Case: Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education

6:69-cv-00702 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

Filed Date: Nov. 12, 1969

Closed Date: 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

School desegregation in Pitt County, North Carolina involved intertwined lawsuits spanning 40 years and, until recently, a period of dormancy. Prior to 1986, Pitt County contained two separate school districts, Pitt County and Greenville City. On 11/12/1969, in the Teel case, a group of plaintiffs brought a school desegregation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, African-American minor school children by and through their parents, sued …

School desegregation in Pitt County, North Carolina involved intertwined lawsuits spanning 40 years and, until recently, a period of dormancy.

Prior to 1986, Pitt County contained two separate school districts, Pitt County and Greenville City. On 11/12/1969, in the Teel case, a group of plaintiffs brought a school desegregation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The plaintiffs, African-American minor school children by and through their parents, sued the defendant Pitt County Board of Education to enjoin the operation of a segregated school system. Teel v. Pitt County Board of Education, 272 F.Supp. 703 (Civ. No. 569, E.D.N.C. Aug. 4, 1967). In November 1969, in the Edwards case, a group of plaintiffs brought a separate but similar action to enjoin the defendant Greenville City school board from operating a segregated school district. (No. 69-cv-702, E.D. N.C.) In both lawsuits, the district court entered injunctions against the Boards and worked with the parties on school desegregation plans, largely based on freedom of choice. The district court monitored the progress of both plans until 1972 when it concluded the Board was taking the appropriate steps and thus the court's active involvement in the case was no longer needed. After this decision, the cases remained administratively closed (though always subject to re-opening) for 35 years.

In the meantime, as noted, in 1986, the two districts merged. In 2006-07, the Board adopted a new student assignment plan for Greenville that explicitly considered students' race in school assignment. An association of (white) parents challenged the use of race, filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Civil Rights. The Board changed its assignment policy, adding other factors like socioeconomic status. As part of settling the complaint, the parties sought a ruling from the district court as to whether the desegregation orders from Teel and Edwards authorized the Board to consider race. The Board also sought to have the district court approve its new 2006-07 plan. In 2008, the district court reopened the case and re-captioned it Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education. After court-ordered negotiations, the parties reached a settlement on the plan, which was approved in November 2009. The following year, the Board began developing a student assignment plan for 2011-12, working with North Carolina Statue University. A group of parents with children in the district and an association called the Pitt County Coalition for Educating Black Children sought to enjoin the implementation of the plan. Initially denied, the plaintiffs appealed to the Fourth Circuit, which vacated the district court's decision. On remand, the Board moved for unitary status. After a five-day bench trial, the district court granted the motion for unitary status on September 25, 2013. It concluded that even prior to the 1986 merger, both school districts were unitary with respect to student assignment, and after the merger, the consolidated district achieved unitary status in the remaining areas. Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education, 2013 WL 12176624 (E.D.N.C. Sept. 25, 2013). On June 3, 2015, the Fourth Circuit affirmed. Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education, 788 F.3d 132 (4th Cir. June 3, 2015)

Available Opinions

Teel v. Pitt County Board of Education, 272 F.Supp. 703 (E.D.N.C. Aug. 4, 1967)

Everett v. Juvenile Female 1, No. 6:69-CV-702-H, 2011 WL 3606539 (E.D.N.C. Aug. 16, 2011)

Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education, 678 F.3d 281 (4th Cir. May 7, 2012)

Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education, 2013 WL 12176624 (E.D.N.C. Sept. 25, 2013)

Everett v. Pitt County Board of Education, 788 F.3d 132 (4th Cir. June 3, 2015) (upholding district court’s finding of unitary status)

Summary Authors

Greg Margolis (3/3/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5559870/parties/everett-v-the-pitt-county-board-of-education/


Judge(s)

Diaz, Albert (North Carolina)

Howard, Malcolm Jones (North Carolina)

Larkins, John Davis Jr. (North Carolina)

