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Civil Rights

Civil Rights – S.C. Law – ‘Games of Chance’ – Gaming Machines (access required)

Martin v. Lloyd Although a gaming-machine operator says South Carolina could outlaw the Monopoly board game under its statutes that prohibit certain devices “pertaining to games of chance,” the 4th Circuit says there is no indication law enforcement officers will burst into a family’s living room and yank a Monopoly board from the hands of a shocked child; the appellate court affirms a district court decision refusing to enjoin enforcement of the statutes.

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Civil Rights – Constitutional – Labor & Employment – Public Employees – Demotion – First Amendment – City Council Meeting Statements – Due Process – Investigation (access required)

Williams v. Scott At two public hearings before the Columbia City Council, the plaintiff-police officer opposed a proposed merger of the Columbia police department with the county sheriff’s office, voicing (1) his fear that the sheriff could unfairly fire him at will, (2) his general support for the unique identity of the police department, and (3) his accusation that the sheriff prevented deputies from attending a funeral for plaintiff’s patrol dog in retaliation for plaintiff speaking out at the first city council hearing.

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Civil Rights – Race Discrimination – Public Accommodation – Black Bike Week – Restaurant Closure — Civil Practice – Standing (access required)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Inc. v. Molly Darcy, Inc. Although the defendant-restaurant was closed to everyone – not just African Americans – during Black Bike Week, plaintiffs allege that the restaurant’s decision to temporarily close to the public was “undertaken with racially discriminatory animus for the purpose of denying African Americans access to a place of public accommodation.” Plaintiffs have stated a claim of intentional racial discrimination.

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Civil Rights – Constitutional – Fourth Amendment – Malicious Prosecution – Arrest Warrants — Probable Cause (access required)

Williams v. Sims Although the solicitor’s office dismissed the charges against plaintiff without prejudice and returned the case to the sheriff’s office for further investigation, plaintiff has not shown that the defendant-deputy lacked probable cause to seek arrest warrants for him.

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Civil Rights – Search & Seizure – Arrest – Probable Cause (access required)

Trapp v. Tolbert One of the perpetrators of a home invasion, Jermaine Belton, identified plaintiff as the other home invader. Although Belton changed his story at defendant’s trial, Belton’s new version of events runs counter not only to his statement to law enforcement but also to his pleading guilty under oath and affirming plaintiff’s participation in the crime.

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Civil Rights – Schools & School Boards – Student Assignment Plan – Burden of Proof – Racial Disparities (access required)

Everett v. Pitt County Board of Ed. Parents’ groups that oppose a county school board’s 2011-2012 student assignment plan win their appeal in the 4th Circuit, which says the district court erred by failing to apply, and requiring the school board to rebut, a presumption that racial disparities in the assignment plan resulted from the school board’s prior unconstitutional operation of a racially segregated school district.

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