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DREWS ET AL. v. MARYLAND

decided: June 1, 1965.

DREWS ET AL
v.
MARYLAND



Reported below: 236 Md. 349, 204 A. 2d 64. APPEAL FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND.

Warren, Black, Douglas, Clark, Harlan, Brennan, Stewart, White, Goldberg

Author: Per Curiam

[ 381 U.S. Page 421]

 The motion to dismiss is granted and the appeal is dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Treating the papers whereon the appeal was taken as a petition for writ of certiorari, certiorari is denied.

Disposition

Appeal dismissed and certiorari denied.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WARREN, with whom MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS joins, dissenting from the denial of certiorari.*fn1

On Sunday, September 6, 1959, Juretha Joyner and James L. Lacey, who are Negroes, and Helen W. Brown, Dale H. Drews and Joseph C. Sheeham, who are white, went to Gwynn Oak Park, an amusement park in Baltimore County, Maryland. Ironically, the park was celebrating "All Nations Day." Shortly after 3 p.m. they

[ 381 U.S. Page 422]

     were standing in a group by themselves and had, a park guard testified, attracted no attention from other patrons. The guard approached the group and told them that "we are very sorry but the park was closed to colored, and that the colored people would have to leave the premises . . . ." Mr. Lacey answered that he was enjoying himself and would like to look around some more, and neither he nor Miss Joyner complied with the request to leave. The guard then asked all five to leave, but they refused. He testified, however, that they "were all very polite." During this interchange between the guard and petitioners, other patrons of the park began to gather around.

Upon the refusal of petitioners to leave, the guard summoned the Baltimore County police, who, after asking petitioners to leave, placed them under arrest. Meanwhile, the crowd surrounding the petitioners grew larger and more hostile, even going so far as to kick, spit, and yell "Lynch them!" Neither the park officials nor the county police made any attempt to exclude from the park or arrest any of those who engaged in such conduct. Upon being informed of their arrest, the five joined arms briefly, and the three men then dropped to the ground and assumed a prostrate position. Petitioners Joyner and Brown remained on their feet. The police placed handcuffs on Miss Joyner, and escorted her and Miss Brown from the park. Though the police encountered some difficulty in pulling the women through the crowd, they left under their own power. The men, on the other hand, had to be carried out, but offered no active resistance. The only remark by any of the petitioners was made by one of the men, who, responding to mistreatment by someone in the crowd, said ". . . forgive him, he doesn't know what he is doing . . . ."

On April 5, 1960, petitioners Brown, Joyner, Drews and Sheeham were charged with "acting in a disorderly manner, to the disturbance of the public peace, at, in

[ 381 U.S. Page 423]

     or on Gwynn Oak Amusement Park, Inc., a body corporate, a place of public resort and amusement in Baltimore County" in violation of Md. Code Ann. Art. 27, ยง 123 (1957 ed.).*fn2 Mr. Lacey was not prosecuted. Petitioners waived jury trial, were found guilty by the court, and each was fined $25 plus costs.*fn3 On January 18, 1961, the Maryland Court of Appeals, defining disorderly conduct as "the doing or saying, or both, of that which offends, disturbs, incites, or tends to incite, a number of people gathered in the same area,"*fn4 affirmed the convictions. 224 Md. 186, 192, 167 A. 2d 341, 343-344. On June 22, 1964, this Court vacated the judgments and remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for consideration in light of Griffin v. Maryland, 378 U.S. 130, and Bell v. Maryland, 378 U.S. 226. 378 U.S. 547. On remand, the Court of Appeals, purporting to distinguish Griffin and Bell, reinstated and reaffirmed the prior judgments of conviction, Judge Oppenheimer dissenting. 236 Md. 349, 204 A. 2d 64.

I cannot concur in the Court's refusal to review this case. (1) There is in my mind serious question as to whether the conduct of petitioners can constitutionally be punished under a disorderly conduct statute. (2) It

[ 381 U.S. Page 424]

     seems to me apparent from the record that petitioners' conduct is protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 241, and that, under our decision in Hamm v. City of Rock Hill and Lupper v. Arkansas, 379 U.S. 306, the ...


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