Case: Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary v. Vitek

4:72-cv-00156 | U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska

Filed Date: April 12, 1972

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On 04/12/1972, Indian inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs claimed deprivations of rights secured to them under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that officials refused to permit an Indian Culture Club; that access to Indian religion was denied to them; and that they were discriminated against …

On 04/12/1972, Indian inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Plaintiffs claimed deprivations of rights secured to them under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that officials refused to permit an Indian Culture Club; that access to Indian religion was denied to them; and that they were discriminated against in the work rehabilitation process.

In October 1974, the parties reached an agreement and the District Court (Judge Warren K. Urbom) approved a consent decree. The consent decree required defendants to meet several of the plaintiffs' religious requests and improve the work and educational opportunities available to the plaintiffs. Specifically, the consent decree required defendants to permit the wearing of traditional Indian hairstyles and to recognize the Indian Culture Club.

In May 1976, a supplemental consent decree was entered and signed by the court; it resolved a dispute over the meaning of paragraph 2 of the original consent decree. The supplemental consent decree recognized a sweat lodge as a ""facility"" for the worship of Indian religion.

In 1987, litigation renewed over the constitutionality of only allowing one official medicine man. The court held that the plaintiff's rights were violated by defendants' policy of hiring an official medicine man from a variant sect of the Sioux tribe who held beliefs contrary to those of the plaintiff. Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary v. Gunter, 660 F. Supp. 394 (D. Neb. 1987). Defendants appealed, but the Court of Appeals affirmed. Sapanajin v. Gunter, 857 F.2d 463 (8th Cir. 1988).

Litigation has continued throughout the last three years. Plaintiffs filed a motion for contempt which was denied, but resulted in a new settlement agreement that was approved by Judge Urbom in March 2005. The new settlement agreement includes the Articles and By-Laws of the Native American Club, allows members of the Native American Club to hold two Pow-Wows per year, and establishes a procedure for the Native American Club to acquire food for religious purposes.

The PACER docket for this case contains only entries from July 2003 through March 2005.

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (6/10/2005)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5758702/parties/indian-inmates-of-the-nebraska-penitentiary-v-wolff/


Judge(s)

Arnold, Richard Sheppard (Arkansas)

Urbom, Warren Keith (Nebraska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohn, Jonathan M. (Nebraska)

Echo-Hawk, Walter R. (Colorado)

El-Kasaby, Bassel F. (Nebraska)

Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baker, Dana V. (Nebraska)

Kammerlohr, Melvin K. (Nebraska)

Moeller, Steven J. (Nebraska)

Tomka, Jennifer M. (Nebraska)

Judge(s)

Arnold, Richard Sheppard (Arkansas)

Urbom, Warren Keith (Nebraska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohn, Jonathan M. (Nebraska)

Echo-Hawk, Walter R. (Colorado)

El-Kasaby, Bassel F. (Nebraska)

Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baker, Dana V. (Nebraska)

Kammerlohr, Melvin K. (Nebraska)

Moeller, Steven J. (Nebraska)

Tomka, Jennifer M. (Nebraska)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:72-cv-00156

Docket (PACER)

Indian Inmates of Nebraks Penitentiary v. Wolff

March 15, 2005

March 15, 2005

Docket

4:72-cv-00156

Consent Decree

Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentirary v. Vitek

July 29, 1974

July 29, 1974

Order/Opinion

4:72-cv-00156

Supplemental Consent Decree

Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentirary v. Vitek

May 24, 1976

May 24, 1976

Order/Opinion

4:72-cv-00156

Memorandum of Decision

Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentirary v. Gunter

660 F.Supp. 394, 1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4356

May 19, 1987

May 19, 1987

Order/Opinion

87-02306

87-02404

Reported Opinion

Sapanajin v. Gunter

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

857 F.2d 463, 1988 U.S.App.LEXIS 12331

Sept. 14, 1988

Sept. 14, 1988

Order/Opinion
284

4:72-cv-00156

Judgment Denying Motion for Contempt of Order-Judgment Decree, Approving Settlement Agreement, Terminating Consent Decrees and Dismissing Action

