This case docket contains details of SPLC legal actions.

All Cases

Landmark Case

Penny Doe v. Richardson

Date Filed: 
10/13/1998

An African-American teenager was denied school enrollment simply because she was homeless. The Center immediately sued, and "Penny Doe" was soon enrolled in school. The case was settled with officials adopting policies to ensure compliance with federal law.

Jouhari/Horton v. United Klans of America/Frankhouser

Date Filed: 
08/28/1998

In 1988, a white fair housing advocate and her daughter were harassed and threatened over the internet by Klansmen and neo-Nazis. After they filed complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Center achieved justice against the hate groups.

Brown v. James

Date Filed: 
06/11/1998

A little girl with a severe speech disorder received a special device to help her communicate with family and friends after the Center settled a class action lawsuit against the Alabama Medicaid Agency in 1998.

Johnson v. Mitchem

Date Filed: 
05/27/1997

Inside Chess, Harper's, Astronomy, Writer's Digest — only a few of the hundreds of publications effectively banned in 1997 under an arbitrary policy implemented by the Alabama prison's warden. The Center sued, securing an agreement protecting inmates' rights to mailed reading materials.

Telleria v. Cooley

Date Filed: 
12/31/1996

An Alabama tax assessor who used racial slurs denied tax exemptions to non-English speaking immigrant homeowners, and forced them to pay double the normal taxes. The Center filed suit, ending this discriminatory policy and securing reimbursements.

Sandoval v. Alexander

Date Filed: 
12/31/1996

Prior to a Center suit, Alabama immigrants seeking to obtain their state driver's license were turned away or asked to complete the English-only tests. Although the case was ultimately lost on appeal, due to the Center's lawsuit Alabama now offers the driver's license test in eight foreign languages.

Landmark Case

Macedonia v. Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

Date Filed: 
06/07/1996

On a summer evening in 1995, members of the Christian Knights of the KKK set a fire completely destroying a 100-year-old black Baptist church in South Carolina. The Center sued the Klan on the church's behalf, winning the largest judgment ever awarded against a hate group.

Spellman v. Hopper

Date Filed: 
12/12/1995

In 1995, a prison inmate confined to Alabama's segregation unit filed a pro se complaint to protect his First Amendment rights to receive newspapers and magazines. The ruling lifted a statewide ban against segregated inmates receiving outside reading materials.

Landmark Case

Austin v. James

Date Filed: 
05/15/1995

In 1995, Alabama corrections officials brought back the barbarity of chain gangs. The Center sued, claiming that chaining men in groups of five and putting them on busy highways was cruel and dangerous. The lawsuit put an end to the Alabama chain gang and another torturous practice called the "hitching post."

Landmark Case

Mansfield v. Pierce

Date Filed: 
02/27/1995

Fearful that his white supremacist group would be sued over the murder of a black sailor, the leader of the Church of the Creator sold the group's property to the late neo-Nazi leader William Pierce. The Center sued and obtained a $1 million judgment against the COTC and a $85,000 judgment against Pierce.