United States v. State of Missouri, No. 71 C 555(1).

CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Missouri
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, v. STATE OF MISSOURI et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. 71 C 555(1).
Decision Date27 August 1973

363 F. Supp. 739

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI et al., Defendants.

No. 71 C 555(1).

United States District Court, E. D. Missouri, E. D.

August 27, 1973.


363 F. Supp. 740

J. Stanley Pottinger, Asst. Atty. Gen., Civil Rights Div., Washington, D. C., Daniel F. Rinzel, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., Donald J. Stohr, U. S. Atty., St. Louis, Mo., for United States of America.

John C. Danforth, Atty. Gen., and D. Brook Bartlett, Asst. Atty. Gen., Jefferson City, Mo., for defendants, State of Missouri, Missouri State Board of Education, Its Members, Arthur L. Mallory, Commissioner of Education.

Erwin Tzinberg, Ziercher, Tzinberg, Human & Michenfelder, Clayton, Mo., for defendants, Berkeley School District, Jack E. Bell, Superintendent.

Marvin S. Wood, St. Louis, Mo., for defendants, Kinloch School District, Arthur C. Shropshire, Superintendent.

Thomas W. Wehrle, St. Louis County Counselor, James H. White, Associate County Counselor, County Government Center, Clayton, Mo., for defendants, St. Louis County Board of Education, George W. Vossbrink, Superintendent, Robert S. Weinstock, President, Quinton C. Keller, Paul A. Luepold, Fred R. Small, Glenn A. Sweet, Clarence J. Wohlwend, Members of the St. Louis County Board of Education.

Norman C. Parker, Flynn & Parker, St. Louis, Mo., for defendants, Ferguson-Florissant RII School District, Warren M. Brown, Superintendent.

363 F. Supp. 741

ORDER

MEREDITH, Chief Judge.

The Court, having heard the evidence, considered the arguments of counsel, and having entered its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law,

It is hereby ordered, adjudged, and decreed:

1. That the defendants, their employees, agents, successors, and all those acting in concert or participation with them are hereby permanently enjoined from discriminating against any person because of race, color, religion, or national origin, in the operation of the public schools of St. Louis County, Missouri.

2. That the defendants State Board of Education, St. Louis County Board of Education, and their members and administrative officers are further enjoined to develop and file with this Court within 60 days of the entry of this order, with copies served upon counsel for all parties, a plan which will disestablish the racially dual system of school districts in St. Louis County and eliminate the continuing effects of past discrimination against, and denial of equal educational opportunities to, students in the Kinloch District. The defendant local school districts and officials, and their employees and agents, are enjoined to cooperate with the state and county defendants in the development of such a plan. The parties shall have thirty (30) days after the filing of the plan to file any objections which they may have.

The plan shall show the projected attendance of students by race at the various schools, as well as the grade structures of the various schools which may be involved in the plan. The plan shall provide for the desegregation of faculty, staff, transportation, and extracurricular activities, Clark v. Board of Education of Little Rock School District, 449 F.2d 493 (8th Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 405 U.S. 936, 92 S.Ct. 954, 30 L.Ed. 2d 812 (1972); Singleton v. Jackson Municipal Separate School District, 419 F. 2d 1211 (5th Cir. 1970), and shall include a justification of any schools in the affected area which are projected as all or substantially all black. Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1, at 21, 91 S.Ct. 1267, 28 L.Ed.2d 554 (1971). Although racial balance is not required, Swann, supra, at 24, 91 S.Ct. 1267, the plan should seek to achieve the greatest possible degree of actual desegregation taking into account the practicalities of the situation. Davis v. Board of School Commissioners of Mobile County, 402 U.S. 33, 91 S.Ct. 1289, 28 L.Ed.2d 577 (1971).

Dates for hearings on any objections and for entry of an order requiring implementation of an approved final plan will be set by subsequent orders. The Court will retain jurisdiction of this cause to insure that a constitutionally-acceptable plan is adopted and that it is operated in a constitutionally permissible fashion.

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

This action was commenced on September 3, 1971, when the United States filed a complaint under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c-6, and the Fourteenth Amendment. Named as defendants were the State of Missouri, the Missouri State Board of Education and its members, the Missouri Commissioner of Education, the St. Louis County Board of Education and its members, the St. Louis County Superintendent of Education, the School District of the City of Berkeley (hereinafter Berkeley District), Ferguson-Florissant RII School District (hereinafter Ferguson District), the Kinloch School District (hereinafter Kinloch District), and the respective superintendents of the three local districts.

The complaint alleged that the defendants were state and local public officials and agencies responsible for the general supervision and operation or organization of the named school districts. It was further alleged that Kinloch District

363 F. Supp. 742
was created by the defendants as a school district to be attended exclusively by black students and had been maintained as an all-black district in such a manner as to deny equal educational opportunities to the students attending school there. The Government also contended that other feasible methods of school district organization in St. Louis County were available which would remedy the racial segregation and denial of equal educational opportunities alleged. The defendants filed responsive pleadings, and after extensive discovery, a hearing was held on July 10-13, 1972. Based on the evidence adduced at that hearing, and the pleadings and other papers filed, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law

Findings of Fact

1. The defendant State of Missouri and local school officials and agencies, and their predecessors, operate under color of and pursuant to Missouri law. The State Board of Education is vested with the power to supervise instruction in the public schools and otherwise carry out the educational policies of the state. It also distributes state funds to local school districts. In addition, the State Board has the duty to advise and provide technical assistance to county boards of education in developing school district reorganization plans and may approve or reject such plans. The Commissioner of Education is the chief administrative officer of the State Board and responsible for implementing its directives and policies.

