University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Frease v. Griffin PC-NM-0002
Docket / Court 79-693 ( D.N.M. )
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In September 1979, American Indian prisoners of the New Mexico Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of New Mexico against the Warden and other state officials. Plaintiffs claimed that defendants violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments when they refused to allow ... read more >
In September 1979, American Indian prisoners of the New Mexico Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 class action suit in the District of New Mexico against the Warden and other state officials. Plaintiffs claimed that defendants violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments when they refused to allow plaintiffs to worship through the use of a traditional Indian sweat lodge and to wear their hair in the manner that their native religious belief requires. Plaintiffs were represented by lawyers from the Native American Rights Fund and Indian Pueblo Legal Services, as well as private counsel.

In December 1980, the court entered a consent order where defendants agreed to institute changes in the penitentiary's grooming policy and to permit the construction of a sweat lodge for religious use on a trial basis.

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the 1980 consent order.

Eoghan Keenan - 06/10/2005


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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. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) State of New Mexico
Plaintiff Description American Indian prisoners of the New Mexico Penitentiary
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 Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1980 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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
Consent Order, Judgment and Decree 12/03/1980 (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Campos, Santiago E. (D.N.M.)
PC-NM-0002-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Echo-Hawk, Walter R. (Colorado)
PC-NM-0002-0001
Forney, Paula I. (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0002-0001
Yalman, Ann (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Muxlow, Ralph W. III (New Mexico)
PC-NM-0002-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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