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Children's Rights

Date Filed

April 20, 2009

Children held at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Mississippi endured squalid conditions and horrific physical and mental abuse that violated their civil rights. They were forced to endure shackling, physical assaults by staff, confinement to vermin-infested cells and overcrowded, unsanitary conditions that resulted in widespread contraction of scabies and staph infections. The detention center also failed to provide children with adequate medical and mental health care during their confinement. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal class action lawsuit that resulted in a settlement agreement to protect children and teens detained at the center from abuse and neglect.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

May 10, 2006

In May 2006, the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with attorneys from the Southern Disability Law Center and the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, obtained a class-wide settlement agreement affecting all special education students with Emotional Disturbance in East Baton Rouge Parish.

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 06, 2011

Hundreds of guest workers from India, lured by false promises of permanent U.S. residency, paid tens of thousands of dollars each to obtain temporary jobs at Gulf Coast shipyards only to find themselves forced into involuntary servitude and living in overcrowded, guarded labor camps. The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the workers, David v. Signal International, LLC. Three years later, a lawsuit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, EEOC v. Signal International, LLC, alleging Signal unlawfully discriminated against the Indian guest workers.

Children's Rights

Date Filed

July 10, 2012

Almost two years after finding that Mississippi’s Jackson Public School District violated federal special education law, the Mississippi Department of Education had failed to hold the district accountable and ensure that its students with disabilities were receiving services required by federal law. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal class action lawsuit in 2012 against the department on behalf of these students.

Immigrant Justice

Date Filed

March 06, 2015

After an exclusive island resort near Charleston, South Carolina, cheated Jamaican guest workers out of their wages over three years, the SPLC sued the resort, which had earned accolades from travel publications and boasted a golf course that hosted the 2012 PGA Championship. 

Immigrant Justice
Active Case

Date Filed

August 18, 2016

After one of the nation’s leading poultry producers discriminated against employees with disabilities, the SPLC filed charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), according to a lawsuit filed by the EEOC against the company, Wayne Farms. The SPLC represents three former...

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

Date Filed

June 06, 2005

A group of foreign guestworkers lured from Mexico and Guatemala to plant pine trees for Eller and Sons Trees, Inc., one of the nation’s largest forestry contractors, were not paid the wages they had earned. The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Franklin, Ga., company on behalf of the workers, winning a record $11.8 million judgment in October 2012..

Hate & Extremism

Date Filed

September 06, 2011

In the early morning hours of June 26, 2011, a black man was attacked in the parking lot of a Jackson, Miss., motel and then fatally run over by a truck. The Southern Poverty Law Center joined Mississippi attorney Winston J. Thompson III, in filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the man’s family. The civil lawsuit accused seven white teenagers of deliberately setting out to harass a black person.

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