US v. Charleston County School Dist., Civ. A. No. 2:81-0050-8

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
Citation738 F. Supp. 1513
Docket Number2:82-2921-8.,Civ. A. No. 2:81-0050-8
Decision Date05 June 1990
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff, and Richard Ganaway, II, a minor, by his father and next friend Richard Ganaway; Renee Gadsden, a minor, by her father and next friend Raymond Gadsden; Tarsha Lucas, a minor, by her mother and next friend Catherine Williams; Stacy Brown, a minor, Rotissa Renee Brown, a minor and Uganda Brown, a minor, by their mother and next friend Louise Brown; Michelle Buggs, a minor, and Charlton Ancrum, a minor, by their father and next friend Henry Vernon Ancrum; Bernard Simmons, a minor, by his mother and next friend Idell Simmons; David Bonneau; Annette Bonneau, a minor, and Sharon Bonneau, a minor, by their mother and next friend Lorraine Bonneau; Mona Lisa Lockhart, a minor, Dexter Smith, a minor and Lichelle Lockhart, a minor, by their mother and next friend Marthenia D. Lockhart, Plaintiffs-Intervenors, v. CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT and State of South Carolina; and Charlie G. Williams, Superintendent, State Board of Education; Abraham Funchess, Joseph D. Parker, R.B. Gentry, T.C. Kistler, John R. Stevenson, Lucy B. Hayes, Creighton G. Edwards, Joyce Wimmer, Howard F. Burky, Jack F. McIntosh, Robert E. Livingston, Jessie B. Schoolfield, W. Buford Estes, Louis O. Dore, Anne K. Collins, Wilbur F. Smith, Jr., and Dolphus Carter as member of the State Board of Education; Richard W. Riley, Governor and Chairman; Thomas G. Magnum, Marion Gressette, Earl Morris, and Grady Patterson as a member of the State Budget and Control Board, Defendants.

738 F. Supp. 1513

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
and
Richard Ganaway, II, a minor, by his father and next friend Richard Ganaway; Renee Gadsden, a minor, by her father and next friend Raymond Gadsden; Tarsha Lucas, a minor, by her mother and next friend Catherine Williams; Stacy Brown, a minor, Rotissa Renee Brown, a minor and Uganda Brown, a minor, by their mother and next friend Louise Brown; Michelle Buggs, a minor, and Charlton Ancrum, a minor, by their father and next friend Henry Vernon Ancrum; Bernard Simmons, a minor, by his mother and next friend Idell Simmons; David Bonneau; Annette Bonneau, a minor, and Sharon Bonneau, a minor, by their mother and next friend Lorraine Bonneau; Mona Lisa Lockhart, a minor, Dexter Smith, a minor and Lichelle Lockhart, a minor, by their mother and next friend Marthenia D. Lockhart, Plaintiffs-Intervenors,
v.
CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT and State of South Carolina; and Charlie G. Williams, Superintendent, State Board of Education; Abraham Funchess, Joseph D. Parker, R.B. Gentry, T.C. Kistler, John R. Stevenson, Lucy B. Hayes, Creighton G. Edwards, Joyce Wimmer, Howard F. Burky, Jack F. McIntosh, Robert E. Livingston, Jessie B. Schoolfield, W. Buford Estes, Louis O. Dore, Anne K. Collins, Wilbur F. Smith, Jr., and Dolphus Carter as member of the State Board of Education; Richard W. Riley, Governor and Chairman; Thomas G. Magnum, Marion Gressette, Earl Morris, and Grady Patterson as a member of the State Budget and Control Board, Defendants.

Civ. A. Nos. 2:81-0050-8, 2:82-2921-8.

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Charleston Division.

June 5, 1990.


738 F. Supp. 1514
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
738 F. Supp. 1515
Jeremiah Glassman, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., Arthur McFarland, Charleston, S.C., and Thomas J. Henderson, Pittsburgh, Pa., for plaintiff

Travis Medlock, Atty. Gen., State of S.C., Columbia, S.C., Robert Rosen and Alice F. Paylor, Charleston, S.C., for defendants.

ORDER

BLATT, District Judge.

