Case: Alabama v. Allen

64-03385 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Filed Date: July 11, 1964

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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, three black individuals outside of a county courthouse in Selma, AL were encouraging other eligible black voters to register to vote on July 6, 1964. In response, Sheriff James Clark - famous for his support of segregation and resort to violence in opposing the civil rights movement - ordered the mass arrest of …

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, three black individuals outside of a county courthouse in Selma, AL were encouraging other eligible black voters to register to vote on July 6, 1964. In response, Sheriff James Clark - famous for his support of segregation and resort to violence in opposing the civil rights movement - ordered the mass arrest of black individuals in the area, including bystanders. Over 50 individuals were arrested and jailed, some of whom were juveniles. None were provided with written charges until a few days later when they were charged with interference with a court in session. The police officer who signed the ex post warrants had no knowledge of the warrants. Later, a majority of the adults were further charged with contributing to the delinquency of a particular minor, even though some of the adults did not even know the child. The Sheriff's office did not investigate the charges, and bonds for most were set above the $300 legal limit.

The State of Alabama and the City of Selma filed a criminal case against these arrestees in state court. On July 11, 1964, the arrestees removed this case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, where they sought relief arguing that the arrests constituted coercion and intimidation in violation of the Civil Rights Act. The State moved to remand the case back to state court.

The docket shows that the state moved to transfer the proceedings to the federal court's criminal docket; Judge Thomas granted that motion on April 16, 1965 leading some of the arrestees to appeal.

We have no further information about the disposition of the case, though the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Virginia Weeks (4/14/2018)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gayle, T. G. (Alabama)

McLeod, Blanchard (Alabama)

Pitts, W. McLean (Alabama)

Reeves, Archibald T. IV (Alabama)

Wilkinson, J. E. Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aronson, Henry M. (Connecticut)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Hall, Peter A. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gayle, T. G. (Alabama)

McLeod, Blanchard (Alabama)

Pitts, W. McLean (Alabama)

Reeves, Archibald T. IV (Alabama)

Wilkinson, J. E. Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aronson, Henry M. (Connecticut)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Hall, Peter A. (Alabama)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

64-03385

Docket

State of Alabama and City of Selma, Alabama vs. Allen

April 26, 1965

April 26, 1965

Docket

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 6, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Election/Voting Rights

Special Collection(s):

Selma and Early Civil Rights Enforcement

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 11, 1964

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Various black individuals arrested in connection with voter registration

Plaintiff Type(s):

City/County Plaintiff

State Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Eddie Allen, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Voting

Voting access

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black