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 159 Results
Criminal Justice Reform
Active Case

Date Filed

August 09, 2016

After the federal government failed to release records under the Freedom of Information Act that would shed light on controversial – and potentially unconstitutional – immigration raids in 2016 that took more than 100 women and children from their homes and placed them in a Texas detention...

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
Active Case

Date Filed

May 16, 2016

Officials with Florida’s Collier County schools effectively barred immigrant children with limited English skills from enrolling in high school and pushed them into an adult English program that offered no opportunity to earn credit toward a high school diploma – a violation of state and federal...

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...

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

April 27, 2016

Georgia discriminated against immigrants by enforcing an unconstitutional policy that directed state officials to deny driver’s licenses to people based on their past – rather than current – immigration status.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Atlanta immigration attorney Justin W....

Criminal Justice Reform
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....

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