263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D.Ala. 1966), Civ. A. 2350, Washington v. Lee

Docket NºCiv. A. 2350
Citation263 F.Supp. 327
Party NameWashington v. Lee
Case DateDecember 12, 1966
CourtUnited States District Courts, 11th Circuit, Middle District of Alabama

Page 327

263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D.Ala. 1966)

Caliph WASHINGTON, Hosea L. Williams, Julia Allen, individually and as mother and next friend of Willie Allen, a minor, Willie Allen, Agnes Beavers, individually and as mother and next friend of Cecil McCargo, Jr., a minor, Cecil McCargo, Jr., Johnnie Coleman, and Thomas E. Houck, Jr., for themselves, jointly and severally, and for all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,

v.

Frank LEE as Commissioner of Corrections of Alabama, John F. Britton, CharlieCashion, Herschell Luttrell, Dr. Max McLaughlin and William Mitch, as membersof the Board of Corrections of Alabama, A. Melvin Bailey, as Sheriff ofJefferson County,Alabama and all other sheriffs of Alabama, Jointly and severally, who aresimilarly situated, Robert K. Austin as Warden of the City Jail of Birmingham,Alabama, and all other wardens and jailers of city and town jails of Alabama,jointly andseverally, who are similarly situated, Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 2350-N.

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division.

Dec. 12, 1966

Page 328

Charles Morgan, Jr., Atlanta, Ga., Orzell Billingsley, Jr., Birmingham, Ala., Melvin L. Wulf, New York City, and M. Laughlin McDonald, Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiffs.

Richmond M. Flowers, Atty. Gen., and Gordon Madison, Asst. Atty. Gen., State of Alabama, Montgomery, Ala., for defendant, Board of Corrections.

Frank Dominick and Walter Fletcher, Dominick, Fletcher & Yeilding, Birmingham, Ala., for defendant, Bailey.

,J. M. Breckenridge and Earl McBee, Birmingham, Ala., for defendant, Austin.

Before RIVES, Circuit Judge, and LYNNE and JOHNSON, District Judges.

JOHNSON, District Judge:

ORDER

This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief instituted by one white and five Negro citizens on their own behalf and on behalf of other persons similarly situated, pursuant to Rule 23(a)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiffs seek a declaration concerning the rights of Negro citizens, male and female, not to be segregated, classified, designated, or otherwise subjected to racial distinctions in confinement in the state penal system and in the county, city and town jails of the State of Alabama. Further, plaintiffs assert that various statutes enacted by

Page 329

the Legislature of the State of Alabama, requiring segregation by race in the state, county and city penal facilities, are unconstitutional as violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Plaintiffs ask that said statutes be declared unconstitutional and that the defendants be enjoined from requiring segregation by race in any of the state, county and city penal institutions in the State of Alabama.

Of the Negro plaintiffs, Caliph Washington is confined in the Jefferson County Jail, Jefferson County, Alabama, awaiting retrial on a capital charge; Johnnie Coleman, Willie Allen and Cecil McCargo, Jr., are confined in state penal institutions, and prior to their present incarceration had been confined under racially segregated circumstances in either city, town or county jails in Alabama; and Hosea L. Williams and Thomas E. Houck, Jr., were incarcerated in the Birmingham City Jail at the time this case was instituted.

The defendant Frank Lee is Commissioner of the Board of Corrections of the State of Alabama and as such is invested with the authority and charged with the duty of serving as the chief administrative officer of the Alabama Board of Corrections. Title 45, § 10(5), Code of Alabama, Recompiled 1958. The defendant A. Melvin Bailey is the duly elected and qualified sheriff of Jefferson County, Alabama, and as such has the legal custody and charge of the Jefferson County Jail and all prisoners committed thereto. Title 45, § 115, Code of Alabama, Recompiled 1958. The defendant Robert K. Austin is warden of the City Jail of Birmingham, Alabama, and in this capacity has the custodial duty and authority over prisoners in that jail. The defendants Bailey and Austin are sued individually and as representatives of all county sheriffs of Alabama and of all wardens and jailers of the city and town jails of Alabama. 1

I.

As noted in the complaint filed with the Clerk of this Court on February 18, 1966, plaintiffs Williams and Houck allege that they were then incarcerated in the City Jail of Birmingham, Alabama. It now appears, however, that the charges against Houck have been nol prossed and that Williams has entered a plea of guilty to the charges against him and has paid the fine imposed upon said plea. For these reasons, the defendants Austin and Bailey contend that plaintiffs have no standing to challenge any of the statutes or practices requiring segregation or relating to the segregation by race of the penal facilities of the City of Birmingham or Jefferson County. In Singleton v. Board of Commissioners, 356 F.2d 771 (5th Cir. 1966), this same issue was raised in that the plaintiff had completed the actual service of his sentence. In Singleton, the Court set forth the general principle applicable in such instances:

The general standing requirement in cases involving governmental segregation is that the plaintiffs must show past use of the facilities, where feasible, and a right to, or a reasonable possibility of future use.

