Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States

Full title: HEART OF ATLANTA MOTEL, INC., a Georgia corporation, Plaintiff, v. The United States

Court: United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

Date published: Jul 22, 1964

Facts

This is a complaint filed by Heart of Atlanta Motel, a large downtown motel in the city of Atlanta, regularly catering to out-of-state guests, praying for a declaratory judgment and injunction to prevent the Attorney General of the United States from exercising powers granted to him under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.A. § 1971, as amended. The suit also attempts to obtain recovery from the United States for substantial damages alleged to result from a partial taking of the complainant’s property without just compensation.

Conceding, as it does, that it is regularly engaged in renting sleeping accommodations to out-of-town guests, seventy-five percent of whom come from without the state of Georgia, and that it “has refused and intends to refuse to rent sleeping accommodations to persons desiring said accommodations, for several different reasons, one of which is based on the grounds of race, unless ordered by this Court to comply with the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” the suit attacks the constitutionality of the public accommodations sections of the Civil Rights Act as applied to such a motel.

Issue

Decision

The Atlanta Motel, a corporation, is enjoined from refusing to accept Negroes as guests based on race or color, nor from making distinctions in the availability of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the general public. The injunction will become effective on August 11, 1964, allowing the plaintiff to prepare its record for appeal.

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