The plaintiffs instituted this desegregation action on January 9, 1981, alleging, basically, that the 1967 Act of the South Carolina General Assembly, under which the Charleston County school system operates today, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. After very lengthy discovery, due to the nature of the case, and after deciding to bifurcate the liability and damages aspects of the case, evidence on the liability issue was taken non-jury on various dates, beginning on October 6, 1987, and ending on September 27, 1988. Final briefs were submitted to the court in November of 1989. For the reasons stated within, this court has concluded as a matter of fact that the aforesaid Act was passed without discriminatory intent. Although this court finds that the Act was passed without discriminatory intent, this court does find that the Act has had a limited discriminatory effect in the operation of the schools in Charleston County. The court further finds as a matter of law that both discriminatory intent and discriminatory effect must be established to prove a Fourteenth Amendment violation. Because the plaintiffs can have no remedy unless the passage of the Act was enacted with discriminatory intent and the Act has a discriminatory effect, and for the other reasons hereinafter stated, the complaint herein must be dismissed.

I. INTRODUCTION

The plaintiff, United States of America, and the plaintiff-intervenors, Richard Ganaway et al., on behalf of all black children in Charleston County, South Carolina, are suing the Defendants, Charleston County School District and State of South Carolina.1 Plaintiffs assert that the defendants have refused and/or failed to dismantle the dual school system in Charleston County; that the present situation, in which there remain all-black schools, results from intentionally discriminatory legislative and administrative actions taken by

738 F. Supp. 1516
the defendants; and that the acts and omissions of the defendants in managing the public school system have had discriminatory effects, all in violation of defendants' affirmative duty to desegregate the Charleston County School District

Defendants assert that the legislative and administrative acts taken by them were not intentionally discriminatory, and that they have completely dismantled the former de jure dual school system in Charleston County. Defendants, therefore, request the court to dismiss this action and to declare that the Charleston County School system has achieved unitary status.2

II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Litigation concerning racial segregation in the public school systems of Charleston County began in 1962 with the filing of the Complaint in Brown v. School District No. 20, Charleston, South Carolina, 226 F.Supp. 819 (E.D.S.C.1963), aff'd, 328 F.2d 618 (4th Cir.1964) cert. denied, 379 U.S. 825, 85 S.Ct. 52, 13 L.Ed.2d 35 (1964). That complaint was filed to enjoin the City of Charleston school system—(District 20)— from operating on a racially segregated basis in violation of the United States Constitution, as prohibited by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L.Ed. 873 (1954). Prior to 1954, pursuant to the South Carolina Constitution and statutes, schools in South Carolina were required to be racially segregated. Brown declared such de jure systems of segregation to be an unconstitutional violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This landmark decision led to a vast number of suits seeking compliance with the Supreme Court's mandate. The District 20 case was one of those suits. At the time, District 20 was one of eight separate school districts in Charleston County.

The District 20 case was commenced in 1962 by thirteen black students and their parents on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, for an injunction enjoining the operation of the school system in District 20 on a racially segregated basis. The district court issued its first order in that case on April 11, 1963, and retained jurisdiction over the matter until that case was dismissed by order dated July 31, 1981. CCSD Ex. 18.

Effective July 1, 1968, the Charleston County School District was created pursuant to Act 340, Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina (1967)—(hereinafter referred to as "Act 340")—and certain powers, primarily fiscal and administrative, previously held by the eight separate districts, were vested in it. CCSD Ex. 15. However, the eight former school districts were denominated as "Constituent Districts" and retained their authority over faculty employment, student assignment and student discipline.

On January 9, 1981, the United States filed the instant complaint, alleging that

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"the public schools in Charleston County are substantially segregated by race"; that the "racial segregation ... is the result of intentionally discriminatory legislative and administrative actions by the defendants"; and that "Sections 7 and 8 of Act 340 were enacted with the purpose, and have had the effect, of discriminating against students in the Charleston County public schools on account of their race and segregating such schools by race." Complaint of United States, Paragraphs 6, 7 and 15.3

Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint, and the case was stayed for several years to allow the parties to negotiate. In the fall of 1983, this court denied the defendants' motions to dismiss and allowed the plaintiff-intervenors to intervene in the action. The complaint in intervention set forth substantially the same allegations as were set forth in the United States' complaint.

The trial commenced on October 6, 1987. After nine days of testimony from 28 witnesses, the United States completed the presentation of its case on November 10, 1987. The plaintiff-intervenors then presented nine days of testimony from 20 witnesses. After the plaintiffs rested, the defendants moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 41(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court denied defendants' motion after hearing arguments on May 2, 1988. Thereafter, the CCSD began the presentation of its defense on June 14, 1988, and concluded on September 27, 1988 after 15 days of testimony from 32 witnesses. The State, relying upon its exhibits and the evidence in the record, presented no witnesses and concluded its case the same day. After one plaintiff-intervenors' witness offered rebuttal evidence, the evidence-taking portion of the trial concluded on September 27, 1988.

