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DEFILIPPIS v. UNITED STATES

United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois


January 25, 1974

JOSEPH DEFILIPPIS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.

This is a civil action for damages, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and declaratory judgment. Plaintiffs, members of the Marine Air Reserves, assigned to the Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois, and to Waukeegan, Illinois, request that defendants be enjoined from enforcing Marine Corp orders, regulations and/or policies which prohibit reservists from wearing wigs to cover long hair while attending monthly drills and annual training. Plaintiffs also request that the challenged orders, regulations and/or policies be declared to be in excess of the defendants' statutory authority and unconstitutional. Finally, the plaintiffs seek damages and the cost of maintaining the instant action.

The jurisdiction of this Court is invoked pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1346(a)(2), 2201 and 2202. The amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $10,000 exclusive of interest and costs.

It is the opinion of this Court after carefully examining the pleadings and relevant case law, and weighing the testimony and exhibits presented at a hearing on this cause that a preliminary injunction should be granted against the defendants in order to protect the putative rights and military status of the named plaintiffs until this Court decides the issues in question. There is a two-fold basis for this ruling.

First, there is a trend in recent cases which would seem to support the proposition advocated by the plaintiffs. Insofar as members of the Armed Forces Reserves are concerned who under their service contracts are allowed to work and live in civilian society for the vast majority of the time, the right to wear their hair as they please is not so trivial as to be denied without sufficient service connected reasons.*fn* See Clayton Miller et al. v. Captain Carl Ackerman et al., 488 F.2d 920 (8th Cir. decided Dec. 19, 1973); Friedman v. Foehlke, 470 F.2d 1351 (1st Cir. 1972); Harris v. Kaine, 352 F. Supp. 769 (S.D.N.Y. 1972); cf. Anderson v. Laird, 437 F.2d 912 (7th Cir. 1971).

Second, the United States Army in a recent change to Army Regulation 600-20 (Chapter 5) granted to Army Reservists exactly what these Marine Reservists seek. The conflicting policy between branches of military service concerning the grooming of reservists might well involve constitutional problems of equal protection and due process.

The plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction is granted. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that until the issues of the instant action are resolved the defendants and their agents, servants and employees are enjoined from enforcing any regulation, orders and/or policies of the United States Marine Corps which prohibits the named plaintiffs while attending monthly drills and annual training as United States Marine Reservists from wearing short hair wigs to cover long hair.


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