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Carroll v. President and Commissioners of Princess Ann

United States Supreme Court
393 U.S. 175 (1968)


The defendants were identified with the National States Rights Party, a white supremacist organization. The defendants held a public assembly in the evening of August 6, 1966, near the courthouse steps in the town of Princess Ann, which is the county seat of Somerset County. This rally involved speech that could be construed as provocative to blacks in attendance and as inciting to whites at the rally. During the rally, the defendants announced that another event would be held the following night. On August 7, 1966, officials of Princess Ann and Somerset County petitioned the Circuit Court for Somerset County for a restraining order prohibiting that evening’s rally from occurring. The trial court held an ex parte hearing and entered a restraining order prohibiting the defendants from holding meetings or rallies tending to disturb and endanger the citizens of the County for a period of ten days. No notice was given to the defendants, and no efforts were made to informally communicate with the defendants prior to the hearing. Some of the defendants were served with the writ of injunction at 6:10 p.m. that evening. A full trial was conducted ten days later, and the trial court extended the injunction for ten months. The defendants appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which reversed the ten-month injunction, but upheld the ten-day restraining order. The defendants then petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Fortas, J.)

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