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Case Name Goff v. Harper PC-IA-0001
Docket / Court 4:90-CV-30365 ( S.D. Iowa )
State/Territory Iowa
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On July 6, 1990, an inmate at Iowa State Prison filed a lawsuit against prison officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa alleging Eighth and Eleventh Amendment violations. Plaintiff specifically alleged the defendants' disciplinary ... read more >
On July 6, 1990, an inmate at Iowa State Prison filed a lawsuit against prison officials under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa alleging Eighth and Eleventh Amendment violations. Plaintiff specifically alleged the defendants' disciplinary procedures and policies violated inmates' constitutional rights.

On December 14, 1993, plaintiff filed a motion for preliminary injunction requesting that certain prison officials not be involved in any of his disciplinary matters. The court (Judge Donald E. O'Brien) granted the injunction and defendants appealed. In May and August of 1994, plaintiff's case went to trial. In November 2004, plaintiff filed a second request for a preliminary injunction, asking the court to prohibit prison officials from denying inmates in lockup a time reduction from their lockup time. The district court granted the injunction and prison officials once again appealed. This court stayed the appeal until the district court issued its final ruling in the case.

On June 2, 1995, Goff moved for class certification, which was granted on September 13, 1995. The class was comprised of past, present or future inmates confined in Iowa State Prison lockup. On July 26, 1995, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge Theodore McMillian) found that the district court had abused its discretion and vacated the injunction and remanded the case. Goff v. Harper, 60 F.3d 518 (8th Cir. 1995). A second trial was held in March and May of 1996.

After the second trial, the district court (Judge O'Brien) granted the motion of Goff and the other inmates to amend the Complaint alleging constitutional violations concerning mental health and lack of exercise for those confined to lockup.

On June 5, 1997, the district court (Judge O'Brien) filed an order setting forth findings of fact and conclusions of law relating to constitutional violations by the Iowa State Penitentiary. The court found four constitutional violations: 1) the violation of substantive due process resulting from the extraordinarily long lockup sentences; 2) the violation of the Eighth Amendment resulting from the inadequate mental health treatment received by mentally ill and mentally disordered inmates; 3) the violation of the Eighth Amendment resulting from the deprivation of exercise for inmates in lockup during the winter months; and 4) the violation of the Eighth Amendment resulting from the pandemonium and bedlam the mentally stable inmates must suffer because they are intermingled with the mentally ill inmates who either cannot or do not control their behavior. The court directed prison officials to file a plan to remedy the constitutional violations at Iowa State Prison.

On August 4, 1999, after consideration of three other plans, the court (Judge O'Brien) approved the fourth plan filed by prison officials. Goff v. Harper, 59 F. Supp.2d 910 (S.D. Iowa 1999). The court also found that a 200-bed special needs unit, once fully constructed and staffed, would remedy the Eighth Amendment violations. In the process of establishing a plan to correct the alleged violations, prison officials found existing consent decrees at Iowa State Prison that may require them to seek court permission to implement their plan. Because of the earlier consent decrees, Prison Officials filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

On September 20, 1999, the district court (Judge O'Brien) denied their motion. Defendants appealed, and on December 19, 2000 the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Donald Pomery Lay) held that Court would remand case to District Court to determine whether prison's restrictions upon inmates' rights were reasonable. Goff v. Harper, 235 F.3d 410 (8th Cir. 2000).

On October 15, 2001, the district court (Judge O'Brien) filed an order stating that it did have subject matter jurisdiction and that the injunctive relief set forth in the fourth plan was necessary to protect inmates' constitutional rights. On November 21, 2001, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals sua sponte vacated its December 19, 2000, judgment and issued an expedited briefing schedule. Goff v. Haprer, 272 F.3d 1114 (8th Cir. 2001). However, the reinstated appeal was closed by the court on January 30, 2002.

On January 20, 2004 the court (Magistrate Judge Ross A. Walters) withdrew a motion to reopen without prejudice. The docket ends on June 7, 2006. We have no further information on this case.

Emilee Baker - 10/16/2006

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Recreation / Exercise
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Iowa State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description All past, present and future inmates confined in the Iowa State Penitentiary Lockup.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1999 - n/a
Filed 07/06/1990
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
S.D. Iowa
PC-IA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
U.S. Court of Appeals
Reported Opinion (60 F.3d 518)
PC-IA-0001-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Google Scholar
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 94]
PC-IA-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [ECF# 172] (1997 WL 34715292)
PC-IA-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 292]
PC-IA-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
The Plan IV (Proposed Decree) [ECF# 294]
PC-IA-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 299] (59 F.Supp.2d 910)
PC-IA-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 320]
PC-IA-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Decision by Court [ECF# 322]
PC-IA-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 325]
PC-IA-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 331]
PC-IA-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
U.S. Court of Appeals
Reported Opinion (235 F.3d 410)
PC-IA-0001-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Google Scholar
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 403]
PC-IA-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
S.D. Iowa
Order [ECF# 429]
PC-IA-0001-0013.pdf | Detail
U.S. Court of Appeals
Opinion (272 F.3d 1114)
PC-IA-0001-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Arnold, Richard Sheppard (E.D. Ark., W.D. Ark., Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
Bennett, Mark W. (S.D. Iowa, N.D. Iowa) show/hide docs
Bremer, Celeste F. (S.D. Iowa) show/hide docs
Fagg, George Gardner (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
Lay, Donald Pomery (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-IA-0001-0015 | PC-IA-0001-0016
Loken, James B. (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
Longstaff, Ronald Earl (S.D. Iowa) show/hide docs
McMillian, Theodore (Eighth Circuit) show/hide docs
O'Brien, Donald Eugene (S.D. Iowa, N.D. Iowa) show/hide docs
PC-IA-0001-0002 | PC-IA-0001-0003 | PC-IA-0001-0007 | PC-IA-0001-0008 | PC-IA-0001-0009 | PC-IA-0001-0010 | PC-IA-0001-0011 | PC-IA-0001-0012 | PC-IA-0001-0013 | PC-IA-0001-9000
Walters, Ross A. (S.D. Iowa) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ingram, Patrick E. (Iowa) show/hide docs
PC-IA-0001-0015 | PC-IA-0001-9000
Mears, Philip B. (Iowa) show/hide docs
PC-IA-0001-0015 | PC-IA-0001-9000
Schwartz, Barbara A. (Iowa) show/hide docs
Sobel, Scott A. (Iowa) show/hide docs
Walke, Jason (Iowa) show/hide docs
Whiston, John B. (Iowa) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Gordon E. (Iowa) show/hide docs
PC-IA-0001-0004 | PC-IA-0001-9000
Ensign, Kristin W. (Iowa) show/hide docs
PC-IA-0001-0016 | PC-IA-0001-9000
Miller, Thomas J. (Iowa) show/hide docs

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