Indian Inmates of Nebraska Penitentiary v. Clarke

March 15, 2005

March 15, 2005

Order/Opinion
285

4:72-cv-00156

Settlement Agreement

Indian Inmates of Nebraska Penitentiary v. Clarke

March 15, 2005

March 15, 2005

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5758702/indian-inmates-of-the-nebraska-penitentiary-v-wolff/

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
286

ORDER TO WITHDRAW EXHIBITS - Counsel for parties, shall either 1) withdraw the following exhibits previously submitted in this matter within 14 calendar days of the date of this order, or 2) show cause why the exhibits should not be destroyed. Ordered by Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. (JAB)

Jan. 9, 2012

Jan. 9, 2012

RECAP

Remark - Public - This case was converted to CM/ECF on 07/03/2003. All documents filed prior to this date are in paper and may be viewed at the Clerk's Office. All documents filed after this date will be available electronically. (CS, ) (Entered: 07/07/2003)

July 3, 2003

July 3, 2003

248

MOTION for Contempt of Order-Judgment Decree [48] on behalf of Plaintiff Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary and Plaintiff Richard Thomas Walker(CS, ) Modified on 7/7/2003 to change Document Number (CS, ). (Entered: 07/07/2003)

July 3, 2003

July 3, 2003

290

ORDER SETTING RESPONSE DATE TO MOTION FOR CONTEMPT OR BREACH OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT- The defendants shall have until September 12, 2012, to respond to the Motion for Contempt or Breach of Settlement Agreement 287 . Ordered by Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. (MKR)

Aug. 28, 2012

Aug. 28, 2012

RECAP
300

ORDER denying 294 Motion for Emergency Temporary Restraining Order. Ordered by Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. (Copy mailed/e-mailed to pro se party)(EJL)

Sept. 21, 2012

Sept. 21, 2012

RECAP
249

BRIEF in Support of Motion for Contempt of Order-Judgment Decree 248 with attached Order-Judgment Decreeon behalf of Plaintiffs Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary and Richard Thomas Walker - (PART 1 OF 2)(CS, ) (Entered: 07/07/2003)

July 3, 2003

July 3, 2003

304

ORDER- Counsel shall present their views in writing on or before December 1, 2012, about whether this case, limited to the Motion for Contempt or Breach of Settlement Agreement, ECF No. 287 , is concerned, should be transferred to the District Court of Lancaster County, Nebraska.***Set/Reset All Deadlines: ( Case Management Deadline set for 12/1/2012.) Ordered by Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. (copies mailed) (MKR)

Nov. 14, 2012

Nov. 14, 2012

RECAP

PART 2 OF 2 - MOTION to Appoint Counsel on behalf of Plaintiffs Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary and Richard Thomas Walker (CS, ) (Entered: 07/07/2003)

July 3, 2003

July 3, 2003

250

MOTION to Extend Time to File Response to MOTION for Contempt of Order-Judgment Decree248 by Attorney Jennifer Tomka (Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 07/21/2003)

July 21, 2003

July 21, 2003

251

ORDER granting 250 Motion to Extend. Defendants are granted an additional twenty (20) days until August 11, 2003, to serve a response to the Plaintiffs' Motion for Contempt of Order- Judgment Decree under NELR 7.1(b). Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 7/22/2003. (EJL) (Entered: 07/22/2003)

July 22, 2003

July 22, 2003

252

MOTION for Injunctive Relief Prohibiting Retaliationfiled by Plaintiffs Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary and Richard Thomas Walker (CS, ) (Entered: 07/31/2003)

July 31, 2003

July 31, 2003

253

Order denying Motion for Injunctive Relief Prohibiting Retaliation, 252, is denied without prejudice, because it is an inappropriate filing in the context of the existing lawsuit. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 8/4/2003. (EJL) (Entered: 08/04/2003)

