BARR V. CITY OF COLUMBIA, 378 U. S. 146 (1964)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Barr v. City of Columbia, 378 U.S. 146 (1964)

Barr v. City of Columbia

No. 9

Argued October 14-15, 1963

Decided June 22, 1964

378 U.S. 146


Petitioners, Negro "sit-in" demonstrators, were arrested by police officers for criminal trespass and breach of the peace following their peaceful refusal to leave a Columbia, South Carolina, drug store lunch counter where they had been refused service. In appealing convictions for breach of the peace, the petitioners took general exceptions which, though the same as those the State Supreme Court held adequate to raise questions of the sufficiency of the evidence in other recent cases, were held by that court which affirmed lower court convictions on both charges in this case to be inadequate for that purpose here.


1. State procedural requirements not strictly or regularly followed cannot deprive this Court of the right to review. P. 378 U. S. 149.

2. This Court will not assume that the State Supreme Court, on the merits, would have held petitioners punishable for both trespass and breach of the peace based on their peacefully remaining at the lunch counter after they had been asked to leave. P. 378 U. S. 150.

3. The breach of peace convictions cannot stand, there having been no evidence to support them. Thompson v. City of Louisville, 362 U. S. 199, followed. P. 378 U. S. 151.

Judgments of conviction in 239 S.C. 395,123 S.E.2d 521, for breach of the peace reversed and remanded, and for criminal trespass reversed and remanded per curiam for reasons stated in Bouie v. City of Columbia, post, p. 378 U. S. 347.

Page 378 U. S. 147

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