University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Wyandotte County JC-KS-0001
Docket / Court KC-3163 ( D. Kan. )
State/Territory Kansas
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
The Attorney General of the United States filed a lawsuit on June 5, 1970, under Sections 301(a) and (b) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000b, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The Attorney General was seeking an injunction against the Wyandotte County ... read more >
The Attorney General of the United States filed a lawsuit on June 5, 1970, under Sections 301(a) and (b) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000b, in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The Attorney General was seeking an injunction against the Wyandotte County Jail regarding an alleged policy of racial segregation within the jail. On May 9, 1972, the district court (Chief Judge Wesley E. Brown) found that there was segregation within the jail but dismissed the complaint and denied relief because it found that the segregation was not intentional and was part of an effort to protect inmates. United States v. Wyandotte County, 343 F.Supp. 1189 (D. Kan. 1972). On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (per curiam) reversed and remanded for further proceedings because conditions in the jail did not warrant segregation. United States v. Wyandotte County, 480 F.2d 969 (10th Cir. 1973). The court stated that segregation is permissible for the protection of inmates in situations of unusual stress but that the record in this case did not justify segregation in Wyandotte County. The case was remanded for further proceedings.

On January 29, 1974, Judge Brown ordered the defendants permanently enjoined from discriminating against any prisoner in the operation of the Wyandotte County Jail or any other penal facility. He ordered the defendants to implement a standard system of prisoner classification not related to race, religion, or national origin and required defendants to submit a report to the court within thirty days of the complete desegregation of the Wyandotte County Jail. The court retained jurisdiction of the case.

Angela Heverling - 04/10/2006

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Race discrimination
Racial segregation
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Wyandotte County Jail
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1974 - n/a
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 ]

KC-3163 (D. Kan.) 08/01/1997
JC-KS-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Resolution of the Ad Hoc Committee of Citizens for the Improvement of the County Jail 10/16/1968
JC-KS-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Proposed Title III Litigation Against Wyandotte County, Kansas Regarding the Segregated Wyandotte County Jail 04/24/1970
JC-KS-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Complaint 06/05/1970
JC-KS-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Correspondence to Attorney General 06/25/1970
JC-KS-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Legal Memo on Caselaw Relative to Prisoners' Rights 07/15/1970
JC-KS-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Correspondence 07/16/1970
JC-KS-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
Correspondence 11/27/1970
JC-KS-0001-0007 PDF | Detail
DOJ File Memorandum 02/26/1971
JC-KS-0001-0008 PDF | Detail
LEAA Assistance with Respect to Pending Suit Against Wyandotte County, Kansas, Jail 04/12/1971
JC-KS-0001-0009 PDF | Detail
Pre-Trial Memorandum of the United States 04/30/1971
JC-KS-0001-0016 PDF | Detail
Correspondence re: U.S. v. Wyandotte County 05/19/1971
JC-KS-0001-0014 PDF | Detail
Memo re: U.S. v. Wyandotte County 06/11/1971
JC-KS-0001-0010 PDF | Detail
Request to Testify 07/01/1971
JC-KS-0001-0011 PDF | Detail
Pre-Trial Order 07/14/1971 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0001-0012 PDF | Detail
Correspondence re: U.S. v. Wyandotte County 09/30/1971
JC-KS-0001-0013 PDF | Detail
Memorandum for the Attorney General Re: U.S. v. Wyandotte County 10/22/1971
JC-KS-0001-0015 PDF | Detail
Appearance as Witness 10/27/1971
JC-KS-0001-0017 PDF | Detail
Report of Steven H. Heubeck 10/30/1971
JC-KS-0001-0018 PDF | Detail
FBI Memo re: U.S. v. Wyandotte County 11/02/1971
JC-KS-0001-0019 PDF | Detail
Letter from Howard Birrell 01/01/1972
JC-KS-0001-0020 PDF | Detail
Re: Letter from Howard M. Birrell 03/02/1972
JC-KS-0001-0021 PDF | Detail
Memorandum Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law 05/09/1972 (343 F.Supp. 1189) (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0001-0028 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
FBI Report of Harold E. Duncan 05/10/1972
JC-KS-0001-0022 PDF | Detail
Memorandum for the Solicitor General 07/05/1972
JC-KS-0001-0023 PDF | Detail
Opinion 06/21/1973 (480 F.2d 969)
JC-KS-0001-0027 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Proposed Order 10/29/1973 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0001-0024 PDF | Detail
Opinion [denying petition for writ of certiorari] 12/03/1973 (414 U.S. 1068)
JC-KS-0001-0029 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Final Order 01/29/1974 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0001-0025 PDF | Detail
Judgment on Decision by the Court 01/29/1974 (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0001-0026 PDF | Detail
Judges Barrett, James Emmett (FISCR, Tenth Circuit)
Brown, Wesley Ernest (D. Kan.)
JC-KS-0001-0025 | JC-KS-0001-0026 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Lewis, David Thomas (Tenth Circuit)
Smith, Talbot (E.D. Mich.)
Theis, Frank Gordon (D. Kan.)
Monitors/Masters Duncan, Harold E. (Oklahoma)
Heubeck, Steven H. (Kansas)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bourne, Richard W. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0003 | JC-KS-0001-0008 | JC-KS-0001-0012 | JC-KS-0001-0016 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Jones, Gerald W. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0002 | JC-KS-0001-0003 | JC-KS-0001-0012 | JC-KS-0001-0014 | JC-KS-0001-0016 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Leonard, Jerris (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0002 | JC-KS-0001-0003 | JC-KS-0001-0009 | JC-KS-0001-0015 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Mitchell, John N. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0003 | JC-KS-0001-0005 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Norman, David L. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0010 | JC-KS-0001-0013 | JC-KS-0001-0014 | JC-KS-0001-0021 | JC-KS-0001-0023
Queen, Jesse H. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0024 | JC-KS-0001-0025 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Roth, Robert J. (Kansas)
JC-KS-0001-0003 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0004 | JC-KS-0001-0006 | JC-KS-0001-0007 | JC-KS-0001-0009 | JC-KS-0001-0011 | JC-KS-0001-0015 | JC-KS-0001-0027
Weinberg, Barry H. (District of Columbia)
JC-KS-0001-0004 | JC-KS-0001-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Foster, Robert J. (Kansas)
JC-KS-0001-0012 | JC-KS-0001-0027 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Joyce, Thomas E. (Kansas)
JC-KS-0001-0012 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Mahoney, J. W. (Kansas)
JC-KS-0001-0012 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Menghini, Frank D. (Kansas)
JC-KS-0001-0012 | JC-KS-0001-0014 | JC-KS-0001-0028 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Tomasic, Nick A. (Kansas)
JC-KS-0001-0025 | JC-KS-0001-0027 | JC-KS-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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