Aug. 4, 2003

Aug. 4, 2003

254

MOTION to Extend Time by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendants Les Auman, Harold W. Clarke, Michael Kenney, Teresa Predmore, Lynn Wright (Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 08/14/2003)

Aug. 14, 2003

Aug. 14, 2003

255

ORDER granting 254 Motion to Extend. The defendants are granted until August 22, 2003, to serve a response to the Plaintiffs' Motion for Contempt of Order--Judgment Decree. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 8/14/2003. (EJL) (Entered: 08/14/2003)

Aug. 14, 2003

Aug. 14, 2003

256

MOTION Terminate Consent Decree by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendant Harold W. Clarke (Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 08/22/2003)

Aug. 22, 2003

Aug. 22, 2003

257

BRIEF In Support of Motion for Miscellaneous Relief256 by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendant Harold W. Clarke (Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 08/22/2003)

Aug. 22, 2003

Aug. 22, 2003

258

EXHIBIT LIST by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendant Harold W. Clarke. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1# 2 Exhibit 1A# 3 Exhibit 1B# 4 Exhibit 1C# 5 Exhibit 1D# 6 Exhibit 1E# 7 Exhibit 1F# 8 Exhibit 1I# 9 Exhibit 1J# 10 Exhibit 1K# 11 Exhibit 1L# 12 Exhibit 1M)(Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 08/22/2003)

Aug. 22, 2003

Aug. 22, 2003

259

MOTION for Leave to File Supplemental Affidavit of Harold Clarke in Support of Motion to Terminate Consent Decree by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendant Harold W. Clarke (Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 09/26/2003)

Sept. 26, 2003

Sept. 26, 2003

260

EXHIBIT LIST in Support of Motion for Leave to File Supplemental Affidavit of Harold Clarke in Support of Motion to Terminate Consent Decree by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendant Harold W. Clarke. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 2# 2 Exhibit 2A)(Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 09/26/2003)

Sept. 26, 2003

Sept. 26, 2003

262

EXHIBIT LIST (Supplemental) in Support of Motion to Terminate Consent Decree and in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion to Cite for Contempt by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendant Harold W. Clarke. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 2# 2 Exhibit 2A)(Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 10/14/2003)

Oct. 14, 2003

Oct. 14, 2003

263

ORDER that the plaintiffs' motion for an order finding the defendants in contempt of the consent decree of October 31, 1974, filing 248, remains under advisement pending further proceedings; the defendants' motion to terminate the consent decree, filing 256, is granted to the extent that it seeks a stay of the consent decree pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 3626(b) (2)(A)(I), but remains under advisement in all other respects; and the plaintiffs' motion to appoint counsel to assist them in this matter, filing 249, is granted.Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 2/10/2004. (EJL) (Entered: 02/10/2004)

Feb. 10, 2004

Feb. 10, 2004

264

PROTECTIVE ORDER. Administrative Regulation 112.05 and Operational Memorandum 112.005.101 shall be filed under seal; these documents are available to and for use by counsel only, and neither the document nor a copy shall be permitted to be in the possession of any inmate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Correctional Services of the State of Nebraska. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 2/10/2004. (EJL) (Entered: 02/10/2004)

Feb. 10, 2004

Feb. 10, 2004

266

ORDER Appointing Counsel. Under the inherent authority of the court BASSEL FAROUK EL-KASABY, P.O. Box 8003, Omaha, NE 68108 is appointed counsel for plaintiffs in this matter. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 2/12/2004. (EJL) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 12, 2004

Feb. 12, 2004

267

NOTICE of Appearance of co-counsel by Attorney Jonathan M. Cohn on behalf of Plaintiffs Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary, Richard Thomas Walker (Cohn, Jonathan) (Entered: 03/26/2004)

March 26, 2004

March 26, 2004

268

ORDER Scheduling Hearing. Hearing set for 9/27/2004 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 4 (Lincoln) before Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 8/11/2004. (EJL) (Entered: 08/12/2004)

