Hoots v. Com. of Pennsylvania, Nos. 81-1691

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore GIBBONS, HUNTER and GARTH; JAMES HUNTER, III
Citation672 F.2d 1107
Parties3 Ed. Law Rep. 244 Dorothy HOOTS, individually and as mother of her children, Janelle Hoots and Jamie Hoots; Mrs. Addrallace Knight, individually and as mother and natural guardian of her children Ronald Knight, Loretta Knight, Terrance Knight, Marc Knight and Byron Knight; Barbara Smith, individually and as mother and natural guardian of her children Tawanda Smith, Tevela Smith, Joseph Smith, Wesley Smith and Eric Smith; on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; Mae Helen Woody, Juanita Jordan v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; Edward X. Hallenberg, President of the AlleghenyCounty Board of School Directors; the Allegheny County Board of SchoolDirectors; W. Deming Lewis, Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board ofEducation; MichaelSullivan, President of the School District of the Borough of Braddock, theSchool District of the Borough of Braddock, Andrew Lisyak, President of theSchool Board of the School District of the Borough of Rankin; the SchoolDistrict of the Borough ofRankin, Leo Campbell, President of the School Board of the School District ofthe Borough of North Braddock; and the School District of the Borough of NorthBraddock; the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of School Directors and EdwardX. Hallenbergas President of the Allegheny Intermediate Board of School Directors, ChurchillArea School District, Edgewood School District, Swissvale Area School District,Turtle Creek Area School District. Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF EDGEWOOD, in 81-1691. Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF CHURCHILL AREA, in 81-1692. Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF SWISSVALE AREA, in 81-1693. Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF TURTLE CREEK AREA, in 81-1694. Appeal of SWISSVALE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, Churchill Area School District, Edgewood School District and Turtle Creek Area School District, in 81-1695. Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICTS OF CHURCHILL AREA, EDGEWOOD, SWISSVALE AREA ANDTURTLE CREEK AREA, in 81-1790. Appeal of ALLEGHENY COUNTY INTERMEDIATE UNIT and Allegheny County School Boar
Docket NumberNos. 81-1691
Decision Date01 February 1982

Page 1107

672 F.2d 1107
3 Ed. Law Rep. 244
Dorothy HOOTS, individually and as mother of her children,
Janelle Hoots and Jamie Hoots; Mrs. Addrallace Knight,
individually and as mother and natural guardian of her
children Ronald Knight, Loretta Knight, Terrance Knight,
Marc Knight and Byron Knight; Barbara Smith, individually
and as mother and natural guardian of her children Tawanda
Smith, Tevela Smith, Joseph Smith, Wesley Smith and Eric
Smith; on behalf of themselves and all others similarly
situated; Mae Helen Woody, Juanita Jordan
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA; Edward X. Hallenberg,
President of the AlleghenyCounty Board of School Directors;
the Allegheny County Board of SchoolDirectors; W. Deming
Lewis, Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Board ofEducation;
MichaelSullivan, President of the School District of the
Borough of Braddock, theSchool District of the Borough of
Braddock, Andrew Lisyak, President of theSchool Board of the
School District of the Borough of Rankin; the SchoolDistrict
of the Borough ofRankin, Leo Campbell, President of the
School Board of the School District ofthe Borough of North
Braddock; and the School District of the Borough of
NorthBraddock; the Allegheny Intermediate Unit Board of
School Directors and EdwardX. Hallenbergas President of the
Allegheny Intermediate Board of School Directors,
ChurchillArea School District, Edgewood School District,
Swissvale Area School District,Turtle Creek Area School District.
Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF EDGEWOOD, in 81-1691.
Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF CHURCHILL AREA, in 81-1692.
Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF SWISSVALE AREA, in 81-1693.
Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICT OF TURTLE CREEK AREA, in 81-1694.
Appeal of SWISSVALE AREA SCHOOL DISTRICT, Churchill Area
School District, Edgewood School District and
Turtle Creek Area School District, in 81-1695.
Appeal of SCHOOL DISTRICTS OF CHURCHILL AREA, EDGEWOOD,
SWISSVALE AREA ANDTURTLE CREEK AREA, in 81-1790.
Appeal of ALLEGHENY COUNTY INTERMEDIATE UNIT and Allegheny
County School Board, in 81-1986.
Appeal of COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, W. Deming Lewis,
Chairman of thePennsylvania State Board of
Education and the Pennsylvania State
Board ofEducation, in 81-1987.
Appeal of Edward HALLENBERG, in 81-1988.
Nos. 81-1691 to 81-1695, 81-1790 and 81-1986 to 81-1988.
United States Court of Appeals,
Third Circuit.
Argued Dec. 18, 1981.
Decided Feb. 1, 1982.

Page 1109

Thomas A. Gottschalk (argued), Washington, D. C., for School Dist. of Edgewood and Turtle Creek Area.

