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Case Name Crowe v. Erickson PC-SD-0002
Docket / Court 72-4101 ( D.S.D. )
State/Territory South Dakota
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On November 21, 1972, inmates of the South Dakota State Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 suit in the District Court for the Southern Division of South Dakota against the warden, prison officials, and the Governor. Plaintiffs complained of punishment for violations of prison rules without due ... read more >
On November 21, 1972, inmates of the South Dakota State Penitentiary filed a Section 1983 suit in the District Court for the Southern Division of South Dakota against the warden, prison officials, and the Governor. Plaintiffs complained of punishment for violations of prison rules without due process of law, prison officials reading and censoring incoming and outgoing mail, poor medical treatment, inadequate religious and cultural protections, inadequate work release and employment programs, and limited access to the law library. On December 26, 1972, a plaintiff subclass was created consisting of all Native American inmates. This subclass was represented by the Native American Rights Fund.

On December 1, 1972, the District Court (Judge Fred J. Nichol) granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction preventing defendants from opening, reading, or interfering with any legally related incoming or outgoing mail. In a partial consent decree filed on January 29, 1975, the parties agreed to terms on the opening and censorship of incoming and outgoing mail. Judge Nichol subsequently modified this decree in a July 11, 1986 order which allowed prison officials to withhold mail delivery from a particular inmate suspected of receiving LSD.

On August 24, 1973, the District Court issued an order granting the plaintiffs some relief on their due process claims, providing certain procedures that defendants must follow in inmate disciplining. This order was subsequently amended by orders on the following dates: November 21, 1973; November 23, 1973; December 6, 1974; March 10, 1975; and June, 1, 1978.

On May 22, 1974, a temporary restraining order was filed preventing defendants from taking any disciplinary action against any members of the Native American subclass for violations of a prison haircut rule. On April 4, 1975, after a hearing on the merits, the District Court held that the hair length regulations - as applied to the members of the Native American subclass - were unconstitutional, and enjoined the defendants from enforcing the hair length regulations against the Native American subclass.

On August 21, 1975, the District Court issued an order approving the Living Guide and Regulations of the South Dakota State Penitentiary. Modifications to the Living Guide were approved in orders dated September 2, 1986 and February 24, 1993.

On February 17, 1976, a partial consent decree was filed addressing inmate's cosmetic dental treatment.

On May 4, 1977, the parties signed a settlement agreement which, among other things, provided for better medical treatment, religious accommodations for Native American inmates, and access to a law library.

This case involves the same plaintiff class and defendants as Native American Council of Tribes v. Solem, 691 F.2d 382 (8th Cir. 1982). PC-SD-003.

Chris Sullivan - 07/27/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Administrative segregation
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Law library access
Mail
Religious programs / policies
Search policies
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) South Dakota State Penitentiary
South Dakota State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description inmates of the South Dakota State 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 Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1972 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-SD-0003 : Native American Council of Tribes v. Solem (D.S.D.)
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)
4:72-cv-04101 (D.S.D.) 08/25/2002
PC-SD-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Preliminary Injunction 12/01/1972 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/10/1973 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order, Judgment and Decree 08/24/1973 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order to Show Cause 10/03/1973 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 11/21/1973 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Order 11/23/1973 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/26/1973 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Temporary Restraining Order 05/22/1974 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Extending Temporary Restraining Order 05/29/1974 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion 06/19/1974 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/06/1974 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/19/1974 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Partial Consent Decree 01/29/1975 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of law and Order 03/10/1975 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Order 04/04/1975 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Partial Consent Decree 02/17/1976 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 06/17/1976 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreement in Settlement and Judgment Confirming Setttlement 05/04/1977
PC-SD-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Order 06/10/1978 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/02/1986 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Modification of the Living Guide and Regulations of the South Dakota State Penitentiary 09/02/1986 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 02/24/1993 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0022.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Bogue, Andrew Wendell (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0009 | PC-SD-0002-0011
Jones, John Bailey (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0022
Nichol, Fred Joseph (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0002-0001 | PC-SD-0002-0002 | PC-SD-0002-0003 | PC-SD-0002-0004 | PC-SD-0002-0005 | PC-SD-0002-0006 | PC-SD-0002-0007 | PC-SD-0002-0008 | PC-SD-0002-0010 | PC-SD-0002-0012 | PC-SD-0002-0013 | PC-SD-0002-0014 | PC-SD-0002-0015 | PC-SD-0002-0016 | PC-SD-0002-0017 | PC-SD-0002-0018 | PC-SD-0002-0019 | PC-SD-0002-0020 | PC-SD-0002-0021
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Echo-Hawk, Walter R. (Colorado)
PC-SD-0002-0001 | PC-SD-0002-0017
Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)
PC-SD-0002-0004 | PC-SD-0002-0007
Pevar, Stephen L. (Colorado)
PC-SD-0002-0004 | PC-SD-0002-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Fisher, Gale E. (South Dakota)
PC-SD-0002-0004 | PC-SD-0002-0006
Janklow, William J. (South Dakota)
PC-SD-0002-0001 | PC-SD-0002-0017
Other Lawyers None on record

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