Harriet Louise Adderley and thirty-one other persons (defendants) went to a Florida jail where their classmates were being held. The group protested their peer’s imprisonment and protested against general state policies favoring racial segregation. The group was arrested and convicted in the County Judge’s Court of Leon County, Florida. Adderley challenged their convictions on the grounds that their arrest violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments. On appeal, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.