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Case Name Carberry v. Murphy PC-ID-0001
Docket / Court 87-1249 ( D. Idaho )
State/Territory Idaho
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On August 20, 1987, several inmates of the Idaho State Correctional Facility, represented by a private attorney and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, filed a consolidated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. The ... read more >
On August 20, 1987, several inmates of the Idaho State Correctional Facility, represented by a private attorney and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho, filed a consolidated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho. The lawsuit challenged the Idaho Department of Corrections' "no beard" rule as violating plaintiffs' right to free exercise of religion under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief. While waiting for class certification, the parties settled.

On May 3, 1988 the parties agreed to a settlement that outlined state-wide guidelines by which inmates would be allowed to grow facial hair as prescribed by their religion. The fear of the State was that a prisoner would be able to alter his appearance from how he appeared on this identification card by growing facial hair. Accordingly, under the settlement, a prisoner had to declare his religion to the prison and he had to assert that it required the growing of a beard as a basic tenet of that religion. Specifically, the agreement noted that Sikhs, Muslims, and Orthodox Jews have prescriptions against shaving facial hair. For prisoners asserting other religious justifications, the Director of Corrections would determine within ten days if in fact the religion required growing a beard as a basic tenet. The inmate was then be put into a secured cell until his beard grew to the desired length (but no longer than 2.5 inches), at which time his identification photograph would be taken at the his own expense, and he would be reinstated to his previous housing placement. The inmate would then be required to keep the beard the same length and appearance as reflected in his I.D., or he would have to report his desire to change his appearance and/or religion to the prison. These privileges were afforded to all prisoners except those who had certain disciplinary problems at the prison. The settlement required that any non-compliance was to be reported first to the parties of the settlement before seeking court relief. The agreement stipulated that the Court was to retain jurisdiction over the action to enforce the Consent Decree for one year after the defendants notified the plaintiffs that it has been fully implemented. Thus, one year later, on July 30, 1990 the Court (Judge Harold L. Ryan) dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.

No further information is available on PACER.

Rebecca Bloch - 02/27/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Religious programs / policies
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Idaho Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Facility
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1988 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1990
Case Ongoing No
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)
87-1249 (D. Idaho) 07/30/1990
PC-ID-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Motion to Approve and Enter Consent Decree 05/03/1988
PC-ID-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Ryan, Harold Lyman (D. Idaho)
PC-ID-0001-0001 | PC-ID-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Beane, Stephen W. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0001-0001 | PC-ID-0001-9000
Lopez, Mark J. (District of Columbia)
PC-ID-0001-0001 | PC-ID-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gates, Robert R. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0001-0001 | PC-ID-0001-9000
Jones, Jim (Idaho)
PC-ID-0001-9000
Wilson, Timothy D. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0001-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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