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Case Name Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co. FH-MO-0002
Docket / Court 65 C 301(3) ( E.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
This case was one of the most important civil rights precedents of the 1960s. It began when the Plaintiffs, prospective African-American homebuyers, applied to purchase a property from Defendant-home developer, who rejected them solely on the basis of their race. Plaintiffs sued in the U.S. ... read more >
This case was one of the most important civil rights precedents of the 1960s. It began when the Plaintiffs, prospective African-American homebuyers, applied to purchase a property from Defendant-home developer, who rejected them solely on the basis of their race. Plaintiffs sued in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri under 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982, 1983, and 2000e, alleging that a race-based denial of a home purchase violated federal civil rights laws, especially the requirement in 42 U.S.C. 1982 that: "All citizens of the United States shall have the same right, in every State and Territory, as is enjoyed by white citizens thereof to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property."

U.S. District Court Judge Regan granted Defendants' motion to dismiss, holding that in the absence of state action the Plaintiffs did not have a valid cause of action under federal civil rights statutes. Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 255 F. Supp. 115 (E.D. Mo 1966). The Eighth Circuit affirmed the dismissal on June 26, 1967. Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 379 F.2d 33 (8th Cir. 1967) (opinion of Blackmun, J.).

The Supreme Court reversed the lower courts on June 17, 1968. Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968). The Court held that Congress, acting pursuant to its power under the Thirteenth Amendment to eliminate badges of slavery, had the constitutional power to prohibit certain types of private race-based discrimination, and that 42 U.S.C. 1982 validly exercised this power by forbidding private discrimination relating to the sale of housing.

Andrew Nash - 06/02/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1982
Defendant(s) Alfred H. Mayer Company
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs allege that the respondents had refused to sell them a home in the Paddock Woods community of St. Louis County for the sole reason that the petitioner Joseph Lee Jones is black.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought None on record
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Order Duration 1968 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1968
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Jones v. Mayer Revisited
By: Mira Tanna (Metro St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council)
Citation: 57 Cleveland State Law Review No. 2 (2009)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Links Henry Hampton Collection: Interview of Hon. Robert Lee Carter
Henry Hampton Collection: Washington University in St. Louis
Posted: Nov. 05, 1985
By: Robert Lee Carter, Henry Hampton Collection
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Oyez Project, Jones v. Mayer, 392 U.S. 409 (1968).
www.oyez.org
Posted: Jun. 17, 1968
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 05/18/1966 (255 F.Supp. 115) (E.D. Mo.)
FH-MO-0002-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [Court of Appeals] 06/26/1967 (379 F.2d 33)
FH-MO-0002-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
[Re: Limited Construction of Section 1982] 10/04/1967
FH-MO-0002-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Company 10/09/1967
FH-MO-0002-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
Memorandum Decision [regarding petition for writ of certiorari] 12/04/1967 (389 U.S. 968)
FH-MO-0002-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Decision [regarding amicus curiae] 03/04/1968 (390 U.S. 935)
FH-MO-0002-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [regarding Civil Rights Act of 1968] 04/22/1968 (390 U.S. 1019)
FH-MO-0002-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion [Supreme Court] 06/17/1968 (392 U.S. 409)
FH-MO-0002-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 06/17/1968
FH-MO-0002-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 06/17/1968
FH-MO-0002-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
On Writ of Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 06/17/1968
FH-MO-0002-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
Judges Blackmun, Harry Andrew (SCOTUS, Eighth Circuit)
FH-MO-0002-0002
Douglas, William Orville (SCOTUS)
FH-MO-0002-0008
Harlan, John Marshall (SCOTUS, Second Circuit)
FH-MO-0002-0009
Lay, Donald Pomery (Eighth Circuit)
FH-MO-0002-0002
Mehaffy, Pat (Eighth Circuit)
FH-MO-0002-0002
Regan, John Keating (E.D. Mo.)
FH-MO-0002-0001
Stewart, Potter (SCOTUS, Sixth Circuit)
FH-MO-0002-0006 | FH-MO-0002-0007
White, Byron Raymond (SCOTUS)
FH-MO-0002-0009
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fiss, Owen M. (District of Columbia)
FH-MO-0002-0011
Leff, Arthur A. (Missouri)
FH-MO-0002-0002
Liberman, Samuel H. II (Missouri)
FH-MO-0002-0001 | FH-MO-0002-0002 | FH-MO-0002-0006
Norman, David L. (District of Columbia)
FH-MO-0002-0010 | FH-MO-0002-0011
Spritzer, Ralph S. (District of Columbia)
FH-MO-0002-0010
Defendant's Lawyers Treiman, Israel (Missouri)
FH-MO-0002-0001 | FH-MO-0002-0002 | FH-MO-0002-0006
Other Lawyers Anderson, Norman H. (Missouri)
FH-MO-0002-0004
Burns, C. B. Jr. (Missouri)
FH-MO-0002-0004
Cadwalader, Thomas F. (Maryland)
FH-MO-0002-0004
Carter, Robert Lee (New York)
FH-MO-0002-0003 | FH-MO-0002-0004
Claiborne, Louis F. (District of Columbia)
FH-MO-0002-0003
Clark, Ramsey (District of Columbia)
FH-MO-0002-0006
Defeo, Louis C. Jr. (Missouri)
FH-MO-0002-0004
Hartman, Paul (New York)
FH-MO-0002-0003
Pfeffer, Leo (New York)
FH-MO-0002-0004
Posner, Richard A. (District of Columbia)
FH-MO-0002-0003
Rabkin, Sol (New York)
FH-MO-0002-0002 | FH-MO-0002-0003 | FH-MO-0002-0004
Robison, Joseph B. (New York)
FH-MO-0002-0002 | FH-MO-0002-0003
Williams, George Washington (Maryland)
FH-MO-0002-0004
Wulf, Melvin L. (New York)
FH-MO-0002-0004

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