Aug. 11, 2004

Aug. 11, 2004

269

NOTICE OF HEARING requesting the officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections produce inmates Richard Walker, Michael Sims, Kevin White, Robert Grey Owl, Wayne Saul, Eric Scott, and Farrow Thunderhawk for the hearing scheduled to begin September 27, 2004 (copy forwarded to U.S. Marshal and copy faxed and mailed to Visa Perlinger at Records Office of Nebraska State Penitentiary)(BMH) (Entered: 09/20/2004)

Sept. 20, 2004

Sept. 20, 2004

270

Joint STIPULATION FOR DISMISSAL and approval of settlement agreement by Attorney Bassel F. El-Kasaby on behalf of Plaintiff Richard Thomas Walker (Attachments: # 1 Settlement Agreement# 2 Affidavit)(El-Kasaby, Bassel) (Entered: 10/26/2004)

Oct. 26, 2004

Oct. 26, 2004

271

LETTER by Brad Walton on behalf of Plaintiff Indian Inmates of the Nebraska Penitentiary (CS, ) (Entered: 12/01/2004)

Dec. 1, 2004

Dec. 1, 2004

272

MOTION for Leave to File Signed Settlement Agreement in Support of Joint Stipulation to Dismiss by Attorney Jennifer Tomka on behalf of Defendants Les Auman, Harold W. Clarke, Michael Kenney, Teresa Predmore, Charles L. Wolff Jr., Lynn Wright (Attachments: # 1)(Tomka, Jennifer) (Entered: 12/22/2004)

Dec. 22, 2004

Dec. 22, 2004

273

ORDER Scheduling Hearing. Hearing on the Settlement Agreement set for 1/3/2005 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 4 (Lincoln) before Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 12/22/2004. (EJL) (Entered: 12/22/2004)

Dec. 22, 2004

Dec. 22, 2004

274

NOTICE OF HEARING requesting the officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections produce inmates Richard Walker, Michael Sims, Kevin White, and Robert Grey Owl for the hearing scheduled at 10:00 a.m. on January 3, 2005 (copy forwarded to U.S. Marshal and copy faxed and mailed to Visa Perlinger of the Records Office at the Nebraska State Penitentiary) (BMH) (Entered: 12/23/2004)

Dec. 23, 2004

Dec. 23, 2004

275

ORDER granting 272 Motion for Leave to File Signed Settlement Agreement in Support of Joint Stipulation to Dismiss instanter. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 12/29/2004. (EJL) (Entered: 12/29/2004)

Dec. 29, 2004

Dec. 29, 2004

276

Minute Entry for hearing held on 1/3/2005 before Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom regarding JOINT STIPULATION FOR DISMISSAL AND APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 270; evidence by plaintiffs and defendants; settlement agreement is neither approval or disapproved at this time; counsel are to keep court informed regarding negotiations; Trial set for 3/14/2005 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 4 (Lincoln) before Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom for 3 days; Hearing held in Lincoln; Courtroom Deputy: Beth Hansen; Reporter: Digital Recorder; Appearance for Plaintiff: Bassel F. El-Kasaby: Appearance for Defendant: Jennifer Tomka; Hearing held in Lincoln; Courtroom Deputy: Beth Hansen; Reporter: Digital Recorder; Time Start: 10:15 a.m.; Time Stop: 12:25 p.m. THIS IS A TEXT ONLY ENTRY. A PDF DOCUMENT IS NOT ATTACHED TO THIS ENTRY. (BMH) Modified on 1/4/2005 to include evidence language (BMH). (Entered: 01/03/2005)

Jan. 3, 2005

Jan. 3, 2005

277

EXHIBIT LIST from settlement agreement hearing held on 1/3/05. (BMH) (Entered: 01/03/2005)

Jan. 3, 2005

Jan. 3, 2005

278

WITNESS LIST from settlement agreement hearing held on 1/3/05. (BMH) Additional attachment(s) added on 1/4/2005 (BMH, ). (Entered: 01/03/2005)

