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Case Name Lindquist v. Idaho State Board of Corrections PC-ID-0005
Docket / Court 78-1021 ( D. Idaho )
State/Territory Idaho
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
Inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution filed a class action law suit on January 12, 1978 in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the prison denied inmates of their constitutional right to meaningful access to the courts. ... read more >
Inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution filed a class action law suit on January 12, 1978 in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging that the prison denied inmates of their constitutional right to meaningful access to the courts. In particular, the plaintiffs asserted that the prison failed to provide access to an adequate library and sufficient legal assistance, and that it failed to make available necessary resources and supplies such as working typewriters and paper. The inmates, represented by Idaho Legal Aid Services, sought injunctive and declaratory relief on behalf of all present and future inmates at the institution.

On June 8, 1981, the District Court (Judge Ray McNichols) held that the prison law library did not meet minimum constitutional standards and issued an order giving the prison six months to make requisite changes to bring the library up to constitutional standards. Following this order, the prison moved the library to a more spacious location, provided new tables and chairs to accommodate up to forty inmates, developed a training program for inmate law clerks to assist fellow inmates with legal research and writing (especially those uneducated, illiterate, or not proficient in English), and provided a constitutionally sufficient inventory of law books that was previously approved by the district court.

At a compliance hearing on October 26, 1982, the district court found that the prison substantially complied with the June 8, 1981, order, and dismissed the action. Plaintiffs appealed the district court's refusal to issue a permanent injunction. On November 15, 1985, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge John Wallace) denied the inmates' appeal stating the district court's decision not to issue a permanent injunction was not abuse of discretion since there was no threat that the prison would revert to unconstitutional practices. Lindquist v. Idaho State Bd. Of Corrections, 776 F.2d 851 (9th Cir. 1985). Subsequently, the court (Magistrate Judge Larry M. Boyle) modified the original 1981 order in part. The docket continues until March 5, 1996 when the stipulation for voluntary dismissal was granted.

Emilee Baker - 05/15/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Law library access
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Idaho State Board of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Inmates at the Idaho State Correctional Institution
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1981 - 1982
Case Closing Year 1996
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)
78-1021 (D. Idaho) 03/05/1996
PC-ID-0005-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reported Opinion 11/15/1985 (776 F.2d 851)
PC-ID-0005-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Boyle, Larry M. (D. Idaho) [Magistrate]
PC-ID-0005-9000
Farris, Joseph Jerome (Ninth Circuit)
PC-ID-0005-0001
Hall, Cynthia Holcomb (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
PC-ID-0005-0001
Wallace, John Clifford (Ninth Circuit, S.D. Cal.)
PC-ID-0005-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Belodoff, Howard A. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0005-9000
Belodoff, Harold A (Idaho)
PC-ID-0005-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Gates, Robert R. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0005-9000
Thomas, Lynn (Idaho)
PC-ID-0005-0001
Wilson, Timothy D. (Idaho)
PC-ID-0005-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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