Case: Voshell v. Spence

4:03-cv-40522 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa

Filed Date: Sept. 22, 2003

Closed Date: 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 22, 2003, several inmates in the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa, filed a lawsuit pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against administrative officials of the Iowa Department of Corrections in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The plaintiffs, later appointed private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages, alleging that the defendants were subjecting them to "religious discrimination and persecution." Spe…

On September 22, 2003, several inmates in the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa, filed a lawsuit pro se under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against administrative officials of the Iowa Department of Corrections in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The plaintiffs, later appointed private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages, alleging that the defendants were subjecting them to "religious discrimination and persecution." Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that the defendants locked them in disciplinary segregation, retaliated against them, and falsely labeled them a gang due to their affiliation with their religion, the Church of New Song (CONS).

The plaintiffs asked the Court to declare (1) that they had been subject to religious persecution, discrimination, and retaliatory treatment in violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights; and (2) that the defendants had falsified investigative and disciplinary records to, among other things, close down CONS. The plaintiffs also sought injunctive relief enjoining the defendants from further persecuting and retaliating against members of CONS and compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $1,500,000.00.

On March 8, 2004, the District Court (Judge James E. Gritzner) denied the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction, and on June 28, it denied the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order. On October 21, 2004, the Court referred the case to Magistrate Judge Bremer to determine whether a settlement conference should be held. On February 22, 2005, Judge Gritzner issued an order staying the case pending the outcome of another case, Wycoff v. Brewer, which also concerned the CONS. The Court reasoned that the proceedings in Wycoff, where prison officials sought court relief with respect to the CONS, would very likely affect the outcome of this case.

On March 4, 2009, as a result of the ruling in Wycoff (which had been recaptioned Smith v. Ault) that the CONS would no longer have protected status, the Court lifted the stay. Defendants filed a motion for summary judgement on various grounds. Plaintiffs did not resist the motion, even after the Court extended time to reply. Holding that the record showed Plaintiffs had broken prison disciplinary rules and had failed to show that the motivating factor for the disciplinary measures was retaliation, the Court found in favor of the Defendants and dismissed the case on July 23, 2009.

Summary Authors

Stacey Jensen (6/5/2006)

Kenneth Gray (7/11/2013)

Related Cases

Remmers v. Brewer, Southern District of Iowa (1972)

Goff v. Maschner, Southern District of Iowa (1997)

Loney v. Scurr, Southern District of Iowa (1972)

People


Judge(s)

Bremer, Celeste F. (Iowa)

Gritzner, James E. (Iowa)

Hanson, William Cook (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ingram, Patrick E. (Iowa)

Schwartz, Barbara A. (Iowa)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Miller, Thomas J. (Iowa)

Robinson, Stephen C. (Iowa)

Wallace, H. Loraine (Iowa)

Judge(s)

Bremer, Celeste F. (Iowa)

Gritzner, James E. (Iowa)

Hanson, William Cook (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ingram, Patrick E. (Iowa)

Schwartz, Barbara A. (Iowa)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Miller, Thomas J. (Iowa)

Robinson, Stephen C. (Iowa)

Wallace, H. Loraine (Iowa)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:03-cv-40522

Docket (PACER)

Feb. 22, 2005

Feb. 22, 2005

Docket
1

4:03-cv-40522

Complaint for Declaratory Judgment, Injuctive Relief, and Damages

Sept. 22, 2003

Sept. 22, 2003

Complaint
59

4:03-cv-40522

Order Staying Case

Feb. 22, 2005

Feb. 22, 2005

Order/Opinion
66

4:03-cv-40522

Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment

May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009

Pleading / Motion / Brief
67

4:03-cv-40522

Order Granting Summary Judgment for Defendants

July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009

Order/Opinion
68

4:03-cv-40522

Judgment in a Civil Case

Vosell v. Spence

July 24, 2009

July 24, 2009

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT (cc: pltf(s)). (dv) (Entered: 09/22/2003)

Sept. 22, 2003

Sept. 22, 2003

2

MOTION by plaintiff Jake Voshell for appointment of counsel before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 09/22/2003)

Sept. 22, 2003

Sept. 22, 2003

3

DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL by plaintiff Jake Voshell (dv) (Entered: 09/22/2003)

