University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Native American Council of Tribes v. Solem PC-SD-0003
Docket / Court 4:81-cv-04088 ( D.S.D. )
State/Territory South Dakota
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On June 1, 1981, Native American inmates (members of the class defined in Crowe v. Erickson, No. 72-4101, # PC-SD-0002) filed suit pro se in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota against prison wardens. The plaintiff class sought enforcement of the settlement agreement entered ... read more >
On June 1, 1981, Native American inmates (members of the class defined in Crowe v. Erickson, No. 72-4101, # PC-SD-0002) filed suit pro se in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota against prison wardens. The plaintiff class sought enforcement of the settlement agreement entered in the Crowe case on May 4, 1977. The same day, the District Court (Judge Fred J. Nichol) denied the plaintiffs an injunction and dismissed the action saying that the complaint did not allege a constitutional violation, and therefore the federal court did not have jurisdiction.

The inmates appealed. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge John R. Gibson) reversed and remanded on October 19, 1982, holding that dismissal was improper as the plaintiffs had alleged a violation of the equal protection clause and the First Amendment through religious discrimination and a violation of the inmates' rights of worship and assembly. Native American Council of Tribes v. Solem, 691 F.2d 382 (8th Cir. 1982).

According to the docket, an order for dismissal without prejudice was filed on August 12, 1983 followed by a stipulation and agreement on August 17, 1983. The docket ends with the stipulation and agreement on August 17, 1983.

Rebekah Henn Sullivan - 07/26/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Religious programs / policies
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) South Dakota State Penitentiary
South Dakota State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description Native American inmates who were members of the class defined in Crowe v. Erickson (PC-SD-0002)
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
Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 1981 - 1982
Case Closing Year 1983
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-SD-0002 : Crowe v. Erickson (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)
81-04088 (D.S.D.) 08/17/1983
PC-SD-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
81-04088 (D.S.D.) 06/27/2002
PC-SD-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order denying restraining order 06/01/1981 (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reported Opinion 10/19/1982 (691 F.2d 382)
PC-SD-0003-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gibson, John R. (W.D. Mo., Eighth Circuit)
PC-SD-0003-0002
Nichol, Fred Joseph (D.S.D.)
PC-SD-0003-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burd, Lee Rae (South Dakota)
PC-SD-0003-0002 | PC-SD-0003-9001
Manning, Nancy (South Dakota)
PC-SD-0003-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Kludt, Douglas E. (South Dakota)
PC-SD-0003-0002 | PC-SD-0003-9001
Meiehenry, Mark V. (South Dakota)
PC-SD-0003-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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