University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Alabama v. Allen VR-AL-0266
Docket / Court 3385-64 ( S.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Election/Voting Rights
Special Collection Selma and early civil rights enforcement
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Case Summary
This case is part of the Clearinghouse Special Collection on the events and litigation leading up to and surrounding the famous Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965.

Prior to this suit, three black individuals outside of a county courthouse in Selma, AL were encouraging other eligible ... read more >
This case is part of the Clearinghouse Special Collection on the events and litigation leading up to and surrounding the famous Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965.

Prior to this suit, three black individuals outside of a county courthouse in Selma, AL were encouraging other eligible black voters to register to vote on July 6, 1964. In response, Sheriff James Clark - famous for his support of segregation and resort to violence in opposing the civil rights movement - ordered the mass arrest of black individuals in the area, including bystanders. Over 50 individuals were arrested and jailed, some of whom were juveniles. None were provided with written charges until a few days later when they were charged with interference with a court in session. The police officer who signed the ex post warrants had no knowledge of the warrants. Later, a majority of the adults were further charged with contributing to the delinquency of a particular minor, even though some of the adults did not even know the child. The Sheriff's office did not investigate the charges, and bonds for most were set above the $300 legal limit.

The State of Alabama and the City of Selma filed a criminal case against these arrestees in state court. On July 11, 1964, the arrestees removed this case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, where they sought relief arguing that the arrests constituted coercion and intimidation in violation of the Civil Rights Act. The State moved to remand the case back to state court.

The docket shows that the state moved to transfer the proceedings to the federal court's criminal docket; Judge Thomas granted that motion on April 16, 1965 leading some of the arrestees to appeal.

We have no further information about the disposition of the case, though the case is now closed.

Virginia Weeks - 04/14/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Voting
Voting access
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
State Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Civil Rights Act of 1957/1960, 42 U.S.C. § 1971
Defendant(s) Eddie Allen
Plaintiff Description Various black individuals arrested in connection with voter registration
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Unknown
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Filing Year 1964
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3385-64 (S.D. Ala.)
VR-AL-0266-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/26/1965
General Documents
No documents currently in the collection
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gayle, T. G. (Alabama)
VR-AL-0266-9000
McLeod, Blanchard (Alabama)
VR-AL-0266-9000
Pitts, W. McLean (Alabama)
VR-AL-0266-9000
Reeves, Archibald T. IV (Alabama)
VR-AL-0266-9000
Wilkinson, J. E. Jr. (Alabama)
VR-AL-0266-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aronson, Henry M. (Connecticut)
VR-AL-0266-9000
Greenberg, Jack (New York)
VR-AL-0266-9000
Hall, Peter A. (Alabama)
VR-AL-0266-9000

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