Sept. 22, 2003

Sept. 22, 2003

REMARK no filing fee or motion for ifp (dv) (Entered: 09/22/2003)

Sept. 22, 2003

Sept. 22, 2003

4

ORDER by Judge James E. Gritzner; Plaintiff shall fill out the forms attached or pay $150.00 (cc: all counsel) (dv) (Entered: 11/12/2003)

Nov. 12, 2003

Nov. 12, 2003

FILING FEE PAID: on 12/8/03 in the amount of $ 100.00, receipt # 68133. no amount due (dv) (Entered: 12/08/2003)

Dec. 8, 2003

Dec. 8, 2003

5

INITIAL REVIEW ORDER by Judge James E. Gritzner granting motion for appointment of counsel [2−1] Patrick E Ingram; Because the filing fee has been paid, no further money will be withdrawn from the inmates' accounts for the filing fee. Service of process shall issue by mail to defendants and to the AG (cc: all counsel) (dv) (Entered: 01/23/2004)

Jan. 23, 2004

Jan. 23, 2004

6

RESPONSE for IFP form by plaintiff Jeff Winters [5−1] re: order (don) (Entered: 02/02/2004)

Feb. 2, 2004

Feb. 2, 2004

7

FORM C: CERTIFICATE OF INMATE ACCOUNT AND ASSETS by plaintiff Jeff Winters re [5−1] order (don) (Entered: 02/02/2004)

Feb. 2, 2004

Feb. 2, 2004

8

FORM D: AUTHORIZATION TO DEBIT TRUST ACCOUNT TO PAY FEDERAL COURT FILING FEE by plaintiff Jeff Winters re [5−1] order (don) (Entered: 02/02/2004)

Feb. 2, 2004

Feb. 2, 2004

9

MAIL Returned [5−1] addressed to defendant John Spence (John Spence is not than employee of ISP. (don) (Entered: 02/04/2004)

Feb. 4, 2004

Feb. 4, 2004

10

MOTION by plaintiff Jake Voshell to proceed in forma pauperis before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004

Feb. 11, 2004

11

FORM D: AUTHORIZATION TO DEBIT TRUST ACCOUNT TO PAY FEDERAL COURT FILING FEE by plaintiff Jake Voshell re [5−1] order (dv) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004

Feb. 11, 2004

12

MOTION by plaintiff Dave Baber to proceed in forma pauperis before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004

Feb. 11, 2004

13

FORM D: AUTHORIZATION TO DEBIT TRUST ACCOUNT TO PAY FEDERAL COURT FILING FEE by plaintiff Dave Baber re [5−1] order (dv) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004

Feb. 11, 2004

14

MOTION by plaintiff Mike Joslin to proceed in forma pauperis before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004

Feb. 11, 2004

15

FORM D: AUTHORIZATION TO DEBIT TRUST ACCOUNT TO PAY FEDERAL COURT FILING FEE by plaintiff Mike Joslin re [5−1] order (dv) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004

Feb. 11, 2004

16

MOTION by plaintiff Kris Johnson to proceed in forma pauperis before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 02/13/2004)

Feb. 13, 2004

Feb. 13, 2004

17

FORM C: CERTIFICATE OF INMATE ACCOUNT AND ASSETS by plaintiff Burt James Smith re [5−1] order (dv) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004

Feb. 17, 2004

18

FORM D: AUTHORIZATION TO DEBIT TRUST ACCOUNT TO PAY FEDERAL COURT FILING FEE by plaintiff Burt James Smith re [5−1] order (dv) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004

Feb. 17, 2004

19

MOTION by plaintiff Burt James Smith to proceed in forma pauperis before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004

Feb. 17, 2004

20

MOTION by plaintiff Wayne Quillan to proceed in forma pauperis before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004

Feb. 17, 2004

21

MAIL Returned [5−1] addressed to plaintiff Scotty Flemming (dv) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004

Feb. 17, 2004

22

ORDER by Judge James E. Gritzner re [9−1] mail; Plaintiffs must immediately provide the Clerk with the correct name and current address for the unserved defendant, if available, so service can be obtained. (cc: all counsel) (dv) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004

