Case: McClelland v. Sigler

4:70-cv-01666 | U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska

Filed Date: March 1, 1970

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1970, two black inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Corrections Complex filed a Section 1983 lawsuit, pro se, in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Defendants maintained a separate cell house for white inmates who objected to living with black inmates. Plaintiffs alleged that the conditions in the whites only cell house were superior to those of the other racially integrated cell houses, denying them their civil rights as granted to them by …

In 1970, two black inmates at the Nebraska Penal and Corrections Complex filed a Section 1983 lawsuit, pro se, in the District of Nebraska against officials of the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Defendants maintained a separate cell house for white inmates who objected to living with black inmates. Plaintiffs alleged that the conditions in the whites only cell house were superior to those of the other racially integrated cell houses, denying them their civil rights as granted to them by the Constitution and federal statutes.

The District Court (Judge Warren K. Urbom) appointed private counsel to represent the plaintiffs and on February 10, 1971, trial was held. Judge Urbom held that segregation by race in state prison was constitutionally impermissible, but did not award relief because the case had not been certified as a class action. McClelland v. Sigler, 327 F. Supp. 829 (D. Neb. 1971). Judge Urbom ordered that the plaintiffs had ten days to amend the complaint so that the court could award complete relief among those already parties. Plaintiffs amended the complaint and relief was granted. Defendants appealed.

The 8th Circuit affirmed Judge Urbom's opinion holding that racial segregation could not be justified on the ground that it was needed to maintain order and that trouble would result if black inmates were housed with such white inmates. McClelland v. Sigler, 456 F.2d 1266 (8th Cir. 1972).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported opinion, dated March 22, 1972.

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (6/10/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Gibson, Floyd Robert (Missouri)

Heaney, Gerald William (Minnesota)

Ross, Donald Roe (Nebraska)

Urbom, Warren Keith (Nebraska)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Active

Active

Judge(s)

Gibson, Floyd Robert (Missouri)

Heaney, Gerald William (Minnesota)

Ross, Donald Roe (Nebraska)

Urbom, Warren Keith (Nebraska)

Other Attorney(s)

Meyer, Clarence A.H. (Nebraska)

Mosher, Harold (Nebraska)

Schmeling, Richard L. (Nebraska)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Memorandum of Decision

327 F.Supp. 829, 1971 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13588

April 26, 1971 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

456 F.2d 1266, 1972 U.S.App.LEXIS 10577

March 22, 1972 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Nebraska

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 1, 1970

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates of state penal and correctional complex brought civil rights action complaining of racial segregation at the complex

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Nebraska Penal and Correctional Complex, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1971 - 0

Issues

General:

Administrative segregation

Racial segregation

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run