction.

On September 9, 1985, the District Court (Judge Vietor) allowed two plaintiffs, proceeding pro se, to amend their original complaint against prison officials at the ISP to allege that the defendants allowed the loss, theft or destruction of the plaintiffs' religious, legal and cultural property. Walker v. Scurr, 617 F.Supp. 679 (D.C. Iowa 1985). Judge Vietor held that the proposed amendment adequately alleged a deprivation of property without due process.

Sometime before 1993, the District Court (Judge Vietor) approved a settlement agreement.

On December 7, 1993, the District Court (Judge Vietor) approved a modification of the settlement agreement.

Because we do not have the settlement agreement and PACER only contains the docket dating from 1993, we have no further information on this case.

Chris Sullivan - 08/08/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Iowa State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description State penitentiary inmates who were practitioners of Native American religion alleging that prison authorities had interfered with exercise of their religious beliefs and had discriminated against their religion
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1993 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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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 ]

Docket(s)
4:83-CV-70313-HDV (S.D. Iowa) 12/07/1993
PC-IA-0016-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order for Preliminary Injunction 05/01/1984 (585 F.Supp. 477) (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 09/09/1985 (617 F.Supp. 679) (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Vietor, Harold Duane (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0001 | PC-IA-0016-0002 | PC-IA-0016-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Walker, Walter L. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Gordon E. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0001 | PC-IA-0016-0002
Hunacek, Mark (Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0001 | PC-IA-0016-0002
Lindebak, Layne M. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0001 | PC-IA-0016-9000
Miller, Thomas J. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0002
Other Lawyers Schwartz, Barbara A. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0016-0001 | PC-IA-0016-9000

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