Monday, November 25, 2013

City of Memphis v. Greene case brief

City of Memphis v. Greene case brief summary
451 U.S. 100 (1981)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner city sought review of an order from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which held that a street closing was invalid because it adversely affected respondent complainants' ability to hold and enjoy their property.

CASE FACTS
Respondent complainants filed an action against petitioner city and various officials, alleging that a street closing was unconstitutional. A lower court held that the street closing was invalid because it adversely affected respondents' ability to hold and enjoy their property. Petitioner appealed.

DISCUSSION
  • The court reversed because the record did not support the lower court's holding. 
  • Although it was correct that the motorists who would have been inconvenienced by the closing were primarily black, the Court found that the extent of the inconvenience was not great. 
  • The Court determined that respondents' injury did not involve any impairment to the kind of property interests that were identified as being within the reach of 42 U.S.C.S. § 1982. 
  • Because there was no basis for concluding that the interests favored by petitioner in its decision were contrived or pretextual, a trial correctly concluded that it had no authority to review the wisdom of petitioner's policy decision. 
  • The Court concluded that the case did not disclose a violation of any of the enabling legislation enacted by Congress pursuant to U.S.Constitutional amendment XIII, § 2.

CONCLUSION
The Court reversed a lower court's holding that a street closing was invalid in respondent complainants' action against petitioner city because the record did not support the lower court's holding where respondents' injury did not involve impairment of the property interests that were within the reach of a civil rights statute, and the case did not disclose a violation of the enabling legislation enacted pursuant to the Thirteenth Amendment.

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