Case: Wabasha v. Solem

4:79-cv-04064 | U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota

Filed Date: May 21, 1979

Closed Date: 1991

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 21, 1979, Native American inmates confined in the Adjustment Center at the South Dakota Penitentiary filed a class action lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota against the warden of the Penitentiary. Plaintiffs alleged that conditions of confinement violated their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The complaint also alleged that confinement and transfer procedures violated their Fifth Amendment rights as well as the Fourteenth Amend…

On May 21, 1979, Native American inmates confined in the Adjustment Center at the South Dakota Penitentiary filed a class action lawsuit under 42 USC 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota against the warden of the Penitentiary. Plaintiffs alleged that conditions of confinement violated their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The complaint also alleged that confinement and transfer procedures violated their Fifth Amendment rights as well as the Fourteenth Amendment's due process and equal protection provisions.

On June 2, 1980, the plaintiff class was expanded to included all inmates subjected to disciplinary confinement, and a subclass was formed consisting of all Native American inmates. On June 3, 1980, the case went to trial.

On April 13, 1982, the court filed an unpublished memorandum decision and order finding no constitutional violations, but ordering that the defendant provide such things as lighting, bedding, daily trash collection, periodic pest control, better access to the law library, and limits on the duration of confinements in dark cells. The court also recommended such things as a reevaluation of the shower policy, increased recreational opportunities, and psychiatric care when needed.

A final judgment was entered on February 18, 1983 reflecting post-trial changes that were made in response to the memorandum decision and order.

Plaintiffs filed for attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. 1988. On February 7, 1984, the District Court (Judge Fred J. Nichol) awarded the plaintiffs $15,227.78 for attorney fees and costs. Wabasha v. Solem, 580 F.Supp. 448 (D.S.D. 1984). According to the docket, the plaintiffs moved to reconsider the amount of attorney fees, but the motion was dismissed on May 4, 1984.

On August 1, 1989, the plaintiffs filed a motion for an order to show cause why the defendant should not be held in civil contempt. The motion was denied on August 14, 1991 and the proceedings were dismissed as abandoned. The docket ends with the entry of the order denying the plaintiffs' motion to hold defendants in contempt on August 15, 1991.

Summary Authors

Rebekah Henn Sullivan (7/26/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Bright, Myron H. (North Dakota)

Gibson, Floyd Robert (Missouri)

Jones, John Bailey (South Dakota)

Lay, Donald Pomery (Minnesota)

Nichol, Fred Joseph (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abbott, John (South Dakota)

Cummings, Douglas P. Jr. (South Dakota)

Gilbert, Terry H. (Ohio)

Gregory, Peter (South Dakota)

Stanley, Christopher D. (Ohio)

Judge(s)

Bright, Myron H. (North Dakota)

Gibson, Floyd Robert (Missouri)

Jones, John Bailey (South Dakota)

Lay, Donald Pomery (Minnesota)

Nichol, Fred Joseph (South Dakota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abbott, John (South Dakota)

Cummings, Douglas P. Jr. (South Dakota)

Gilbert, Terry H. (Ohio)

Gregory, Peter (South Dakota)

Stanley, Christopher D. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barnett, Mark W. (South Dakota)

Dale, Richard (South Dakota)

Meierhenry, Mark V. (South Dakota)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:79-cv-04064

Docket

Wabasha v. Janklow

Aug. 15, 1991

Aug. 15, 1991

Docket

4:79-cv-04064

Docket

June 12, 2002

June 12, 2002

Docket
49

4:79-cv-04064

Memorandum Decision and Order

April 13, 1982

April 13, 1982

Order/Opinion

82-01491

82-01492

USCA Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

694 F.2d 155

Dec. 1, 1982

Dec. 1, 1982

Order/Opinion
61

4:79-cv-04064

Memorandum Decision and Order

580 F.Supp. 448

Feb. 7, 1984

Feb. 7, 1984

Order/Opinion
61

4:79-cv-04064

Memorandum Decision and Order

Feb. 7, 1984

Feb. 7, 1984

Order/Opinion
2

4:79-cv-04064

Order of Dismissal

Aug. 14, 1991

Aug. 14, 1991

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 20, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

DOCKET SHEET Case Filed on 5/21/79 (FE) (Entered: 02/07/2001)

Feb. 7, 2001

Feb. 7, 2001

Terminating case; Case closed on 2/18/83 (FE) (Entered: 02/07/2001)

Feb. 7, 2001

Feb. 7, 2001

2

Order of Dismissal Filed on 8/14/91 (FE) (Entered: 03/08/2001)

March 8, 2001

March 8, 2001

61

Memorandum Decision and Order Filed on 2/7/84 (JMM) (Entered: 04/02/2002)

March 8, 2001

March 8, 2001

62

Judgment Filed on 2/9/84 (JMM) (Entered: 04/02/2002)

March 8, 2001

March 8, 2001

56

Judgment Filed on 02/18/83 (FE) (Entered: 05/20/2002)

March 8, 2001

March 8, 2001

64

Order Dismissing Motion to Reconsider Filed on 5/4/84 (SLL) (Entered: 06/06/2002)

March 8, 2001

March 8, 2001

49

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER Filed on 4/13/82 (SKM) (Entered: 06/12/2002)

June 12, 2002

June 12, 2002

Case Details

State / Territory: South Dakota

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 21, 1979

Closing Date: 1991

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

South Dakota inmates subjected to disciplinary confinement, and a subclass of all Native American inmates.

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Adjustment Center at South Dakota State Penitentiary (Sioux Falls), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1979 - 1983

Issues

General:

Disciplinary segregation

Law library access

Recreation / Exercise

Religious programs / policies

Sanitation / living conditions

Strip search policy

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Affected Gender:

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run