Feb. 17, 2004

24

FORM D: AUTHORIZATION TO DEBIT TRUST ACCOUNT TO PAY FEDERAL COURT FILING FEE by plaintiff Bryan Keller re [5−1] order (dv) (Entered: 02/19/2004)

Feb. 19, 2004

Feb. 19, 2004

25

LETTER to court from plaintiff Kris Johnson (dv) (Entered: 02/25/2004)

Feb. 25, 2004

Feb. 25, 2004

26

LETTER to court from plaintiff Jake Voshell (dv) (Entered: 02/26/2004)

Feb. 26, 2004

Feb. 26, 2004

27

MAIL Returned [22−1] addressed to plaintiff Scotty Flemming (dv) (Entered: 02/27/2004)

Feb. 27, 2004

Feb. 27, 2004

28

LETTER to court from plaintiff Dave Baber (dv) (Entered: 03/01/2004)

March 1, 2004

March 1, 2004

29

RESPONSE by plaintiff Jeff Winters [22−1] re: order (dv) (Entered: 03/04/2004)

March 4, 2004

March 4, 2004

30

ORDER by Judge James E. Gritzner re [22−1] order; Plaintiffs have sent in an address for John Spence. Service of process shall issue by mail to defendant Spence. The Clerk of Court is directed to send a copy of this order to both Plaintiffs and the Mears Law Office. The Clerk of Court also shall send a complete copy of the file to the Mears Law Office (cc: all counsel) (dv) (Entered: 03/09/2004)

March 8, 2004

March 8, 2004

REMARK copy of file sent to John Spence and Mears Law Firm (dv) (Entered: 03/10/2004)

March 9, 2004

March 9, 2004

31

MOTION by plaintiff Jake Voshell for preliminary injunction before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 03/24/2004)

March 24, 2004

March 24, 2004

32

ANSWER by defendants complaint [1−1] (dv) (Entered: 03/26/2004)

March 26, 2004

March 26, 2004

33

MAIL Returned [30−1] addressed to plaintiff Scotty Flemming (dv) (Entered: 03/29/2004)

March 29, 2004

March 29, 2004

34

MOTION by defendant John Spence, defendant John Mathis, defendant Ronald Welder, defendant Ruth Stockbridge, defendant James R Burton, defendant Louis Galloway, defendant Charles Harper, defendant Dave DeGrange to strike motion for preliminary injunction before Judge James E. Gritzner [31−1] before Judge James E. Gritzner (don) (Entered: 04/05/2004)

April 5, 2004

April 5, 2004

35

ORDER by Judge James E. Gritzner denying motion for preliminary injunction [31−1] ; Dispositive Motion ddl set for 8/6/04 (cc: all counsel, all plaintiffs with motion filed 3/24/04) (don) Modified on 04/07/2004 (Entered: 04/07/2004)

April 7, 2004

April 7, 2004

36

MAIL Returned [35−2] addressed to plaintiff Scotty Flemming (dv) (Entered: 04/22/2004)

April 22, 2004

April 22, 2004

37

MOTION by plaintiff Burt James Smith for temporary restraining order and to waive existing counsel before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 06/21/2004)

June 21, 2004

June 21, 2004

38

MEMORANDUM by plaintiff Burt James Smith in support [37−1] of motion for temporary restraining order and to waive existing counsel before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 06/21/2004)

June 21, 2004

June 21, 2004

39

MOTION by defendant to strike motion for temporary restraining order and to waive existing counsel before Judge James E. Gritzner [37−1] before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 06/23/2004)

June 23, 2004

June 23, 2004

40

MOTION by defendant to strike memorandum [38−1] before Judge James E. Gritzner (dv) (Entered: 06/23/2004)

June 23, 2004

June 23, 2004

41

ORDER by Judge James E. Gritzner finding the motion to strike memorandum [38−1] [40−1] moot, finding the motion to strike motion for temporary restraining order and to waive existing counsel [37−1] moot [39−1] denying motion for temporary restraining order and to waive existing counsel [37−1] see order for specifics...(cc: all counsel) (ld) (Entered: 06/28/2004)