Niemeyer, Paul Victor (Maryland)

Wynn, James Andrew Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chambers, Julius LeVonne (New York)

Dorosin, Mark (North Carolina)

Haddix, Elizabeth (North Carolina)

Jones, Benita Nicole (North Carolina)

Osment, Susan Ashley (North Carolina)

Judge(s)

Diaz, Albert (North Carolina)

Howard, Malcolm Jones (North Carolina)

Larkins, John Davis Jr. (North Carolina)

Niemeyer, Paul Victor (Maryland)

Wynn, James Andrew Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chambers, Julius LeVonne (New York)

Dorosin, Mark (North Carolina)

Haddix, Elizabeth (North Carolina)

Jones, Benita Nicole (North Carolina)

Osment, Susan Ashley (North Carolina)

Paul, Jerry (North Carolina)

Pearson, Conrad O. (North Carolina)

Qureshi, Taiyyaba (North Carolina)

Simpson, William G. Jr. (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Allen, Curtis H. III (North Carolina)

Brewer, William C. Jr. (North Carolina)

DuBuisson, Eva (North Carolina)

Soo, Kenneth A. (North Carolina)

Speight, W. W. (North Carolina)

Stagner, Deborah R. (North Carolina)

Other Attorney(s)

Graham, Laurence S. (North Carolina)

McLawhorn, Charles L (North Carolina)

Wells, John Warner II (North Carolina)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

6:69-cv-00702

Docket

Edwards v. Greenville City Board of Education

March 9, 1972

March 9, 1972

Docket

6:69-cv-00702

Docket

June 25, 2015

June 25, 2015

Docket

0:65-cv-00569

[Order]

Teel v. Pitt County Board of Education

272 F.Supp. 703

Aug. 4, 1967

Aug. 4, 1967

Order/Opinion
73

6:69-cv-00702

Order

Everett v. The Pitt County Board of Education

Nov. 4, 2009

Nov. 4, 2009

Order/Opinion
93

6:69-cv-00702

Order

2011 WL 3606539

Aug. 16, 2011

Aug. 16, 2011

Order/Opinion
34

11-02000

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

678 F.3d 281

May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012

Order/Opinion
111

6:69-cv-00702

Defendant's Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Motion for Declaration of Unitary Status

Everett v. The Pitt County Board of Education

Aug. 13, 2012

Aug. 13, 2012

Pleading / Motion / Brief

6:69-cv-00702

Report of Plaintiff's Intervenors on Behalf of Greenville Parents Association

Everett v. The Pitt County Board of Education

Oct. 19, 2012

Oct. 19, 2012

Pleading / Motion / Brief
165

6:69-cv-00702

Order

2013 WL 12176624

Sept. 25, 2013

Sept. 25, 2013

Order/Opinion
35

13-02312

[Order]

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

788 F.3d 132

June 3, 2015

June 3, 2015

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5559870/everett-v-the-pitt-county-board-of-education/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3:24 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
93

ORDER denying 80 Motion for Injunctive and Other Relief. Signed by Senior Judge Malcolm J. Howard on 8/16/2011. (Heath, D.) Order replaced 8/17/2011 to reflect corrected citations on page 4) Notice of Electronic Filing regenerated. (Heath, D.).

Aug. 16, 2011

Aug. 16, 2011

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

School Desegregation

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 12, 1969

Closing Date: 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Consolidated case from two previously separate school districts, Pitt County and Greenville city. Plaintiffs in each were African-American minor school children by and through their parents. When the litigation was re-opened in 2008, two parents groups also got involved in the litigation.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Pitt County , School District

Greenville City Board of Education (Greenville, Pitt), City

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1965 - 2013

Content of Injunction:

Busing

Discrimination Prohibition

Monitoring

Preliminary relief granted

Reporting

Student assignment

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Education

Racial segregation

School/University Facilities

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Type of Facility:

Government-run