Sunday, November 24, 2013

Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co. case brief

Adickes v. S. H. Kress & Co. case brief summary
398 U.S. 144 (1970)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner, a white woman accompanied by six Negroes in respondent restaurant, challenged the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granting a directed verdict for respondent on petitioner's 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 claim for violation of her Equal Protection rights under U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner, a white person accompanied by six young Negroes, brought an action against respondent restaurant under 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 for an alleged violation of her Equal Protection rights under U.S. Constitutional Amendment XIV. The suit arose out of respondent's refusal to serve lunch to petitioner and petitioner's arrest upon departure from the restaurant on a vagrancy charge. The lower court affirmed the directed verdict for respondent and held that petitioner could not prove she was refused service pursuant to a custom of the community, enforced by the state, to refuse service to whites in the company of Negroes nor could she prove a conspiracy between respondent and police.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and held that petitioner could make out a claim under § 1983 if she proved that respondent refused her service because of a state-enforced custom of segregating the races in public restaurants. 
  • The court held that respondent failed to carry its burden of showing the absence of any genuine issue of fact, especially in its failure to foreclose the possibility that there was a policeman in the restaurant who reached an understanding with respondent's employee that petitioner not be served.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed and held that petitioner could make out a claim for violation of her Equal Protection rights if she proved respondent refused her service because of a state-enforced custom of segregating the races in public restaurants. The court held that respondent failed to sustain its burden of showing an absence of any genuine issue of fact in petitioner's claim.


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