Case: Nelson v. Heyne

3:72-cv-01970 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Filed Date: May 12, 1972

Closed Date: 1973

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 12, 1972, a class action lawsuit was filed, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, on behalf of boys confined at the Indiana Boys School (IBS) in Plainfield, Indiana, against the Indiana Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by the Youth Advocacy Program and Legal Services' Legal Education Program, sought declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their constitutional rights.According to the …

On May 12, 1972, a class action lawsuit was filed, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, on behalf of boys confined at the Indiana Boys School (IBS) in Plainfield, Indiana, against the Indiana Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by the Youth Advocacy Program and Legal Services' Legal Education Program, sought declaratory and injunctive relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their constitutional rights.

According to the court, juveniles detained at IBS were beaten, isolated, and pharmaceutically tranquilized as punishment for misbehavior. Detainees were required to attend weekly Protestant or Catholic services, regardless of their religious beliefs. IBS censored both incoming and outgoing mail, ostensibly searching for contraband. Finally, IBS did not consistently provide rehabilitative treatment to detainees, although their policies indicated that individualized rehabilitation plans would be developed and implemented for all juveniles.

On June 15, 1972, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana (Judge Robert Allen Grant) held that the conditions of corporal punishment, punitive isolation, and behavior-controlling tranquilizers used as ISB violated the Eighth Amendment's bar on cruel and unusual punishment. Nelson v. Heyne, 355 F. Supp. 451 (N.D. Ind. 1972). The court, however, found that the religious services did not force juveniles to alter their beliefs or practice any religion. The court ordered IBS to cease all unconstitutional practices and develop and implement policies, which would preclude future constitutional violations.

On February 8, 1973, the court (Judge Grant) filed a supplemental opinion in which it held that juveniles have a due process right to rehabilitative treatment. The court ordered both parties file proposed specific findings of fact and conclusions of law to identify specific constitutional standards for programming. Nelson v. Heyne, 355 F. Supp. 451 (N.D. Ind. 1972). On January 31, 1974, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Roger Joseph Kiley) affirmed the lower court's rulings. Nelson v. Heyne, 491 F.2d 352 (7th Cir. 1974).

We do not have the pleadings or any information on subsequent proceedings.

Summary Authors

Elizabeth Chilcoat (5/26/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Grant, Robert Allen (Illinois)

Kiley, Roger Joseph (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DiGrazia, Thomas A. (Indiana)

Forhan, John P. (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Diamond, Darrel K. (Indiana)

McCoy, Dale E. (Indiana)

Sendak, Theodore (Indiana)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Active

Active

Judge(s)

Grant, Robert Allen (Illinois)

Kiley, Roger Joseph (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DiGrazia, Thomas A. (Indiana)

Forhan, John P. (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Diamond, Darrel K. (Indiana)

McCoy, Dale E. (Indiana)

Sendak, Theodore (Indiana)

Other Attorney(s)

Broden, Thomas F. Jr. (Indiana)

Faust, Ralph (Missouri)

Lauer, T. E. (Missouri)

Shaffer, Thomas L. (Indiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

72-00098

Memorandum and Order

355 F.Supp. 451

Feb. 8, 1973

Feb. 8, 1973

Order/Opinion

3:72-cv-01970

73-01446

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

491 F.2d 352, 1974 U.S.App.LEXIS 10292

Jan. 31, 1974

Jan. 31, 1974

Order/Opinion

73-01635

Memorandum Decision

Heyne v. Nelson

Supreme Court of the United States

417 U.S. 976, 94 S.Ct. 417, 41 L.Ed.2d 1146

June 17, 1974

June 17, 1974

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 15, 2022, 3:10 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Indiana

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 12, 1972

Closing Date: 1973

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Boys confined at the Indiana Boys School in Plainfield, Indiana.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Indiana Department of Corrections (Plainfield), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1972 - 0

Issues

General:

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Mail

Personal injury

Religious programs / policies

Restraints : chemical

Restraints : physical

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run