Case Docket

Summaries of our current and historical civil rights cases.

We have a rich history of litigating important civil rights cases on behalf of the most vulnerable in society. Our cases have smashed remnants of Jim Crow segregation; destroyed some of the nation’s most notorious white supremacist groups; and upheld the rights of minorities, children, women, the disabled and others who faced discrimination and exploitation. Many of our cases have changed institutional practices, stopped government or corporate abuses, and set precedents that helped thousands.

Currently, our litigation is focused on five major areas: children’s rights, economic justice, immigrant justice, LGBT rights, and mass incarceration.

Here are summaries, in a searchable format, of our current cases in addition to many over the previous four decades.

Showing 156 Results
Children's Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

July 11, 2016

Mississippi funded its charter schools through an unconstitutional scheme that diverted public tax dollars from traditional public schools. The SPLC filed a lawsuit in state court to end the funding system.

The lawsuit called for the court to strike down the funding provisions of the...

Economic Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

June 21, 2016

A city court judge in Bogalusa, Louisiana, operated a modern-day debtors’ prison by illegally jailing indigent people unable to pay fines or court costs – ­including a man fined for stealing $5 worth of food to feed his family. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the unconstitutional...

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

May 04, 2016

Louisiana discriminated against naturalized citizens by requiring them to provide citizenship documents when registering to vote – a requirement that was not asked of other potential voters who were only required to swear that they are U.S. citizens. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of...

Mass Incarceration
Active Case

Date Filed

January 17, 2016

A minor at the Sumter Correctional Institution in Florida was brutally beaten and raped as part of a prison initiation ritual that was ignored by a guard. The SPLC and its co-counsel filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the youth to end the culture of brutality at the prison, which houses...

Economic Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

September 08, 2015

The city of Alexander City, Alabama, operated a modern-day debtors’ prison for at least a decade by arresting and jailing low-income people unable to pay their fines and court costs for traffic tickets and misdemeanors.

In a town where almost 30 percent of the population lives below the...

Immigrant Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

September 01, 2015

Mexican guest workers hired by a contractor with more than $9 million in state contracts to maintain the shoulders and medians of rural Mississippi roadways were cheated out of their wages. A federal lawsuit on behalf of six workers alleged that the contractor broke federal racketeering laws....

Immigrant Justice
Landmark Case
Active Case

Date Filed

June 07, 2015

South Carolina denied in-state college tuition rates to U.S. citizens living in the state but unable to prove the lawful immigration status of their parents – an unconstitutional policy that more than tripled the cost of tuition. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit to end the practice.

LGBT Rights
Active Case

Date Filed

April 12, 2015

Tristan Broussard, a young transgender man, was fired from his manager trainee position at Tower Loan, a Mississippi-based finance company with 180 locations nationwide, for not agreeing to dress and be treated as a woman. The Southern Poverty Law Center and allies filed a federal discrimination lawsuit alleging Tower Loans violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights by firing plaintiff Tristan Broussard. Title VII prohibits against employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. 

Economic Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

March 11, 2015

Judicial Correction Services (JCS), a private probation company, collected money from impoverished Alabamians by threatening them with jail when they fell behind on paying fines from traffic violations or other citations in the city of Clanton. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit accusing JCS of violating federal racketeering laws.

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