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UNITED STATES v. JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DIST. NO. 75

March 21, 1966

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BY NICHOLAS DEB. KATZENBACH, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 75, R.L. BOLEN, SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION OF THE JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 75, LEON RAY, PRESIDENT, M.E. FORD, ROY FISH, P.B. GRIFFIN AND FRED JONES, MEMBERS, BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF JUNCTION CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 75, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oren Harris, District Judge.

This is a motion to dismiss a suit brought by the Honorable Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Attorney General of the United States, on behalf of the United States of America. It was filed in this court on February 7, 1966.

The suit was brought to compel the desegregation of the Junction City, Arkansas, public schools and to require the school district to provide equal educational opportunities to all students in all public schools without regard to the students' race or color.

The defendants contend the complaint should be dismissed on the basis that the court is without jurisdiction because the Attorney General of the United States has not met the prerequisites of Section 407 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They specifically allege that the Attorney General of the United States has not received a complaint in writing signed by a parent or group of parents contending that minor children are being deprived of the equal protection of the laws by the Junction City School District No. 75.

The original action was brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the United States under Section 407(a) and (b) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,*fn1 and under 28 U.S.C. § 1345.*fn2

The Attorney General of the United States has certified, as provided by the Act, that he has received a complaint in writing, signed by the parent of minor children in Junction City, Arkansas, to the effect that said children are being deprived by the school district of the equal protection of the laws.*fn3

The issue raised by the motion is that the court lacks jurisdiction because of the insufficiency of the statutory certificate of the Attorney General.

First, I shall dispose of the issue of the sufficiency of the certificate of the Attorney General. In analyzing the certificate, the Attorney General certifies:

(1) That he has received such complaint in writing;

(2) That he believes the complaint to be meritorious;

(3) That the signer of the complaint is unable, in his judgment, to initiate and maintain appropriate legal proceedings for relief because he is unable to bear the expense of the litigation;

(4) That he is satisfied the institution of the litigation by the signer of the complaint would jeopardize the personal safety, employment or economic standing of himself, his family or his property;

(5) That the school district was notified of the complaint;

(6) That he is satisfied that the district has had reasonable time to adjust the conditions alleged in the complaint;

(7) And that, in his judgment, the institution of the suit will materially further the orderly achievement of ...


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