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Case Name Hendrickson v. Griggs JC-IA-0002
Docket / Court 84-3012 ( N.D. Iowa )
State/Territory Iowa
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
In approximately 1984, a class of juveniles incarcerated at the Webster County Jail in Fort Dodge, Iowa, filed a lawsuit against county and state officials, on behalf of all juveniles who were or would be placed in the Jail by a juvenile court. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, ... read more >
In approximately 1984, a class of juveniles incarcerated at the Webster County Jail in Fort Dodge, Iowa, filed a lawsuit against county and state officials, on behalf of all juveniles who were or would be placed in the Jail by a juvenile court. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, brought the suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. §5601 and filed it in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

The plaintiffs alleged that, in violation of their constitutional rights to due process, the defendants failed to comply with certain provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act. Specifically, the plaintiffs sought compensatory, declaratory, and injunctive relief from the defendants' failure to implement policies respecting the deinstitutionalization of status offenders, the ban on regular contact between juveniles and incarcerated adults, and the jail removal mandate. The plaintiffs asked the court to forbid the defendants from permitting certain jailing practices, to prohibit the defendants from receiving or spending federal funds until they achieved compliance with the Juvenile Justice Act requirements, and to require the State to pay back any funds it had already received if it failed to adjust its policies.

The parties moved for summary judgment. On April 9, 1987, the court (Judge Donald E. O'Brien) denied the motions. The court, addressing the defendants' motions, found that the plaintiffs' claims were not barred because they could or should have been brought in juvenile court, that they were entitled to relief under the Juvenile Justice Act, that they did not need to proceed under a guardian ad litem, and that no indispensable party was excluded from the suit. In addition, the court barred the plaintiffs from seeking to cut off or pay back federal funds. Finally, the court ordered the defendants to present a plan describing policy changes to achieve reduced rates of juvenile jailing in compliance with the Juvenile Justice Act by April 30, 1987. Hendrickson v. Griggs, 672 F. Supp. 1126 (N.D. Iowa 1987).

The defendants submitted the plan for reducing the rate of juvenile confinement in adult facilities on May 4, 1987, and amended the plan on May 21, 1987.
The defendants appealed the district court's order to formulate a plan for dealing with the state's juvenile offenders. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge John R. Gibson) dismissed the appeal on September 1, 1988, for lack of jurisdiction. The court found the district court's order to be interlocutory and could not be appealed. Hendrickson v. Griggs, 856 F.2d 1041 (8th Cir. 1988).

On July 3, 1989, the plaintiffs filed a motion to dismiss the case because the State had achieved compliance with the Juvenile Justice Act requirements. The plaintiffs also renewed their motion for attorneys' fees and costs. On March 23, 1990, the district court (Judge O'Brien) awarded attorneys' fees to the plaintiffs as the prevailing parties and dismissed the action as moot. Hendrickson v. Branstad, 740 F. Supp. 636 (N.D. Iowa 1990).

The defendants appealed the district court's order awarding the plaintiffs attorneys' fees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. On May 23, 1991, the court (Judge C. Arlen Beam) affirmed in part and reversed in part; it found the plaintiffs to be the prevailing parties but reversed the district court's award of a 25% fee enhancement to be dropped. Hendrickson v. Branstad, 934 F.2d 158 (8th Cir. 1991).

The docket for the case is unavailable and therefore we have no further information on this case.

Laura Uberti - 06/25/2006
Richard Jolly - 10/14/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Classification / placement
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5672
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Webster County, Iowa
Plaintiff Description All juveniles who were or would be placed at Webster County Jail by a juvenile court.
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 not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Reported Opinion 04/09/1987 (672 F.Supp. 1126) (N.D. Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 09/01/1988 (856 F.2d 1041)
JC-IA-0002-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 03/23/1990 (740 F.Supp. 636) (N.D. Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 05/23/1991 (934 F.2d 158)
JC-IA-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Beam, Clarence Arlen (D. Neb., Eighth Circuit)
JC-IA-0002-0004
Gibson, John R. (W.D. Mo., Eighth Circuit)
JC-IA-0002-0002
O'Brien, Donald Eugene (S.D. Iowa, N.D. Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0001 | JC-IA-0002-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bird, John R. (Missouri)
JC-IA-0002-0001
Parker, Blake (Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0001 | JC-IA-0002-0003
Swanger, Harry F. (Missouri)
JC-IA-0002-0001 | JC-IA-0002-0002 | JC-IA-0002-0003 | JC-IA-0002-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Gordon E. (Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0004
Phillips, Charles K. (Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0001 | JC-IA-0002-0002 | JC-IA-0002-0003
Salmons, Carlton G. (Iowa)
JC-IA-0002-0001 | JC-IA-0002-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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