University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Franklin v. Barbour County Board of Education SD-AL-0006
Docket / Court 2:66-cv-2458-WHA-CSC ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) School Desegregation
Case Summary
In 1966, the plaintiffs brought this desegregation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The plaintiffs, African-American minor school children, by and through their parents, sued the defendant Barbour County Board of Education to enjoin the operation of a ... read more >
In 1966, the plaintiffs brought this desegregation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The plaintiffs, African-American minor school children, by and through their parents, sued the defendant Barbour County Board of Education to enjoin the operation of a segregated school system. They were represented by, among others, Jack Greenberg (for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund).

The plaintiffs requested admission to various schools in the district pursuant to a "freedom of choice" plan that the Board was operating. In 1965, the Board conceded that its school system violated the Constitution; it adopted the choice plan as part of its efforts to desegregate the school system beginning in the 1965-66 school year. The plaintiffs applied for admission to various schools for the 1966-67 school year but were denied because, according to the Board, their choices weren't "practical" given that school bus transportation -- which had been set up during the years that the district had operated in a segregated fashion -- was allegedly not available from the plaintiffs' homes. The court (Judge Frank Johnson) rejected the Board's arguments that it could not grant admission because of the transportation issue. In an order for preliminary injunction, he ordered the Board to revise its bus transportation system to accommodate all students' requests. He also ordered the Board to admit the plaintiffs in this case to their schools of choice and to provide them with transportation. Judge Johnson also laid the contours of what he deemed an appropriate school choice plan for the Board to implement, ordering that it begin with the fall 1967 term and apply to all grades in Barbour County, which, he ordered, must be desegregated. 259 F.Supp. 545 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 22, 1966).

On July 10, 1970, the district court approved a new desegregation plan, which stayed largely unchanged until the mid-1990s. At that point, the parties reviewed the Board's progress in desegregating and negotiated a new consent decree, approved on September 8, 1997. In that decree, the court found that the Board had achieved unitary status in facilities but not in any other area.

On September 8, 1997, the district court (Judge William Albritton) entered a new consent decree to govern the Board's desegregation efforts.

In 2000, the district court approved the consolidation of the high schools in Barbour County, and in 2004 it approved the consolidation and reorganization of the district's lower schools.

By the late 2000s, the lawsuit reached its conclusion. In 2007, the parties negotiated another consent decree, their last, which the court subsequently approved. At the end of that decree, in 2011, no party moved for an extension of the court's jurisdiction. And on April 18, 2013, the court declared that the Board had met the requirements for a declaration of unitary status and dismissed the case.

Available Opinions
Franklin v. Barbour County Board of Education, 259 F.Supp. 545 (M.D. Ala. Sept. 22, 1966)

Greg Margolis - 02/23/2017
Virginia Weeks - 11/03/2017

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Elementary/Secondary School
Race discrimination
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Barbour County
Plaintiff Description African-American school children by and through their parents
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 1966
Case Ongoing Yes
2:66-cv-02458 (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/22/1995
Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
2:66-cv-02458-WHA-CSC (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion (259 F.Supp. 545) (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/22/1966
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 174] (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/14/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 181] (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/08/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Order [ECF# 223] (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/10/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
SD-AL-0006-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/18/2013
Source: Pro Publica
Agreed Order of Unitary Status and Dismissal [ECF# 267] (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Albritton, William Harold III (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-0001 | SD-AL-0006-0003 | SD-AL-0006-0004 | SD-AL-0006-0005 | SD-AL-0006-0006 | SD-AL-0006-9000
Coody, Charles S. (M.D. Ala.)
SD-AL-0006-9000 | SD-AL-0006-9001
Hobbs, Truman McGill (M.D. Ala.)
Johnson, Frank Minis Jr. (Eleventh Circuit, M.D. Ala., Fifth Circuit)
Varner, Robert Edward (M.D. Ala.)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gray, Fred David Jr. (Alabama)
SD-AL-0006-9000 | SD-AL-0006-9001
Greenberg, Jack (New York)
Jones, Charles H. Jr. (New York)
Sapp, Ernestine (Alabama)
SD-AL-0006-0005 | SD-AL-0006-9000
Seay, Solomon S. Jr. (Alabama)
SD-AL-0006-9000 | SD-AL-0006-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Coody, Charles S. (Alabama)
SD-AL-0006-9000 | SD-AL-0006-9001
Gordon, Daniel Scott (District of Columbia)
Marsh, Marion Dale (Alabama)
Stewart, Chad Edward (Alabama)
SD-AL-0006-0005 | SD-AL-0006-9000
Thagard, Thomas W. Jr. (Alabama)
Walker, Jordan Dorman (Alabama)
SD-AL-0006-0005 | SD-AL-0006-9000
Other Lawyers Anderson, James Harold (Alabama)
Awad, Christopher S. (District of Columbia)
Bell, John C. (Alabama)
Berman, Amy I. (District of Columbia)
SD-AL-0006-0005 | SD-AL-0006-9000
Canary, Leura Garrett (Alabama)
Dubois, James J. (Alabama)
Evans, Lisa (District of Columbia)
Marshall, Franz (District of Columbia)
Michaud, Melissa Julia (District of Columbia)
Miller, Pauline A. (District of Columbia)
Patty, William Franklin (Alabama)
Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)
Pitt, Charles Redding (Alabama)
Schnedier, George (District of Columbia)
Taylor, Lisa M. (District of Columbia)
SD-AL-0006-0005 | SD-AL-0006-9000
Vines, Kenneth E. (Alabama)

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -