Meredith v. Fair, Civ. A. No. 3130.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
Citation199 F. Supp. 754
Docket NumberCiv. A. No. 3130.
PartiesJames Howard MEREDITH, Plaintiff, v. Charles Dickson FAIR et al., Defendants.
Decision Date12 December 1961

199 F. Supp. 754

James Howard MEREDITH, Plaintiff,
Charles Dickson FAIR et al., Defendants.

Civ. A. No. 3130.

United States District Court S. D. Mississippi, Jackson Division.

December 12, 1961.

R. Jess Brown, Vicksburg, Miss., Constance Baker Motley, Derrick A. Bell, Jr., New York City, for plaintiff.

Joe T. Patterson, Atty. Gen. of Mississippi, Ed Cates, Dugan Shands, Asst. Attys. Gen., Charles Clark, P. M. Stockett, Jr., Sp. Asst. Attys. Gen., for defendants.

MIZE, Chief Judge.

Plaintiff, James Howard Meredith, is a member of the Negro race and a citizen of Mississippi. He filed his complaint on behalf of himself and of other Negro students in the State of Mississippi similarly situated. He seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining the defendants from refusing him admittance to the University of Mississippi and for a declaratory judgment. The defendants in the case are members of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions, the Chancellor of the University of Mississippi, the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and the Registrar of the University.

The management and control of the University of Mississippi and all other state institutions of higher learning in the State of Mississippi is vested in the Board.

James Howard Meredith filed his complaint on the 31st day of May, 1961 and alleged that he had been deprived of rights secured to him by the Constitution of the United States in violation of Title 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983. He alleged that the University of Mississippi is limited by policy and custom to students on a segregated basis only. The defendants answered and denied the material allegations of the complaint, particularly that part where he alleged that he was denied admittance solely because of his race. Plaintiff further alleged that certain rules and regulations of the University of Mississippi have been improperly and unconstitutionally applied to him and avers that he was not accepted as a resident undergraduate transfer student solely because he is a Negro. This was denied by the defendants.

Concurrently with the filing of the complaint plaintiff moved for a temporary restraining order without notice. This application for preliminary restraining order without notice was denied by the Court on the ground that

199 F. Supp. 755
notice of application should have been given to the defendants. Concurrently with the filing of the complaint he also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and this motion was noticed for hearing on the 12th of June, 1961 at Biloxi, Mississippi, at which time it came on for hearing. This motion specifically related to the summer session of the University of Mississippi beginning June 8, 1961. The motion was called for hearing on June 12 and before the beginning of any proceedings the Court inquired of counsel on both sides as to whether or not the motion was to be heard on affidavits or on oral testimony. Attorney for the plaintiff advised the Court that she desired to proceed on oral testimony and the trial was thereupon begun upon the application for the preliminary injunction. Not having finished the case during that day and because prior to this time other matters had been set for hearing on the following day, the Court recessed this hearing until July 10, 1961. On June 29, 1961 plaintiff filed another motion for preliminary injunction, praying that the Court would enjoin the defendants from refusing to admit plaintiff to the second summer session commencing on July 17, 1961 solely because of his race and color. On July 10, pursuant to the former order of recess, the Court met and at that time was advised that the leading counsel for the defendants was seriously ill and that his physical condition prevented his attendance at the hearing. The Court heard this matter and from the affidavits and from doctors' certificates determined that it would endanger the life of leading counsel if he were compelled to proceed. He is the first Assistant Attorney General of the State and has taken the leading part throughout all hearings and the Court determined that sound discretion dictated out of necessity that it should again recess the hearing to the next available date, which was the 10th of August. On that date counsel for plaintiff announced in open court that she would withdraw her motion for preliminary injunction relating to the date of June 8, 1961 and the Court granted her leave to withdraw that motion and gave her permission to file a later motion, but a later motion was...

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3 cases
  • Hobson v. Brennan, Civ. A. No. 76-1326.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 16 Diciembre 1985
    ...Cir.1962); 202 F.Supp. 224 (S.D.Miss.), rev'd, 305 F.2d 343 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 371 U.S. 828, 83 S.Ct. 49, 9 L.Ed.2d 66 (1962); 199 F.Supp. 754 (S.D.Miss.1961), aff'd, 298 F.2d 696 (5th Cir.1962). See also United States v. Barnett, 376 U.S. 681, 84 S.Ct. 984, 12 L.Ed.2d. 23 20 It is n......
  • Meredith v. Fair, 19475.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 8 Octubre 1962
    ...or color." In our previous opinion in this case, 5 Cir., 298 F.2d 696, on the appeal from a denial of the preliminary injunction, D.C., 199 F.Supp. 754, it seemed to us that "what everybody knows the court 305 F.2d 345 must know."1 We took "judicial notice that the state of Mississippi main......
  • Meredith v. Fair, Civ. A. No. 3130.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Southern District of Mississippi
    • 3 Febrero 1962
    ...suit are contained in the 202 F. Supp. 226 opinion of the District Court which was filed on December 12, 1961 and which is reported in 199 F.Supp. 754. The only question now posed for decision is whether or not the Plaintiff was denied admission to the University of Mississippi solely becau......

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