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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Carroll et al.
Princess Anne et al.
(for the petitioner)
(for the respondent)
Facts of the Case 

A white supremacist organization held a public rally near a courthouse in Princess Anne, Maryland. During the rally, members of the organization made racist and derogatory speeches amplified over a public address system. Officials of Princess Anne and Somerset County obtained a restraining order to prevent the organization from reconvening the next day. The order was ex parte, so no notice was given to the organization. The order restrained the organization from holding rallies in the county for 10 days. At trial, the Circuit Court issued an injection for another 10 months. On appeal the Maryland Court of Appeals affirmed the 10 day order, but reversed the 10 month injunction because the period of time was unreasonable and arbitrary.


Was the case moot because the restraining order had already expired? Was the restraining order an improper prior restraint in violation of the First Amendment?

Decision: 9 votes for Carroll, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly

No, Yes. In a unanimous decision, Justice Abe Fortas wrote the majority opinion. The Supreme Court held that the case was not moot because the 10-day order still plays a role in the white supremacist organization’s continued efforts in the county. The order was set aside because there was no notice given to the organization and they were not given the opportunity to participate in the adversary proceeding. The Court did note that there may be a case where ex parte orders are allowed when one party can show that the other is unavailable or impossible to serve. The Court did not address the 10 month injunction because it had been reversed by the appeals court.

Cite this Page
CARROLL v. PRINCESS ANNE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
CARROLL v. PRINCESS ANNE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"CARROLL v. PRINCESS ANNE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,