June 28, 2004

June 28, 2004

43

MAIL Returned [41−1] addressed to plaintiff Scotty Flemming. "Undeliverable as address" (fm) (Entered: 07/26/2004)

July 26, 2004

July 26, 2004

44

ORDER ; Jury trial set for 02/14/05 at 9:00 ; Final pretrial cnf (MAG) set for 02/02/05 at 11:00 /s/JRR, Clerk (cc: all counsel) (dv) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 24, 2004

Aug. 24, 2004

45

MAIL Returned [44−2] addressed to plaintiff Scotty Flemming (dv) (Entered: 09/07/2004)

Sept. 7, 2004

Sept. 7, 2004

46

LETTER to court from plaintiff Louie Jales (Joles) (don) (Entered: 09/13/2004)

Sept. 13, 2004

Sept. 13, 2004

47

ORDER. Referred to Mag. Judge Bremer to determine if settlement conference should be held and if so to schedule; counsel shall confer and file status report within 30 days of this order indicating whether or not they want the Court to schedule a settlement conference. Entered by Judge James E. Gritzner on 10/21/2004. (nlh) (Entered: 10/21/2004)

Oct. 21, 2004

Oct. 21, 2004

48

Mail Returned as Undeliverable. Mail sent to Scotty Flemming which included 47 Order, no forwarding address given. (don, ) (Entered: 11/12/2004)

Nov. 12, 2004

Nov. 12, 2004

49

MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney by Patrick Ingram for Dave Baber, Scotty Flemming, Clayton Gregory, James Hall, Louie Jales, Kris Johnson, Mike Joslin, Thomas Keith, Bryan Keller, Wayne Quillan, Burt James Smith, Jake Voshell, Joe Weig, Rick Whitney, Jeff Winters. Responses due by 12/3/2004 (don, ) (Entered: 11/17/2004)

Nov. 16, 2004

Nov. 16, 2004

50

STATUS REPORT by James R Burton, Dave DeGrange, Louis Galloway, Charles Harper, John Mathis, John Spence, Ruth Stockbridge, Ronald Welder. (Wallace, H) (Entered: 11/22/2004)

Nov. 22, 2004

Nov. 22, 2004

51

TEXT ORDER Setting Hearing on Plaintiff's counsel's 49 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney: Motion Hearing set for 12/1/2004 10:00 AM by telephone conference call placed by counsel for Plaintiff before Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer. Entered by Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer on 11/22/2004. (mlr) (Entered: 11/22/2004)

Nov. 22, 2004

Nov. 22, 2004

52

RESPONSE to Motion re 49 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney Defendants' Resistance to Motion to Withdraw filed by James R Burton, Dave DeGrange, Louis Galloway, Charles Harper, John Mathis, John Spence, Ruth Stockbridge, Ronald Welder. Replies due by 12/6/2004. (Wallace, H) (Entered: 11/23/2004)

Nov. 23, 2004

Nov. 23, 2004

53

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer: Hearing held on 12/2/2004 on resisted Motion to Withdraw (#49). Appearing were Pat Ingram for Plaintiffs and Lorraine Wallace for Defendants. Order entered separately. (mlr) (Entered: 12/02/2004)

Dec. 2, 2004

Dec. 2, 2004

54

ORDER denying 49 Atty Ingram's Mot. to Withdraw. Deadline for Def. to file status report is 12/7/04. Plaintiffs to contact Atty Ingram no later than 12/31/04 indicating whether they intend to continue as Pl. in this case. A copy of this Order will be mailed to each Plaintiff individually. Trial set for 2/14/05 &FPTC set for 2/2/05 continued and will be reset after status of case is determined. Entered by Magistrate Judge Celeste F. Bremer on 12/2/2004. (mlr) (Entered: 12/02/2004)

Dec. 2, 2004

Dec. 2, 2004

55

STATUS REPORT by James R Burton, Dave DeGrange, Louis Galloway, Charles Harper, John Mathis, John Spence, Ruth Stockbridge, Ronald Welder. (Wallace, H) (Entered: 12/02/2004)

Dec. 2, 2004

Dec. 2, 2004

56

AFFIDAVIT of Jake Voshell by Jake Voshell. (Attachments: # 1 Envelope) (don, ) (Entered: 12/06/2004)

