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Case Name Taylor v. Coahoma County School District SD-MS-0013
Docket / Court NO. DC 69-8-S ( N.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) School Desegregation
Case Summary
This is a school desegregation case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi in 1969. It involves the desegregation of the Coahoma County School District, which had previously operated a segregated school system.

In a 1970 opinion, Judge Orma R. Smith ... read more >
This is a school desegregation case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi in 1969. It involves the desegregation of the Coahoma County School District, which had previously operated a segregated school system.

In a 1970 opinion, Judge Orma R. Smith approved a desegregation plan that required students in grades 1 through 8 to attend neighborhood schools. Students in grades 9 through 12 were assigned to a high school, operated by Coahoma County, or to an agricultural high school (Aggie High), operated by the Coahoma Junior College. This plan was originally proposed by the U.S. Office of Education's Division of Equal Educational Opportunities and was adopted over a plan created by a court-appointed special master. The court required that students be assigned to either the county high school or Aggie High because in previous years Aggie High was predominantly black and the county high school was predominantly white; thus, allowing students to freely transfer between these schools was contributing to the dual system. 330 F. Supp. 174 (N.D. Miss. 1970). This decision was affirmed by the 5th Circuit the following year. 444 F.2d 221 (5th Cir. 1971) (per curiam).

Coahoma County moved for the court to approve its plan to close one of its schools and dispose of the school's real property in 1972 and the plaintiffs moved for supplementary relief. The district court approved of Coahoma County's plan because it concluded that the individual who wanted to purchase the school property was going to use it as offices for his farming business and was not going to turn the property into a private school. 345 F. Supp. 891 (N.D. Miss. 1972).

In 1977, Coahoma County petitioned the district court to close one of its elementary schools and transfer the students to other schools. Coahoma County cited declining enrollment as the reason for closing the school. The district court, in an unavailable opinion, issued an order permitting the closing of the school. The plaintiffs then appealed. The following year, the 5th Circuit affirmed the district court's decision. The 5th Circuit concluded that there was no reason to believe that closing the elementary school would have a racial impact and doing so would not violate the terms of the desegregation order. 581 F.2d 105 (5th Cir. 1978) (per curiam).

There are no published opinions in this case after 1978. We have a scanned paper docket from the case's start through 1998 which indicates that the court allowed Coahoma County to close and reorganize its schools over the years. We have no electronic docket, so perhaps this case closed at some point. On the other hand, in 2007, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported it as open, and in 2015, Pro Publica reported it as still open. We have no docket after 1998.

Available opinions
Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 330 F. Supp. 174 (N.D. Miss. 1970).
Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 345 F. Supp. 891 (N.D. Miss. 1972).
Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 444 F.2d 221 (5th Cir. 1971) (per curiam)
Taylor v. Coahoma Cty. Sch. Dist., 581 F.2d 105 (5th Cir. 1978) (per curiam)

Amelia Huckins - 03/04/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Zoning
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Buildings
Disparate Treatment
Education
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Racial segregation
School/University policies
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Coahoma County School District
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs were black students and their families residing in Coahoma County, Mississippi.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1970 - n/a
Filing Year 1969
Case Ongoing Perhaps, but long-dormant
Docket(s)
NO. DC 69-8-S. (N.D. Miss.)
SD-MS-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/1998
Source: Pro Publica
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion (330 F.Supp. 174) (N.D. Miss.)
SD-MS-0013-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/02/1970
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum of Decision (345 F.Supp. 891) (N.D. Miss.)
SD-MS-0013-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/27/1972
Source: Google Scholar
Order (581 F.2d 105)
SD-MS-0013-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/28/1978
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Clark, Charles (Fifth Circuit)
SD-MS-0013-0003
Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Fifth Circuit)
SD-MS-0013-0003
Nichols, John A. Court not on record
SD-MS-0013-9000
Roney, Paul Hitch (FISCR, Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
SD-MS-0013-0003
Smith, Orma Rinehart (N.D. Miss.)
SD-MS-0013-0001 | SD-MS-0013-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anderson, Rueben V. (Mississippi)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Banks, Fred L. Jr. (Mississippi)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Greenburg, Jack (New York)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Leventhal, Melvyn R. (New York)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Nabrit, James M. III (New York)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Shapiro, Jonathan (New York)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Maynard, William H (Mississippi)
SD-MS-0013-9000
Other Lawyers Lacy, Don P (Mississippi)
SD-MS-0013-9000

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