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Case Name US v. Choctaw County School District SD-MS-0005
Docket / Court 3:70–CV–00036–GHD ( N.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) School Desegregation
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
This is a school desegregation case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on 7/9/1970. The United States was the plaintiff and alleged that the Choctaw County School District (CCSD) was operating a segregated system of public education that violated the 14th ... read more >
This is a school desegregation case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on 7/9/1970. The United States was the plaintiff and alleged that the Choctaw County School District (CCSD) was operating a segregated system of public education that violated the 14th Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

According to a later opinion, the district court issued a consent decree on August 5, 1970. The consent decree required that all students, faculty, staff, school transportation, and extracurricular activities be desegregated according to the standards set forth in Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, 419 F.2d 1211 (5th Cir. 1969). The desegregation plan was proposed by the U.S. Office of Education; CCSD's desegregation plan was approved by the district along with desegregation plans for several other school districts in Mississippi. The school districts submitted reports to the court throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

On August 3, 1984, plaintiff intervenor Charles Thomas, who was a black CCSD employee, filed suit and alleged that CCSD was violating Singleton, the consent decree, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 2000e et seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Thomas was a principal at an all-black high school when the 1970 desegregation order was issued. He later became a co-principal with a white principal after the desegregation order. Thomas claimed that the white principal's salary was greater than his and the white principal was provided with free housing and a utilities allowance. When the white principal resigned, Thomas applied for the job but was not hired. Another white principal was hired and CCSD said he was more qualified than Thomas, even though Thomas had more experience. Thomas was routinely passed over for other principal jobs in CCSD. District Judge Neal B. Biggers, Jr. held that CCSD was not a fully unitary system because it could not prove that the school district was fully integrated in all areas. Judge Biggers also held that Thomas was entitled to relief under Singleton. Thomas received $40,508.91 in backpay and the fair rental market value of the house occupied by Thomas' white co-principal from 1970-1985. All other claims were declared moot. 725 F. Supp. 307 (N.D. Miss. 1989).

The case remained quiet until 2012. CCSD filed a motion to modify the desegregation order on October 23, 2012. The motion proposed to consolidate two high schools in order to promote desegregation and alleviate the financial burden of operating two schools. The United States filed a motion in opposition and claimed that CCSD's proposed modification was not constitutionally adequate because it did not foster desegregation at the elementary and middle school levels and placed the desegregation burden on black students in the community of Weir. District Judge Glen Davidson held on April 10, 2013 that CCSD's plan did not place a transportation burden on black students; however, because the modification would place a transportation burden on 7th and 8th grade students, CCSD was ordered to modify its plan to include students in 7th and 8th grades. 941 F. Supp. 2d 708 (N.D. Miss. 2013).

On October 11, 2016, CCSD moved for declaration of unitary status, which would dissolve its current injunctions and terminate the court's jurisdiction. The United States opposed that motion for several years, at one point entering discovery with CCSD, before ultimately joining the motion for declaration for unitary status in April 2019. Six months later, on October 28, 2019, Judge Glen Davidson granted the motion, dissolved the prior injunctions, terminated jurisdiction, and dismissed the matter. This case is now closed.

Available Opinions
United States v. Mississippi, 725 F. Supp. 307 (N.D. Miss. 1989).
United States v. Mississippi, 941 F. Supp. 2d 708 (N.D. Miss. 2013).

Amelia Huckins - 03/15/2017
Sean Drohan - 06/17/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Busing
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Education
Language access/needs
Racial segregation
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Transportation
Plaintiff Type
Non-DOJ federal government plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Choctaw County School District
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are the United States of America and a black principal, who intervened in the case in the 1980s.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1970 - 2019
Filed 07/09/1970
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Miss.
07/09/1970
70-36
SD-MS-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Miss.
03/24/2021
3:70-cv-00036-GHD-DAS
SD-MS-0005-9001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Miss.
08/05/1970
Consent Decree [ECF# 10-1]
SD-MS-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Miss.
11/20/1989
[Order] (725 F.Supp. 307)
SD-MS-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Miss.
04/10/2013
Memorandum Opinion Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Modify Desegregation Plan [ECF# 40] (941 F.Supp.2d 708)
SD-MS-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Miss.
04/22/2019
Order on Joint Motion for Declaration of Unitary Status and Dismissal [ECF# 103]
SD-MS-0005-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Miss.
10/24/2019
Memorandum in Support of Joint Motion for Declaration of Unitary Status and Dismissal [ECF# 108]
SD-MS-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Miss.
10/28/2019
Order Granting Joint Motion for Unitary Status [ECF# 110]
SD-MS-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Biggers, Neal Brooks Jr. (N.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0004
Davidson, Glen H. (N.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0003 | SD-MS-0005-0006 | SD-MS-0005-0008 | SD-MS-0005-9001
Sanders, David A. (N.D. Miss.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Smith, Orma Rinehart (N.D. Miss.) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dallo, Amanda K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Daniel, Tamica (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Dann, Mark (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Devine, Kathleen Susan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Krage, Ben L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0002 | SD-MS-0005-9000
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Leonard, Jerris (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Maranzano, Jennifer L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0007 | SD-MS-0005-9001
Mitchell, John N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Newton, Jonathan D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Ray, H. M. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Simons, Shaheena A (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0007
Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, Holmes S. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Allain, William A. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Butler, W. C. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Coleman, Thomas A. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0002 | SD-MS-0005-9000
Cossar, George P. Jr. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Gibson, Gerald Hugh (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-0007 | SD-MS-0005-9001
Henderson, Harvey (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Hooks, John Simeon (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9001
Stewart, Nausead (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Sweet, Dennis C III (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000
Thornton, G. J. (Mississippi) show/hide docs
SD-MS-0005-9000

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