Jan. 3, 2005

Jan. 3, 2005

NOTICE of Docket Text Modification by Deputy Clerk regarding Minute Entry [276] and Witness List 278; minute entry edited to show evidence by plaintiffs and defendants and witness list edited to show witnesses for plaintiffs rather than defendants (BMH) (Entered: 01/04/2005)

Jan. 4, 2005

Jan. 4, 2005

279

ORDER Scheduling Trial. Counsel and the inmate class shall review the revised NASCA articles and bylaws and conduct further negotiations; counsel shall keep the court informed on the progress of the negotiations; and in the event negotiations fail, trial is scheduled for three days starting Monday, March 14, 2005, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom No. 4, U. S Courthouse, 100 Centennial Mall North, Lincoln, Nebraska. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 1/5/2005. (EJL) (Entered: 01/05/2005)

Jan. 5, 2005

Jan. 5, 2005

280

NOTICE OF HEARING requesting the officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections produce inmates Richard Walker, Michael Sims, Kevin White, Robert Grey Owl, Jeffery Fremont, and Ralph Thomas for the hearing scheduled at 9:00 a.m. on March 14, 2005 (copy forwarded to U.S. Marshal and copy faxed and mailed to Visa Perlinger of the Records Office at the Nebraska State Penitentiary) (BMH) (Entered: 03/09/2005)

March 9, 2005

March 9, 2005

281

Minute Entry for settlement hearing held 3/14/05 before Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom; evidence by Plaintiffs and Defendants; plaintiffs' motion for contempt 248 is denied; parties' joint stipulation for dismissal and approval of settlement agreement is accepted 270; Written order forthcoming; hearing held in Lincoln; courtroom Deputy: Beth Hansen; Reporter: Digital Recorder; Appearance for Plaintiffs: Bassel F. El- Kasaby: Appearance for Defendants: Jennifer Tomka; Time Start: 9:01- 11:58 a.m. Time Stop: 1:01-2:22 p.m. THIS IS A TEXT ONLY ENTRY. A PDF DOCUMENT IS NOT ATTACHED TO THIS ENTRY. (BMH) (Entered: 03/14/2005)

March 14, 2005

March 14, 2005

282

WITNESS LIST from settlement hearing held on 3/14/05. (BMH) (Entered: 03/14/2005)

March 14, 2005

March 14, 2005

283

EXHIBIT LIST from settlement hearing held on 3/14/05. (BMH) (Entered: 03/14/2005)

March 14, 2005

March 14, 2005

284

JUDGMENT - The Settlement Agreement, plaintiff's Exhibit 100, shall be filed and it is approved; the Motion for Contempt of Order-Judgment Decree, filing 248, is denied; the Motion to Terminate Consent Decree, filing 256, is granted; the Order-Judgment and Decree, filing [48], supplemented by the Supplemental Consent Decree, filing [51], is terminated; this action, CV72-L-156, is dismissed with prejudice and any right to attorneys' fees or costs has been waived. Signed by Judge Warren K. Urbom on 3/15/2005. (Copies mailed as directed)(CS, ) (Entered: 03/15/2005)

March 15, 2005

March 15, 2005

285

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT (marked as Plaintiffs' Exhibit 100) by Bassel F. El-Kasaby and Jonathan M. Cohn, attorneys for plaintiffs and Jennifer Tomka, attorney for defendant. (CS, ) (Entered: 03/15/2005)

March 15, 2005

March 15, 2005

309

ORDER granting 307 Motion to Extend Response Due Date. The plaintiffs shall have on or before December 14, 2012, in which to file a response.Ordered by Senior Judge Warren K. Urbom. (EJL)

Dec. 3, 2012

Dec. 3, 2012

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Nebraska

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 12, 1972

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Indian inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Nebraska Penal and Correctional Center, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Free Exercise Clause

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1974 - None

Issues

General:

Religious programs / policies

Sanitation / living conditions

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run