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Case Name Teterud v. Gillman PC-IA-0015
Docket / Court 73-85 ( S.D. Iowa )
State/Territory Iowa
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 4, 1973, a Native American inmate of the Iowa State Penitentiary, in Fort Madison, Iowa, filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Penitentiary's warden and other Iowa State prison authorities in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The ... read more >
On April 4, 1973, a Native American inmate of the Iowa State Penitentiary, in Fort Madison, Iowa, filed a lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Penitentiary's warden and other Iowa State prison authorities in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The plaintiff, represented by the Native American Rights Fund, alleged that prison authorities had violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments by limiting inmates' hair length, regardless of religious and ethnic heritage.

On November 20, 1974, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa (Chief Judge William C. Hanson) held that an inmate should be allowed to grow long hair if there was a good faith link between religious expression and hair length. Teterud v. Gillman, 385 F. Supp. 153 (S.D. Iowa 1974). The court was not persuaded that the State's interests in limiting hair length, such as sanitation and potential safety problems did not outweigh the inmate's interest to freely express his Native American religion. The court enjoined enforcement of the Iowa State Penitentiary's hair regulation against the plaintiff. The court, however, refused to certify the class.

On September 4, 1975, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge Gerald W. Heaney) affirmed the District Court's order, recognizing that limiting a Native American's hair length was an unconstitutional infringement on the freedom of religion. Teterud v. Burns, 522 F.2d 357 (8th Cir. 1975). The court held that the plaintiff satisfied the burden of proof by showing that his hair length was connected to sincere religious beliefs and refused to require that hair length be an orthodox form of religious expression.

We do not have the docket, pleadings, or record of any subsequent proceedings in this case.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/01/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Bathing and hygiene
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Iowa State Penitentiary
Plaintiff Description American Indian inmate of Iowa State Penitentiary challenging enforcement of prison's hair regulation against plaintiff and other Indian inmates
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1974 - n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Cruel Confinement: Abuse, Discrimination and Death Within Alabama's Prisons
Date: Jun. 4, 2014
(Southern Poverty Law Center )
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
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
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
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
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment (385 F.Supp. 153) (S.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/20/1974
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (522 F.2d 357)
PC-IA-0015-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/04/1975
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Hanson, William Cook (S.D. Iowa, N.D. Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001
Heaney, Gerald William (Eighth Circuit)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Lay, Donald Pomery (Eighth Circuit)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Van Oosterhout, Martin Donald (Eighth Circuit)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bartels, Robert D. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001
Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)
PC-IA-0015-0001 | PC-IA-0015-0002
Schantz, Mark E. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Murphy, Michael P. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001
Turner, Richard C. (Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001
Williams, Lorna Lawhead (Iowa)
PC-IA-0015-0001
Other Lawyers Barnett, Walter W. (District of Columbia)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Dimsey, Dennis J. (District of Columbia)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Donielson, Allen L. (District of Columbia)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)
PC-IA-0015-0002
Pottinger, J. Stanley (District of Columbia)
PC-IA-0015-0002

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