Citation. 472 F.2d 261, 1972 U.S. App. 6575
Brief Fact Summary. Defendant, Eric Hall, appealed his conviction for contempt for violating an ex parte court order that prohibited Defendant from going near a school.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A court has the inherent power to issue an interim ex parte order against an unidentifiable group of people to protect the court’s ability to render a judgment.
Facts. The district court ordered a predominantly white school and a predominantly African-American school to realign the students to promote desegregation. Many students, as well as other people in the affected communities, were upset with the judgment, and there were various incidents of civil disobedience. To promote a peaceful environment for the students, the district court issued an ex parte order to prevent outsiders from causing trouble around the schools. Defendant was named as one of the parties named in the order, but he never was a party to any of the prior court proceedings. On the mixed advice of counsel, Defendant went near the school for the purpose of challenging the court order, and was arrested. He was sentenced to sixty days in jail for contempt. Defendant challenges the conviction because he was never a party to the prior suits, and per Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d) the order was not binding on him.
Issue. The issue is whether Defendant, as a nonparty to prior proceedings, was bound by an ex parte court order.