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Case Name Hill v. Board of Education of Franklin County SD-TN-0004
Docket / Court 668 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) School Desegregation
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Case Summary
On July 2, 1963, the plaintiffs filed this desegregation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs, both African-American and white minor school children, by and through their parents, sued the defendant Franklin County Board of Education to enjoin the ... read more >
On July 2, 1963, the plaintiffs filed this desegregation lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The plaintiffs, both African-American and white minor school children, by and through their parents, sued the defendant Franklin 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.

On September 30, 1963, the district court (Judge Charles Neese) ordered the Board to submit a plan for desegregation and to reorganize the district schools. Two months later, on December 30, Judge Neese issued a preliminary injunction requiring the Board to reorganize part of the district, including assignments to two schools in particular, on a non-racial basis. After further negotiations, the district court, on March 2, 1964, ordered the Board to produce a more comprehensive desegregation plan with student assignment and geographical zoning. The plaintiffs challenged the school board's plan, but on June 23, 1964, the district court largely approved the plan -- although it did order some modifications, especially in the areas of faculty integration and transportation. Hill v. County Board of Education of Franklin County, Tenn., 232 F.Supp. 671 (E.D. Tenn. June 23, 1964).

After the district court's decision, the Board submitted various modified plans, which Judge Neese approved. Then, on April 17, 1964, the district court retired the case from the active docket.

On July 20, 1966, two African-American teachers in the school district sought to intervene in the lawsuit and reactivate it, contending both that the Board had discriminated against them in hiring/firing decisions. On September 30, 1966, the district court ruled in favor of one of the plaintiffs but against the other. Shortly thereafter, the district court ordered the Board to adopt and implement specific (and race-neutral) standards for the hiring and firing of teachers.

(On a separate but related note: There was a separate lawsuit, not part of this original desegregation case, filed in 1984, from a football coach alleging racial discrimination in the hiring of a football coach at a district high school. See Lujan v. Franklin County Board of Education, 584 F.Supp. 279 (E.D. Tenn. Apr. 9, 1984); Lujan v. Franklin County Board of Education, 766 F.2d 917 (6th Cir. June 17, 1985) (affirming)).

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate any more information about this case after the faculty desegregation plan of 1968. Presumably, the Board continued to operate under the various desegregation plans agreed to during that time. According to ProPublica, as of 2014, the Board remains under court order.

Available Opinions
Hill v. County Board of Education of Franklin County, Tenn., 232 F.Supp. 671 (E.D. Tenn. June 23, 1964)
Hill v. Franklin County Board of Education, 390 F.2d 583 (6th Cir. Feb. 20, 1968)

Greg Margolis - 03/07/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Preliminary relief granted
Reporting
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Education
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Franklin County
Plaintiff Description African-American minor children, by and through their parents, who attended the Franklin County, TN, school system; two African-American teachers in the district.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1963 - n/a
Case Ongoing Perhaps, but long-dormant
Docket(s)
668 (M.D. Tenn.)
SD-TN-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/17/1970
Source: Pro Publica
General Documents
[Order] (232 F.Supp. 671) (E.D. Tenn)
SD-TN-0004-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/23/1964
Source: Westlaw
[Order] (390 F.2d 583)
SD-TN-0004-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/20/1968
Source: Westlaw
Judges Cecil, Lester LeFevre (S.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
SD-TN-0004-0002
Celebrezze, Anthony Joseph (Sixth Circuit)
SD-TN-0004-0002
Combs, Bertram Thomas (Sixth Circuit)
SD-TN-0004-0002
Neese, Charles Gelbert (E.D. Tenn)
SD-TN-0004-0001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Charlotte, Avon Williams (Tennessee)
SD-TN-0004-9000
Greenberg, Jack (New York)
SD-TN-0004-9000
Looby, Z. Alexander (Tennessee)
SD-TN-0004-9000
Motley, Constance Baker (New York)
SD-TN-0004-9000
Nabrit, James M. III (New York)
SD-TN-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lynch, Pat B. (Tennessee)
SD-TN-0004-9000

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