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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Braasch v. Gunter PC-NE-0006
Docket / Court 83-459 ( D. Neb. )
State/Territory Nebraska
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
In 1983, male prisoners at the Nebraska State Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs complained of defendants' policies and practices allowing female correctional staff to view male ... read more >
In 1983, male prisoners at the Nebraska State Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs complained of defendants' policies and practices allowing female correctional staff to view male prisoners in the nude or in various states of undress.

Braasch v. Gunter was consolidated with Nielson v. Gunter for trial in April 1985. In the June 1985 decision, the Magistrate Judge David L. Piester held that plaintiffs' right to privacy outweighed the equal opportunity employment rights of the female correctional officers. However, the Magistrate Judge limited plaintiffs' privacy right to showering and pat down searches. Braasch v. Gunter, 1985 WL 3530 (D. Neb. July 15, 1985).

Plaintiffs appealed to the District Court from that portion of the magistrate's judgment which refused to extend plaintiffs' privacy rights to in-cell activity. On appeal, District Judge Urbom affirmed the decision of the Magistrate, reasoning that plaintiffs could easily conceal their nudity when in their cell. Nielson v. Gunter, 1986 WL 6480 (D. Neb. June 5, 1986). The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the 1986 memorandum on appeal of magistrate's judgment.

Note: Documents from the Braasch and Nielson cases are included together in this file

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Search policies
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Strip search policy
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Nebraska State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description male inmates at the Nebraska State Penitentiary
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1985 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
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 ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
http://law.duke.edu/journals/lcp
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ 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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum of Decision 07/15/1985 (1985 WL 3530) (D. Neb.)
PC-NE-0006-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Memorandum on Appeal of Magistrate's Judgment 06/05/1986 (1986 WL 6480) (D. Neb.)
PC-NE-0006-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Judges Urbom, Warren Keith (D. Neb.)
PC-NE-0006-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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