III. THE ISSUES BEFORE THE COURT

The primary legal issue before the court is whether the CCSD and the Constituent Districts have fulfilled their affirmative duty to eliminate the former dual school system in Charleston County. In deciding this issue, the court must consider at the outset the validity, interpretation and effect of Act 340, the principal statute governing public education in Charleston County. Specifically, the court must decide:

1. Whether Act 340 was enacted with a discriminatory purpose;

2. Whether Act 340 has had a discriminatory effect; and

3. Whether the CCSD and the Constituent Districts have properly interpreted Act 340 in carrying out their respective affirmative duties to eliminate all vestiges of the former dual school system in Charleston County.

Plaintiffs contend that Act 340 was passed with discriminatory intent and has a discriminatory effect, thereby violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Plaintiffs urge this court to find Act 340 to be unconstitutional in that it prevents the CCSD and the Constituent Districts from eliminating the former dual school system. Only after the court has decided these threshold issues will it be

738 F. Supp. 1518
able to decide the central issue in the case of whether the CCSD and Constituent Districts, acting under applicable state and...

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4 practice notes
  • Stanley v. Darlington County School District, Civ. No. 4:62-7749-22 (D. S.C. 3/1/1995), Civ. No. 4:62-7749-22.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 1 Marzo 1995
    ...I and Brown II were the primary units for pupil and teacher assignment. . . ." United States v. Charleston County School District, 738 F. Supp. 1513, 1536 (D.S.C. 1990); aff'd in part, 960 F.2d 1227 (4th Cir. 1991). The District continued to choose school sites throughout the 1950's, 1960's......
  • Stanley v. Darlington County School Dist., Civ. A. No. 4:62-7749-22.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 1 Marzo 1995
    ...Brown I and Brown II were the primary units for pupil and teacher assignment. ..." United States v. Charleston County School District, 738 F.Supp. 1513, 1536 (D.S.C.1990); aff'd in part, 960 F.2d 1227 (4th Cir.1992). The District continued to choose school sites throughout the 1950's, 1960'......
  • U.S. v. Charleston County School Dist., Nos. 90-1812
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 27 Marzo 1992
    ...South Carolina. After extensive hearings, the district court, in a published opinion, United States v. Charleston County Sch. Dist., 738 F.Supp. 1513 (D.S.C.1990), made findings of fact and conclusions of law and entered judgment dismissing the case. With one exception, we AFFIRM what the d......
  • Charleston County Sch. Dist. v. Harrell, No. 27011.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 25 Julio 2011
    ...one hundred miles of coastline that is divided by rivers and linked by bridges. See United States v. Charleston County Sch. Dist., 738 F.Supp. 1513, 1521 (D.S.C.1990), affirmed in part and vacated in part on other grounds, 960 F.2d 1227 (4th Cir.1992). It is a well-settled principle that in......
4 cases
  • Stanley v. Darlington County School District, Civ. No. 4:62-7749-22 (D. S.C. 3/1/1995), Civ. No. 4:62-7749-22.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 1 Marzo 1995
    ...I and Brown II were the primary units for pupil and teacher assignment. . . ." United States v. Charleston County School District, 738 F. Supp. 1513, 1536 (D.S.C. 1990); aff'd in part, 960 F.2d 1227 (4th Cir. 1991). The District continued to choose school sites throughout the 1950's, 1960's......
  • Stanley v. Darlington County School Dist., Civ. A. No. 4:62-7749-22.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 1 Marzo 1995
    ...Brown I and Brown II were the primary units for pupil and teacher assignment. ..." United States v. Charleston County School District, 738 F.Supp. 1513, 1536 (D.S.C.1990); aff'd in part, 960 F.2d 1227 (4th Cir.1992). The District continued to choose school sites throughout the 1950's, 1960'......
  • U.S. v. Charleston County School Dist., Nos. 90-1812
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 27 Marzo 1992
    ...South Carolina. After extensive hearings, the district court, in a published opinion, United States v. Charleston County Sch. Dist., 738 F.Supp. 1513 (D.S.C.1990), made findings of fact and conclusions of law and entered judgment dismissing the case. With one exception, we AFFIRM what the d......
  • Charleston County Sch. Dist. v. Harrell, No. 27011.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 25 Julio 2011
    ...one hundred miles of coastline that is divided by rivers and linked by bridges. See United States v. Charleston County Sch. Dist., 738 F.Supp. 1513, 1521 (D.S.C.1990), affirmed in part and vacated in part on other grounds, 960 F.2d 1227 (4th Cir.1992). It is a well-settled principle that in......

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