University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Banks v. Claiborne Parish School Board SD-LA-0006
Docket / Court 5:65-cv-11304-SMH-MLH ( W.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) School Desegregation
Case Summary
On August 8, 1965, the plaintiffs, African-American school children by and through their parents, brought this class action school desegregation case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. They sued the defendant Claiborne Parish School Board to enjoin the operation of a ... read more >
On August 8, 1965, the plaintiffs, African-American school children by and through their parents, brought this class action school desegregation case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. They sued the defendant Claiborne Parish School Board to enjoin the operation of a de jure segregated school system, with Judge Ben Dawkins presiding.

Initially, the Board pursued a freedom-of-choice approach to desegregation. The Fifth Circuit at first approved the use of freedom of choice plans in United States v. Jefferson. 372 F.2d 836 (5th Cir. Dec. 29, 1966). And even in the wake of Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, 391 U.S. 430 (1968), in which the Supreme Court expressed frustration at the inadequacy of freedom of choice plans, the Western District continued to accept them as a viable option. See Adams v. Matthews, 401 F.2d 181 (5th Cir. Aug. 20, 1968); Conley v. Lake Charles School Board, 293 F.Supp. 84, 87 (W.D. La. Nov. 14, 1968) (including Claiborne Parish). Ultimately, however, in Hall v. St. Helena Parish, a consolidated appeal of cases from across Circuit, the Fifth Circuit ordered the district courts to reverse course and solicit alternative plans from the various defendant school boards. 417 F.2d 801 (5th Cir. May 28, 1969) (including Claiborne Parish).

The district court (Judge Ben Dawkins) subsequently approved the Board's desegregation plan -- only to have it reversed by the Fifth Circuit, which cited its woeful inadequacy. Banks v. Claiborne, 425 F.2d 1040 (5th Cir. Apr. 15, 1970). The Fifth Circuit ordered the Board to implement the more rigorous plan that had been proposed by the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

The back and forth continued in the early 1970s, with the district court working with the parties on various desegregation plans and modifications.

From the 1980s onward, the Board filed its annual progress reports without interference from the district court.

On July 3, 2014, the district court (Judge Maurice Hicks) declared the school district unitary, ending nearly 50 years of court supervision.

Available Opinions
Adams v. Matthews, 403 F.2d 181 (5th Cir. Aug. 20, 1968) (consolidated appeals, directing district courts, including in the Claiborne case, to determine whether desegregation plan was adequate)
Conley v. Lake Charles School Bard, 293 F.Supp. 84 (W.D. La. Nov. 14, 1968) (en banc) (approving freedom-of-choice plans in Western District cases as workable and realistic)
Hall v. St. Helena Parish School Board, 417 F.2d 801 (5th Cir. May 28, 1969) (consolidated appeals, including of Claiborne decision, concluding freedom-of-choice plans to be constitutionally inadequate)
Conley v. Lake Charles School Bard, 303 F.Supp. 394 (W.D. La. June 5, 1969) (consolidated case, including Claiborne, ordering the Board to submit a new desegregation plan)
Banks v. Claiborne Parish School Board, 425 F2d 1040 (5th Cir. Apr. 15, 1970)
Banks v. Claiborne Parish School Board, 431 F.2d 951 (5th Cir. Aug. 21, 1970) (per curiam)

Greg Margolis - 02/26/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Busing
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Preliminary relief granted
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Education
Racial segregation
School/University Facilities
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Claiborne Parish
Plaintiff Description African-American school children by and through their parents; United States as intervenor
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1965 - 2014
Filing Year 1965
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing SD-LA-0014 : Conley v. Lake Charles School Board, Calcasieu Parish School Board (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0026 : Hall and United States of America v. St. Helena Parish School Board (M.D. La.)
SD-LA-0037 : 29 Related School Desegregation Cases in the Western District of Louisiana (W.D. La.)
Docket(s)
65-11304 (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
5:65-cv-11304-SMH-MLH (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
[Order] (403 F.2d 181)
SD-LA-0006-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/20/1968
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (293 F.Supp. 84) (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/14/1968
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (417 F.2d 801)
SD-LA-0006-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/28/1969
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (303 F.Supp. 394) (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/05/1969
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (425 F.2d 1040)
SD-LA-0006-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 04/15/1970
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Order] (431 F.2d 951)
SD-LA-0006-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/21/1970
Source: Westlaw
Status Report [ECF# 24]
SD-LA-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/23/2012
Source: Pro Publica
Exhibits [ECF# 24-4]
SD-LA-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/23/2012
Source: Pro Publica
Judgment [ECF# 34] (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/03/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Brown, John Robert (Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0006-0006
Cabot, Ted (S.D. Fla.)
SD-LA-0006-0006
Dawkins, Benjamin Cornwell Jr. (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0005 | SD-LA-0006-0007
Dyer, David William (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, S.D. Fla.)
SD-LA-0006-0008 | SD-LA-0006-0009
Gewin, Walter Pettus (Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0006-0008 | SD-LA-0006-0009
Godbold, John Cooper (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0006-0006
Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0006-0008 | SD-LA-0006-0009
Hicks, S. Maurice Jr. (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0003 | SD-LA-0006-9000
Hornsby, Mark L. (W.D. La.) [Magistrate]
SD-LA-0006-9000
Hunter, Edwin Ford Jr. (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0005 | SD-LA-0006-0007
Putnam, Richard Johnson (W.D. La.)
SD-LA-0006-0005 | SD-LA-0006-0007
Wisdom, John Minor (Fifth Circuit)
SD-LA-0006-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ford, Margrett (New York)
SD-LA-0006-9000 | SD-LA-0006-9001
Goldschmidt, Iris (District of Columbia)
SD-LA-0006-9000
Hebert, Janice E. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9000
Vincent, Katherine (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9000
Walter, Donald Ellsworth (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9001
Washington, Donald W. (District of Columbia)
SD-LA-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gremillion, Jack P.F. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9001
Guice, Jon K (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-0001 | SD-LA-0006-9000
Hammonds, Robert L. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-0001 | SD-LA-0006-9000
Henderson, Hal R. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9000 | SD-LA-0006-9001
Kron, Harry Jr. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9001
Other Lawyers Clay, Kelly N. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9000
Giovingo, Wendy E.W. (Louisiana)
SD-LA-0006-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -