Case: Dallas County v. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee

64-cv-03388 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Filed Date: July 13, 1964

Closed Date: 1965

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This case is part of the Clearinghouse Special Collection on the events and litigation leading up to and surrounding the famous Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965. Prior to this suit, pro-segregation Judge Albert Hare of Alabama's state court for Dallas County, where Selma was located, issued an injunction on July 9, 1964 effectively making it unlawful to conduct large public protests or gather to discuss and plan civil rights activism. Specifically, the injunction made the following activiti…

This case is part of the Clearinghouse Special Collection on the events and litigation leading up to and surrounding the famous Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965.

Prior to this suit, pro-segregation Judge Albert Hare of Alabama's state court for Dallas County, where Selma was located, issued an injunction on July 9, 1964 effectively making it unlawful to conduct large public protests or gather to discuss and plan civil rights activism. Specifically, the injunction made the following activities unlawful: (1) assembly of three or more people in a public place for the purposes of discussing "violation of law" or that otherwise impaired the use of roads, (2) meetings or activities intended to impede or obstruct "the administration of justice or the orderly function of government," (3) activities intended to impede law enforcement officials from exercising their duties, and (4) conduct otherwise against law enforcement officers. The injunction thus made it difficult for civil rights activists and organizations to continue to conduct their activities in Selma.

The injunction was issued after officials from Dallas County and the City of Selma initiated the proceedings against various civil rights organizations and activists, including the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). State officials sought an injunction in state court based on a complaint and exhibits shown to Judge Hare but never actually filed.

On July 13, 1964, the civil rights entities removed the injunction to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. There, they moved to dissolve the injunction while the state officials moved to remand the case back to state court. The civil rights entities argued that the injunction violated the Civil Rights Act, as well as the First, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The federal court denied remand and dissolved the injunction on April 16, 1965.

The case is closed. We have limited access to case records and information, and we will update this page if more become available.

Summary Authors

Virginia Weeks (4/14/2018)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gayle, T. G. (Alabama)

McLeod, Blanchard (Alabama)

Pitts, W. McLean (Alabama)

Smith, Royal Randolph (Alabama)

Wilkinson, J. E. Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aronson, Henry M. (Connecticut)

Eskridge, Chauncey (Illinois)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Hall, Peter A. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gayle, T. G. (Alabama)

McLeod, Blanchard (Alabama)

Pitts, W. McLean (Alabama)

Smith, Royal Randolph (Alabama)

Wilkinson, J. E. Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aronson, Henry M. (Connecticut)

Eskridge, Chauncey (Illinois)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Hall, Peter A. (Alabama)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

April 19, 1965 Docket

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

Selma and Early Civil Rights Enforcement

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 13, 1964

Closing Date: 1965

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Civil rights organizations and activitists

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Non-profit or advocacy

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Non-profit or advocacy

Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Non-profit or advocacy

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights Act of 1957/1960, 52 U.S.C. § 10101 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 1971)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Equal Protection

Right to travel

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Non-settlement Outcome

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1964 - 1965

Issues

General:

Test or device

Voting

Voting access

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Voting:

Election administration

Voter qualifications

Voter registration rules