Saturday, December 7, 2013

Evans v. Abney case brief

Evans v. Abney case brief summary
396 U.S. 435 (1970)

Petitioner African-American citizens requested certiorari review of a decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia that found that a park had reverted by operation of state law to respondent heirs under a testator's will.

The testator, a Georgia senator, conveyed property to his home city for the creation of a public park. The will expressly provided that the park was to be for the use of white people only and was to be managed by white people only. After the United States Supreme Court found the operation of such a park to be unconstitutional, the state supreme court ruled that the land was to revert to the heirs rather than become an integrated public park because the will clearly expressed the testator's detailed wishes that the park not be integrated.

  • The United States Supreme Court upheld that decision. 
  • The doctrine of cy pres, as codified at Ga. Code Ann. §§ 108-202, 113-815 (1959), did not permit the state supreme court to simply delete the racially restrictive clauses when the testator explicitly indicated that this limitation was an essential and indispensable part of his plan for the land. 
  • The trust failed and reverted to the heirs under Ga. Code Ann. § 108-106(4) (1959).
The judgment was affirmed.

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