Dec. 2, 2004

Dec. 2, 2004

Trial and Final Pretrial Conference canceled per Order #54 on 12/2/2004. (mlr) (Entered: 12/15/2004)

Dec. 15, 2004

Dec. 15, 2004

58

Mail Returned as Undeliverable. Mail sent to Scotty Flemming which included 54 Order on Motion to Withdraw as Attorney, (don, ) (Entered: 12/20/2004)

Dec. 20, 2004

Dec. 20, 2004

59

ORDER STAYING CASE pending outcome of Case No. 4:05−cv−00068−RP−RAW (Wycoff v. Brewer). Entered by Judge James E. Gritzner on 2/22/2005. (nlh) (Entered: 02/22/2005)

Feb. 22, 2005

Feb. 22, 2005

60

ORDER FOR STATUS REPORT. Status Report due by 4/27/2009. See order for particulars. Signed by Judge James E. Gritzner on 4/9/2009. (nlh) (Entered: 04/09/2009)

April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009

61

STATUS REPORT by John Mathis, Ronald Welder, Ruth Stockbridge, James R Burton, Louis Galloway, Charles Harper, Dave DeGrange, John Spence. (Wallace, H) (Entered: 04/27/2009)

April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

62

STATUS REPORT from the Plaintiff by Jake Voshell. (Ingram, Patrick) (Entered: 04/30/2009)

April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009

63

ORDER lifting stay. Parties may file dispositive motions by not later than 5/18/2009/ Signed by Judge James E. Gritzner on 5/4/2009. (nlh) (Entered: 05/04/2009)

May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009

Set/Reset Deadlines: Dispositive Motion Deadline due by 5/18/2009. Per order 63 . (don) (Entered: 05/05/2009)

May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009

64

First MOTION for Extension of Time to File Dispositive Motion Motions referred to Celeste F. Bremer. by John Mathis, Ronald Welder, Ruth Stockbridge, James R Burton, Louis Galloway, Charles Harper, Dave DeGrange, John Spence. Responses due by 6/4/2009 (Wallace, H) (Entered: 05/18/2009)

May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009

65

TEXT ORDER granting 64 unresisted motion for extension of time. Any dispositive motion shall be filed on or before 5/22/2009. Signed by Judge James E. Gritzner on 5/19/2009. (nlh) (Entered: 05/19/2009)

May 19, 2009

May 19, 2009

Set/Reset Deadlines: Dispositive Motion Deadline due by 5/22/2009. Per Order 65 . (don, ) (Entered: 05/19/2009)

May 19, 2009

May 19, 2009

66

MOTION for Summary Judgment by John Mathis, Ronald Welder, Ruth Stockbridge, James R Burton, Louis Galloway, Charles Harper, Dave DeGrange, John Spence. Responses due by 6/15/2009 (Attachments: # 1 Statement of Undisputed Facts, # 2 Memorandum in Support, # 3 Appendix pp. 1−66, # 4 Appendix pp. 67−160)(Wallace, H) (Entered: 05/22/2009)

May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009

67

ORDER granting 66 Motion for Summary Judgment in favor of Defendants. This case is dismissed. See order for particulars. Signed by Judge James E. Gritzner on 7/23/2009. (nlh) (Entered: 07/23/2009)

July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009

68

JUDGMENT in favor of Charles Harper, Dave DeGrange, James R Burton, John Mathis, John Spence, Louis Galloway, Ronald Welder, Ruth Stockbridge against Bryan Keller, Burt James Smith, Clayton Gregory, David James Baber, Jake Voshell, James Hall, Jeff Winters, Joe Weig, Kris Johnson, Louie Jales, Mike Joslin, Rick Whitney, Scotty Flemming, Thomas Keith, Wayne Quillan. Signed by Clerk Marjorie Krahn on 7/24/2009. (don, ) (Entered: 07/24/2009)

July 24, 2009

July 24, 2009

Case Details

State / Territory: Iowa

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 22, 2003

Closing Date: 2009

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates in the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa who were members of the Church of New Song

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Administrative Officials (Fort Madison), State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Free Exercise Clause

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief denied

Issues

General:

Disciplinary procedures

Religious programs / policies

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run