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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Facts of the Case 

Harriet Louise Adderley and a group of approximately 200 others assembled in a non-public jail driveway to protest the arrests of fellow students and the state and local policies of racial segregation which included segregation in jails. Adderley and thirty-one others were convicted in a Florida court on a charge of "trespass with a malicious and mischievous intent" for their refusal to leave the driveway when requested to do so.


Were the petitioners denied their rights of free speech, assembly, petition, due process of law and equal protection of the laws as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments?

Decision: 5 votes for Florida, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly

The Court found that there were no constitutional violations in this case. The language of the Florida statute was clearly defined and applied, argued Justice Black, which prevented it from imposing broad infringements on speech and expression rights. Furthermore, since the sheriff acted to maintain access to the jail house and not because he "objected to what was being sung . . . or disagreed with the objectives of the protest," there were no First Amendment violations. Black concluded that the state does have the power to control its own property for lawful, nondiscriminatory purposes.

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ADDERLEY v. FLORIDA. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 August 2015. <>.
ADDERLEY v. FLORIDA, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 25, 2015).
"ADDERLEY v. FLORIDA," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 25, 2015,