574 F.2d 982 (8th Cir. 1978), 77-1467, Smith v. Merchants and Farmers Bank of West Helena, Ark.
|Citation:||574 F.2d 982|
|Party Name:||Dec. P 8295 Bettye J. SMITH, Appellant, v. MERCHANTS & FARMERS BANK OF WEST HELENA, ARKANSAS, Appellee.|
|Case Date:||May 04, 1978|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit|
Submitted Feb. 16, 1978.
Jimmie L. Wilson, Helena, Ark., for appellant.
Baker & Pittman, West Helena, Ark. and Rose, Nash, Williamson, Carroll, Clay & Giroir, Little Rock, Ark., for appellee.
Before GIBSON, Chief Judge, and LAY and STEPHENSON, Circuit Judges.
This case involves an interlocutory appeal from an order of the District Court 1 denying class action certification. Bettye J. Smith alleges that Merchants & Farmers Bank has a continuing policy of systematic employment discrimination against blacks and women. The District Court concluded that the class action aspect of the case did not come within the purview of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23. We affirm.
Smith is an employee of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Houston, Texas. In July 1974 she was without work and sought employment at the Merchants & Farmers Bank of West Helena, Arkansas. It is disputed whether she completed
the application process; in any event, the bank did not hire her.
On September 18, 1975, the present complaint was filed and it stated:
Plaintiff brings this action on her own behalf and on behalf of all employees similarly situated to the Plaintiff pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, §§ 23(a) and 23(b)(2). Plaintiff represents the class of black persons who are employed, have been employed, have sought employment, and might seek employment by the defendant, and who have been, continue to be, and may in the future be adversely affected by the practice complained of herein. Plaintiff represents the class of women who are employed, have sought employment, have been employed, and might seek employment by the defendant, and who have been, continue to be, and may in the future be adversely affected by the practices complained of herein. Defendant has acted and refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the classes represented. There are common questions of law and fact affecting the rights of members of the classes, whose members are so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring them all before the Court. The claims of plaintiff are typical of those of the classes. Common relief is sought. Final injunctive relief is, therefore, appropriate in favor of plaintiff and of the classes. Plaintiff fairly and adequately protects the interests of the classes.
She sought a declaratory judgment that the bank's actions violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981. In addition, injunctive relief in favor of the class, lost income and attorney fees were requested.
At the outset we must consider whether this appeal is within the jurisdiction of this court. Smith asserts jurisdiction exists under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1) which permits appeals from the district courts to the courts of appeals of orders "granting, continuing, modifying, refusing or dissolving injunctions, or refusing to dissolve or modify injunctions * * *." Several...
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