There is no question but that the evidence in this case reflects a 'past use' of the penal facilities of the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County by some of these plaintiffs. As to that part of the general rule stated in Singleton concerning the 'reasonable possibility of future use,' this Court does not conceive that it is necessary that plaintiffs show an intention to violate the laws of the State of Alabama or the City of Birmingham in

Page 330

such a manner that would subject one or more of them in the future to imprisonment in these locations. Mitchell v. United States, 313 U.S. 80, 61 S.Ct. 873, 85 L.Ed. 1201. Under the circumstances reflected by the evidence in this case, all that it is necessary for the plaintiffs to show on this particular point, in order to challenge the statutes and practices concerning segregation of the races in the penal facilities in the Birmingham City Jail and the Jefferson County Jail is that the operation of these institutions, as that operation presently exists, 'permit(s) the recurrence of comparable violations.' Henderson v. United States, 339 U.S. 816, 70 S.Ct. 843, 94 L.Ed. 1302. In this regard, the Supreme Court of the United States in Barrows v. Jackson, 346 U.S. 249, 73 S.Ct. 1031, 97 L.Ed. 1586, observed that the rule against relying on the constitutional rights of another (who may be in this case presently imprisoned in either the penal facility of the City of Birmingham or of Jefferson County), is not part of the constitutional requirement of standing, but is a rule of self-restraint which the court has developed for its own governance, and, for that reason, is a mere rule of practice not to be applied where it would be difficult, if not impossible, for the persons whose rights are asserted to present their grievance to a court of competent jurisdiction. 2 See also Ferguson v. Buchanan, No. 64-107-CIV-CF, So. Dist. Fla., March 12, 1965, where the criminal prosecution against the plaintiff, who was seeking to enjoin the sheriff of Dade County, Florida, from maintaining segregated facilities in the jails of Dade County, was nol prossed before the case was submitted to the district court. That court, nevertheless, found the Florida statutes that required segregation in county jails on the basis of race unconstitutional, and enjoined the defendants from operating or maintaining jails in a manner requiring segregation of the races. For these reasons, it is evident that the contention on the part of defendants Austin and Bailey that these plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the statutes and practices requiring segregation of the races in the penal facilities of the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County is not well taken.

II.