2. The St. Louis County Board of Education is responsible for developing plans for the reorganization of the school districts of St. Louis County. The St. Louis County Superintendent of Education is the chief administrative officer of the County Board and responsible for implementing its directives and policies.

3. The three defendant local school districts are agencies of the State of Missouri, and, together with the named superintendents, are responsible for the operation of the public schools within their respective school district boundaries. Both the Berkeley and the Ferguson districts are immediately adjacent to the Kinloch district, and all three districts are located in St. Louis County, Missouri.

4. The defendant State of Missouri, prior to 1954 required by its laws and constitution that pupils in the public schools be segregated on the basis of race.

5. Prior to 1937 the present Kinloch district and most of the present Berkeley district were one school district known as Kinloch School District Number 18 (hereinafter Kinloch No. 18). The public schools in Kinloch No. 18 were segregated in accordance with Missouri law: one high school and one elementary school were operated for white children; and one elementary school was operated for black children. The subsequent splitting of Kinloch No. 18 into two districts by the incorporation of the City of Berkeley and formation of the Berkeley district had the effect of creating a school district for white students, Berkeley, and another school district for black students, Kinloch. Thus, the existing dualism was made a part of the school district structure mandated by state law, and, consequently, more difficult for the local school officials to correct.

6. Before the incorporation of the City of Berkeley, two unsuccessful attempts had been made to divide Kinloch No. 18 into two separate school districts. The evidence shows that the proposed division of Kinloch No. 18, which was essentially the same in both attempts, was to be along racial lines. Data submitted to a 1937 County Arbitration Board by the proponents of the split include references to the proposed "white" and "colored" districts. Both attempts were rejected by the County Arbitration Board after the residents of the proposed Kinloch district, which was the "colored" district, voted overwhelmingly against the split.

363 F. Supp. 743

7. On May 3, 1937, shortly after the second unsuccessful attempt to split Kinloch No. 18, a petition was filed with the St. Louis County Clerk seeking to incorporate the City of Berkeley. With the exception of the inclusion of a small portion of an adjacent school district, the boundary lines for the City were almost identical to the boundary lines of the "white" school district proposed in the two previous unsuccessful attempts to divide Kinloch No. 18. By including part of another school district, the City came within the provisions of a state law which permitted the establishment of a separate school district by vote of the residents of any incorporated city which encompassed territory of two or more school districts. In fact, on August 3, 1937, the first official act of the City of Berkeley Board of Aldermen was to adopt and file a plat map of the city because...

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10 practice notes
  • Mo. State Conference of the Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement of Colored People v. Ferguson-Florissant Sch. Dist., Case No. 4:14 CV 2077 RWS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • August 22, 2016
    ...are necessary to deestablish that dual system and to eliminate the continuing vestiges of that system." United States v. Missouri , 363 F.Supp. 739, 745, 747 (E.D.Mo.1973). It ultimately took a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice and a federal court order to forc......
  • Jenkins v. State of Mo., No. 77-0420-CV-W-4.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • September 17, 1984
    ...States, 620 F.2d 1277, 1280-81 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 449 U.S. 826, 101 S.Ct. 88, 66 L.Ed.2d 29 (1980); and United States v. Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 746-47 (E.D.Mo. 1973) aff'd 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 Each school district in Mis......
  • Reed v. Rhodes, No. C73-1300.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • September 23, 1980
    ...the neglect of that constitutional duty renders the State liable. Geier, supra, 597 F.2d at 1067; United States v. Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 747 (E.D.Mo.1973), aff'd in relevant part, 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.) (en banc) cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 (1975). The Fo......
  • Kelley v. Metropolitan County Bd. of Educ., No. 2094
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Tennessee
    • August 14, 1985
    ...662 F.2d 1219 (6th Cir. 1981) cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1018, 102 S.Ct. 1713, 72 L.Ed.2d 135 (1982); United States v. State of Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 747 (E.D.Mo.1973), aff'd in relevant part, 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 (1975); Li......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • Mo. State Conference of the Nat'l Ass'n for the Advancement of Colored People v. Ferguson-Florissant Sch. Dist., Case No. 4:14 CV 2077 RWS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • August 22, 2016
    ...as are necessary to deestablish that dual system and to eliminate the continuing vestiges of that system." United States v. Missouri , 363 F.Supp. 739, 745, 747 (E.D.Mo.1973). It ultimately took a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice and a federal court order to force ......
  • Jenkins v. State of Mo., No. 77-0420-CV-W-4.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Western District of Missouri
    • September 17, 1984
    ...States, 620 F.2d 1277, 1280-81 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 449 U.S. 826, 101 S.Ct. 88, 66 L.Ed.2d 29 (1980); and United States v. Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 746-47 (E.D.Mo. 1973) aff'd 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.) cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 Each school district in Mis......
  • Reed v. Rhodes, No. C73-1300.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • September 23, 1980
    ...the neglect of that constitutional duty renders the State liable. Geier, supra, 597 F.2d at 1067; United States v. Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 747 (E.D.Mo.1973), aff'd in relevant part, 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.) (en banc) cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 (1975). The Fo......
  • Kelley v. Metropolitan County Bd. of Educ., No. 2094
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Tennessee
    • August 14, 1985
    ...662 F.2d 1219 (6th Cir. 1981) cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1018, 102 S.Ct. 1713, 72 L.Ed.2d 135 (1982); United States v. State of Missouri, 363 F.Supp. 739, 747 (E.D.Mo.1973), aff'd in relevant part, 515 F.2d 1365 (8th Cir.1975), cert. denied, 423 U.S. 951, 96 S.Ct. 374, 46 L.Ed.2d 288 (1975); Li......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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