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Case Name McClelland v. Sigler PC-NE-0008
Docket / Court 1666 ( D. Neb. )
State/Territory Nebraska
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1970, two black inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Corrections Complex filed a Section 1983 lawsuit, pro se, in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Defendants maintained a separate cell house for white inmates who objected to living with black ... read more >
In 1970, two black inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Corrections Complex filed a Section 1983 lawsuit, pro se, in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Defendants maintained a separate cell house for white inmates who objected to living with black inmates. Plaintiffs alleged that the conditions in the whites only cell house were superior to those of the other racially integrated cell houses, denying them their civil rights as granted to them by the Constitution and federal statutes.

The District Court (Judge Warren K. Urbom) appointed private counsel to represent the plaintiffs and on February 10, 1971, trial was held. Judge Urbom held that segregation by race in state prison was constitutionally impermissible, but did not award relief because the case had not been certified as a class action. McClelland v. Sigler, 327 F. Supp. 829 (D. Neb. 1971). Judge Urbom ordered that the plaintiffs had ten days to amend the complaint so that the court could award complete relief among those already parties. Plaintiffs amended the complaint and relief was granted. Defendants appealed.

The 8th Circuit affirmed Judge Urbom's opinion holding that racial segregation could not be justified on the ground that it was needed to maintain order and that trouble would result if black inmates were housed with such white inmates. McClelland v. Sigler, 456 F.2d 1266 (8th Cir. 1972).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported opinion, dated March 22, 1972.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Administrative segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex
Plaintiff Description Inmates of state penal and correctional complex brought civil rights action complaining of racial segregation at the complex
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
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 1971 - 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 ]

  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 04/26/1971 (327 F.Supp. 829) (D. Neb.)
PC-NE-0008-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 03/22/1972 (456 F.2d 1266)
PC-NE-0008-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gibson, Floyd Robert (W.D. Mo., Eighth Circuit)
PC-NE-0008-0001
Heaney, Gerald William (Eighth Circuit)
PC-NE-0008-0001
Ross, Donald Roe (Eighth Circuit)
PC-NE-0008-0001
Urbom, Warren Keith (D. Neb.)
PC-NE-0008-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers Meyer, Clarence A.H. (Nebraska)
PC-NE-0008-0001
Mosher, Harold (Nebraska)
PC-NE-0008-0001 | PC-NE-0008-0002
Schmeling, Richard L. (Nebraska)
PC-NE-0008-0001 | PC-NE-0008-0002

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