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  • 186 N.W.2d 412 (Mich.App. 1971), 9992, Pressley v. Lucas
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • 10 Febrero 1971
    ...State Savings Bank, Supra. [35] See Jackson v. Bishop (E.D.Ark., 1967), 268 F.Supp. 804. [36] Cf. Washington v. Lee (M.D.Ala., 1966), 263 F.Supp. 327; Rackley v. Board of Trustees of Orangeburg Regional Hospital (E.D.S.C.1965), 238 F.Supp. 512....
  • Brown v. Porter McGuire Kiakona & Chow, LLP, 011719 HIDC, Civ. 17-00554 LEK-KSC
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit District of Hawaii
    • 17 Enero 2019
    ...to be limited to related governmental entities applying a common rule. The Ninth Circuit stated: In Washington v. Lee, 263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D. Ala. N.D. 1966), the plaintiffs were, or had been incarcerated in various detention facilities of the State of Alabama, its&#......
  • 89 F.R.D. 104 (N.D.Cal. 1981), C 79-2168 RPA, In re Itel Securities Litigation
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts Ninth Circuit
    • 22 Enero 1981
    ...respects .... Thus, these agreements serve a function Page 123 analogous to that served by the statutes at issue in Washington v. Lee (263 F.Supp. 327) and Gibbs v. Titelman (369 F.Supp. 38) ... (the former case was one of the cases discussed by La Mar in that court's brief explanation of a......
  • 349 F.Supp. 452 (S.D.Tex. 1972), Civ. A. 71-H-973, Dreyer v. Jalet
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 5th Circuit Southern District of Texas
    • 18 Septiembre 1972
    ...386 U.S. 605, 87 S.Ct. 1209, 18 L.Ed.2d 326 (1967); Mempa v. Rhay, 389 U.S. 128, 88 S.Ct. 254, 19 L.Ed.2d 336 (1967); Washington v. Lee, 263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D.Ala.1966) (three-judge court), aff'd, 390 U.S. 333, 88 S.Ct. 994, 19 L.Ed.2d 1212 (1968); K. Davis, Administrative Law Treatise § 7.0......
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137 cases
  • 186 N.W.2d 412 (Mich.App. 1971), 9992, Pressley v. Lucas
    • United States
    • Michigan Court of Appeals of Michigan
    • 10 Febrero 1971
    ...State Savings Bank, Supra. [35] See Jackson v. Bishop (E.D.Ark., 1967), 268 F.Supp. 804. [36] Cf. Washington v. Lee (M.D.Ala., 1966), 263 F.Supp. 327; Rackley v. Board of Trustees of Orangeburg Regional Hospital (E.D.S.C.1965), 238 F.Supp. 512....
  • Brown v. Porter McGuire Kiakona & Chow, LLP, 011719 HIDC, Civ. 17-00554 LEK-KSC
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 9th Circuit District of Hawaii
    • 17 Enero 2019
    ...to be limited to related governmental entities applying a common rule. The Ninth Circuit stated: In Washington v. Lee, 263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D. Ala. N.D. 1966), the plaintiffs were, or had been incarcerated in various detention facilities of the State of Alabama, its&#......
  • 89 F.R.D. 104 (N.D.Cal. 1981), C 79-2168 RPA, In re Itel Securities Litigation
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts Ninth Circuit
    • 22 Enero 1981
    ...respects .... Thus, these agreements serve a function Page 123 analogous to that served by the statutes at issue in Washington v. Lee (263 F.Supp. 327) and Gibbs v. Titelman (369 F.Supp. 38) ... (the former case was one of the cases discussed by La Mar in that court's brief explanation of a......
  • 349 F.Supp. 452 (S.D.Tex. 1972), Civ. A. 71-H-973, Dreyer v. Jalet
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 5th Circuit Southern District of Texas
    • 18 Septiembre 1972
    ...386 U.S. 605, 87 S.Ct. 1209, 18 L.Ed.2d 326 (1967); Mempa v. Rhay, 389 U.S. 128, 88 S.Ct. 254, 19 L.Ed.2d 336 (1967); Washington v. Lee, 263 F.Supp. 327 (M.D.Ala.1966) (three-judge court), aff'd, 390 U.S. 333, 88 S.Ct. 994, 19 L.Ed.2d 1212 (1968); K. Davis, Administrative Law Treatise § 7.0......
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5 books & journal articles
  • Constitutional rights of prisoners
    • United States
    • Military Law Review Nbr. 55, January 1972
    • 1 Enero 1972
    ...Ga. 1968). But gee MeClelland 0. Sigler, 327 F. Sum 829 1D. Neb. 19111, holdin. that senenation bv mce m state nrimn Waehintgon Y. Lee. 263 F. Supp. 327 (M.D. Ala. 19671. is ~onbiitvtionallyimpe-aa'ibie not%thstan& testimbny that distudaneer would aemmpany desegregation. "Rentfraw ......
  • Foreword: "separate but equal" in prison: Johnson v. California and common sense racism.
    • United States
    • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Vol. 96 Nbr. 3, March 2006
    • 22 Marzo 2006
    ...that racial segregation "also characterized northern prisons"). (27) 390 U.S. 333 (1968) (per curiam). (28) Washington v. Lee, 263 F. Supp. 327 (M.D. Ala. 1966), aff'd, 390 U.S. 333 (1968) (per curiam). (29) Lee, 390 U.S. at 333. (30) Id. at 334 (Black, J., concurring). A majority......
  • Improving conditions of confinement for criminal inmates and immigrant detainees.
    • United States
    • American Criminal Law Review Vol. 47 Nbr. 4, September 2010
    • 22 Septiembre 2010
    ...be "slaves of the State" and wholly subject to the authority of the correctional authorities). (10.) E.g., Washington v. Lee, 263 F. Supp. 327, 333-34 (M.D. Ala. (11.) E.g., Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343, 349 (1996). (12.) See, e.g., United States ex rel. Atterbury v. Ragen, 237 F.......
  • The first available house: desegregation in American prisons and the road to Johnson v. California.
    • United States
    • Corrections Compendium Vol. 31 Nbr. 5, September 2006
    • 1 Septiembre 2006
    ...v. City of Memphis, 369 U.S. 350 (1962). United States v. Illinois, Civil Action No. 760-158 (S. D. Ill. 1976). Washington v. Lee, 263 F. Supp. 327 (Md. Ala. 1966). ENDNOTES (1) Less than 3 percent of all incidents in the Texas prison system in the 1990s were described as "gang related......
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