Carl W. Brueck, Brueck & Houck, Pittsburgh, Pa., for School Dist. of Edgewood.

Philip B. Kurland (argued), Chicago, Ill., John J. Coffey, Philadelphia, Pa., Rothschild, Barry & Myers, Chicago, Ill., J. Robert Maxwell, Maxwell & Huss, Pittsburgh, Pa., for School Dist. of Churchill Area.

Frank Goodman (argued), Philadelphia, for Swissvale Area School Dist.

Allen C. Warshaw, Deputy Atty. Gen., Chief, Civ. Litigation (argued), Harrisburg, Pa., Alton P. Arnold, Jr., William A. Webb, Deputy Atty. Gen., LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Atty. Gen. for the Com. of Pa., Harrisburg, Pa., for Com. of Pa., State Bd. of Ed. and W. Deming Lewis.

Anton W. Bigman (argued), Pittsburgh, Pa., Linda A. Blumkin, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, New York City, for General Braddock Area School Dist.

Thomas J. Henderson (argued), Pittsburgh, Pa., Jack Greenberg, James M. Nabrit, III, James S. Liebman (argued), Neighborhood Legal Services, New York City, for Dorothy Hoots, etc., et al.

G. N. Evashavik, Evashavik, Capone, Evans & Della Vecchia, Pittsburgh, Pa., Robert H. Bork, New Haven, Conn., Kirkland & Ellis, Washington, D. C., for Turtle Creek Area School Dist.

J. Frank McKenna, III, Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, Pittsburgh, Pa., for East Allegheny School Dist.

Michael I. Levin, Cleckner & Fearen, Harrisburg, Pa., amicus curiae, Pa. School Boards Assn.

Thomas Rutter, William C. Andrews, Goehring, Rutter & Boehm, Pittsburgh, Pa., for Edward X. Hallenberg and Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Allegheny County School Bd.

Before GIBBONS, HUNTER and GARTH, Circuit Judges.

OPINION OF THE COURT

JAMES HUNTER, III, Circuit Judge.

This decision is the ninth chapter in the history of this decade-old school desegregation case. 1 The plaintiff class consists of

Page 1110

parents of children who attend public schools in the General Braddock Area School District ("GBASD") in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Defendants are the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Board of Education (the "State Board"), the Allegheny Board of Education (the "County Board," later succeeded by the "Intermediate Unit"), and several of the Boards' officers. Plaintiffs filed a complaint on June 9, 1971, alleging that the consolidation of various school districts in Allegheny County by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting through the State and County Boards, had resulted in the creation of racially segregated schools. The district court, in Hoots II, held that the creation of GBASD by the State and County Boards was "an act of de jure discrimination in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment." Hoots II, 359 F.Supp. at 823. Various plans were considered by the district court as possible remedies for the continuing violations of plaintiffs' constitutional rights. In March 1981, the court decided which of numerous school districts could be included in any multidistrict remedy under the guidelines of Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717, 94 S.Ct. 3112, 41 L.Ed.2d 1069 (1974). Hoots VI, 510 F.Supp. at 619. In April 1981, the district court approved the consolidation plan presently under appeal. 2

Defendants' present appeal is based on two contentions. First, they argue that Hoots II, in which the district court found a constitutional violation, was incorrectly decided, in that the district court did not find intentional or purposeful segregative acts on the part of state officials. Second, defendants contend that the district court erred in fashioning the multidistrict remedy that it ultimately chose.

We find defendants' arguments unpersuasive and we affirm the rulings of the district court.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The facts of this case, especially those which lead to the initial filing of the complaint in this action, are ably and extensively set forth in the district court's May 1973 opinion. See Hoots II, 359 F.Supp. 807. The procedural posture of the case has been recited on numerous occasions by this court: Hoots IV, 587 F.2d 1340; Hoots V, 639 F.2d 972. Here, we will summarize those accounts and then supplement them with a recital of subsequent events leading to the instant appeal.

During the 1960's, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on three occasions enacted legislation to reorganize the school districts in Pennsylvania's public school system. The Act of September 12, 1961, P.L. 1283, No. 561, 24 P.S. § 2-281 et seq. ("Act 561"), directed each county board of school directors to prepare a plan of organization of school districts for the county for review by the State Board of Education. This Act was superseded, although not substantively altered, by the Act of August 8, 1963, P.L. 564, No. 299, 24 P.S. § 2-290 et seq. ("Act 299"), and the Act of July 8, 1968, P.L. 299, No. 150, 24 P.S. § 2400.1 et seq. ("Act 150"). Act 299 instructed the county boards to prepare on or before July 1, 1964 a plan of organization of school districts for the county and directed the State Board of Education to review organization plans prepared by the county boards and to approve such plans as it deemed wise and in the best

Page 1111

interest of the educational system of Pennsylvania.

