University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Dent v. St. Louis- San Francisco Railway Company EE-AL-0126
Docket / Court No. 66-65 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Case Summary
This case predates PACER, so we do not have a docket or many of the documents. Information from the case was found in reported court opinions and in the briefs uploaded below, which were donated to the Clearinghouse as part of the ... read more >
This case predates PACER, so we do not have a docket or many of the documents. Information from the case was found in reported court opinions and in the briefs uploaded below, which were donated to the Clearinghouse as part of the papers of Owen Fiss and Reuben Ortenberg.

On September 10, 1965, an African-American employee filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging that his former railroad employer and railroad carmen union were violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the railroad company had terminated the employment of the plaintiff and other African Americans on account of race, eliminated job classifications in which they were employed, excluded them from employment in other job classifications, and maintained racially segregated facilities, and that the railroad union maintained racially segregated local unions. The EEOC issued a decision in December 1965, finding that there was reasonable cause to believe the railroad company and union were violating Title VII. Because of the large number of complaints filed with the EEOC during the early months of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the EEOC had not been able to undertake formal conciliation efforts on this case and the railroad company and union did not achieve voluntary compliance. (Summarized in 406 F.2d 399). On February 7, 1966, the plaintiff filed this class action lawsuit against his former railway employer and union in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He was represented by civil rights attorneys Oscar W. Addams, Jr., Jack Greenberg, and Leroy Clark (lawyers affiliated with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund). He sought injunctive relief to enjoin the defendants from continuing their practices which deprived the plaintiff and other similarly situated employees of equal employment opportunities.

In March and April 1966, the defendants each filed motions to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative and contractual remedies, that the action was barred by the statute of limitations, and that the action was barred because the EEOC failed to complete "methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion" within the time prescribed by Section 706 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. (Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss). The EEOC then filed a motion to intervene to present its views on the motions to dismiss and the court granted its motion to intervene. On March 10, 1967, Chief Judge Seybourn H. Lynne dismissed the case, holding that EEOC conciliation was a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing a civil action under Title VII, and in this instance, formal conciliation efforts did not occur. 265 F. Supp. 56. The plaintiffs appealed. The Court of Appeals consolidated the appeal with Hyler v. Reynolds Metal Company (Case No. 24789), Muldrow v. H. K. Porter Company (Case No. 24811), Pearson v. Alabama By-Products (Case No. 24812), and Pettway v. American Cast Iron Pipe Company (Case No. 24813). On January 8, 1969, the Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded, holding that conciliation was not a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing a civil action under Title VII and that the action could be maintained even though the EEOC had not engaged in conciliation. (Circuit Judge James P. Coleman). 406 F.2d 399.

We do not know the outcome of the case on remand or the history of the case beyond this summary. Presumably, the case has been closed for many years.

Emily Kempa - 06/17/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
EEOC Intervened in Private Suit
General
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America
St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company
Plaintiff Description Former African American employee of railway company
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Filing Year 1966
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
EE-AL-0126-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/1966
Source: Papers of Ruben Ortenberg
Opinion (265 F.Supp. 56) (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0126-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/10/1967
Source: Westlaw
Brief for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
EE-AL-0126-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/18/1967
Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
Opinion (406 F.2d 399)
EE-AL-0126-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/08/1969
Source: Westlaw
show all people docs
Judges Coleman, James Plemon (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0003
Lynne, Seybourn Harris (N.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cashdan, David R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0002
Choppin, Gerald P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0001
Doar, John (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0001 | EE-AL-0126-0002
Holbert, Kenneth F. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0002
Leifer, Elihu (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0002
Norman, David L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0002
Ross, Lawrence J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0001
Weaver, Macon L. (Alabama) show/hide docs
EE-AL-0126-0001 | EE-AL-0126-0002

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