Acts 299 and 150 provided for the plans of organization of school districts to conform to standards which were to be prepared by the State Board. In preparing these standards, the State Board was instructed to take into account: topography, pupil population, community characteristics, transportation of pupils, use of existing buildings, existing administrative units, potential population changes and the capability of providing a comprehensive plan of education. 24 P.S. §§ 2400.1, 2400.2; 24 P.S. §§ 2-291, 2-292. Both Acts also stipulated that no school district should, as a general rule, have a pupil population of fewer than 4,000 students. 3

The State and County Boards, pursuant to these statutes, established GBASD (63% black) on July 1, 1971, in the central eastern area of Allegheny County, east of Pittsburgh and north of the Monongahela River. The boards also created the predominately or all-white school districts of Turtle Creek (98.1% white), Swissvale (87.3% white), and Churchill (99.2% white), which border on GBASD, and the Edgewood School District (97.8% white), which is situated within approximately one mile of the GBASD. Appendix at 3233a. GBASD served the area consisting of the geographic limits of the Boroughs of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin. Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin are economically depressed, declining communities. The residents of these municipalities are poor and less educated than those of the other school districts in question. The recreational and shopping facilities within these communities have been rapidly declining and becoming increasingly older in average age. The boroughs of Braddock, North Braddock and Rankin have no characteristics that will attract or retain persons who have the financial means and opportunity to live elsewhere. Finally, the populations of these three communities are becoming increasingly non-white at an accelerated pace. Hoots II, 359 F.Supp. at 814 (Findings of Facts 20-27).

Plaintiffs filed this action on June 9, 1971. In December 1971, the district court

Page 1112

denied defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, concluding that "allegations of deliberate creation of racially segregated school districts state a cause of action." Hoots I, 334 F.Supp. 820, 822.

The district court also rejected...

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8 practice notes
  • Jenkins by Agyei v. State of Mo., R-5 and D
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 5, 1987
    ...Circuit affirmed the findings Page 679 that the decisions were made with discriminatory purpose. Id. at 1108. In Hoots v. Pennsylvania, 672 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 824, 103 S.Ct. 55, 74 L.Ed.2d 60 (1982), the court pointed to findings that in 1971 the state and county bo......
  • Bronson v. BOARD OF EDUC. OF CITY SCHOOL DIST., No. C-1-74-205
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • January 10, 1984
    ...having a multi-district segregative effect serve as the basis for an interdistrict remedy in Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 672 F.2d 1107 (3rd Cir.1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 824, 103 S.Ct. 55, 74 L.Ed.2d 60 In the instant action, there is no post-Brown legislative action having a......
  • Hynson By and Through Hynson v. City of Chester Legal Dept., No. 88-1337
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 23, 1988
    ...from the effect of the state action even when the governing legislation appears neutral on its face"); and, Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pa., 672 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir.1982) (requisite discriminatory purpose or Page 1030 intent can be inferred from an official action which bears more heavily on one......
  • Hoots v. Com. of Pa., No. 82-5342
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • March 28, 1983
    ...Page 724 XIV. 1 Although many of these appeals have been preliminary skirmishes, this appeal, like Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 672 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 103 S.Ct. 55, 74 L.Ed.2d 60 (1982) ("Hoots IX "), is a frontal assault on the district court's dese......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Jenkins by Agyei v. State of Mo., R-5 and D
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • February 5, 1987
    ...Circuit affirmed the findings Page 679 that the decisions were made with discriminatory purpose. Id. at 1108. In Hoots v. Pennsylvania, 672 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 824, 103 S.Ct. 55, 74 L.Ed.2d 60 (1982), the court pointed to findings that in 1971 the state and county bo......
  • Bronson v. BOARD OF EDUC. OF CITY SCHOOL DIST., C-1-74-205
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Southern District of Ohio
    • January 10, 1984
    ...having a multi-district segregative effect serve as the basis for an interdistrict remedy in Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 672 F.2d 1107 (3rd Cir.1982), cert. denied, 459 U.S. 824, 103 S.Ct. 55, 74 L.Ed.2d 60 In the instant action, there is no post-Brown legislative action having a......
  • Hynson By and Through Hynson v. City of Chester Legal Dept., No. 88-1337
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • December 23, 1988
    ...from the effect of the state action even when the governing legislation appears neutral on its face"); and, Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pa., 672 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir.1982) (requisite discriminatory purpose or Page 1030 intent can be inferred from an official action which bears more heavily on one......
  • Hoots v. Com. of Pa., No. 82-5342
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • March 28, 1983
    ...Page 724 XIV. 1 Although many of these appeals have been preliminary skirmishes, this appeal, like Hoots v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 672 F.2d 1107 (3d Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 103 S.Ct. 55, 74 L.Ed.2d 60 (1982) ("Hoots IX "), is a frontal assault on the district court's dese......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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