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BOARD HIGHER EDUCATION CITY NEW YORK v. STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY (06/09/69)

SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, SPECIAL TERM, QUEENS COUNTY 1969.NY.41939 <http://www.versuslaw.com>; 300 N.Y.S.2d 983; 60 Misc. 2d 114 June 9, 1969 BOARD OF HIGHER EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK, PLAINTIFF,v.STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, QUEENSBOROUGH COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHAPTER, ET AL., DEFENDANTS J. Lee Rankin, Corporation Counsel, (Charles D. Maurer and Mark L. Palmer of counsel), for plaintiff. Alan H. Levine for David Tivoli and another, defendants. Martin Garbus for New York Civil Liberties Union and others, defendants. Thomas S. Agresta, J. Author: Agresta


Thomas S. Agresta, J.

Author: Agresta

 This action for a permanent injunction

"1. Restraining and enjoining each and all of the defendants and all other persons receiving notice of this injunction from congregating or assembling within or adjacent to or threatening to congregate or assemble within or adjacent to any of the plaintiff's academic or administrative buildings, recreation rooms or athletic facilities or in any corridors, stairways, doorways and entrances thereto on the campus of Queensborough Community College, in such manner as to disrupt or interfere with normal functions conducted by plaintiff in such place or to block, hinder, impede or interfere with ingress to or egress from any such properties by plaintiff's faculty, administrators, students, employees or guests thereat;

"2. Restraining and enjoining each and all of the defendants and all other persons receiving notice of this injunction from creating or broadcasting or threatening to create or broadcast on plaintiff's Queensborough Community College campus or in the streets adjacent thereto, any loud or excessive noise that hinders, impedes, prevents or interferes with the conduct of normal activities by members of the College community;

"3. Restraining and enjoining each and all of the defendants and all other persons receiving notice of this injunction from employing force or violence, against persons or property on plaintiff's Queensborough Community College campus;

"4. Restraining and enjoining each and all of the defendants and all other persons receiving notice of this injunction from threatening to do or inciting or counseling others or conspiring with others to do any of the above-mentioned acts; and

"5. Granting plaintiff such other relief as may be proper." was tried before me at Special Term, Part III. Plaintiff, Board of Higher Education of the City of New York, governs and administers Queensborough Community College (hereinafter called Queensborough). Defendants Auerbach, Tivoli, Raps, Kanin, Brown, Wininger, Reed, Spiller and Moore are duly enrolled students at Queensborough; defendants Faigelman, McDonald and Silberman, at the time of the institution of this action, were non-tenured members of the instructional staff at Queensborough; defendant Leslie Joyce Silberman is the wife of Professor Silberman; defendant Students for a Democratic Society, Queensborough Community College Chapter, is a chartered campus organization; and defendant Ad Hoc Faculty-Student Coalition to End Political Suppression is an unchartered organization on the campus of Queensborough.

The events that have given rise to this action are but another manifestation of the unrest on our college campuses today. The facts that I have adduced after a seven-day trial can be summarized as follows:

On April 18, 1969, shortly after noon, an authorized outdoor rally was held on the Queensborough campus and immediately thereafter many of the participants in that rally entered the Library Administration Building and began a "sit-in" on the fourth floor. Thereafter, at about 9:00 p.m. on April 18, 1969 the President of Queensborough informed the students that they were subject to arrest on criminal trespass charges in the second degree and at about 9:00 p.m. over 100 members of the New York City Police Department, Tactical Patrol Force, assembled near the campus. On or about that time, the buildings were vacated.

On April 21, 1969 an order to show cause was signed by a Justice of this court made returnable on April 23 which provided, inter alia, that pending the hearing of the motion for a temporary injunction defendants, and all other persons receiving notice of the injunction, should cease from activities which tended to "disrupt or interfere with normal functions" on the campus.

Thereafter on April 21, shortly after the noon hour, anywhere from 400 to 600 people re-entered the Library Administration Building and "sat in" in the lounge area located on the fourth floor. At about 5:30 p.m., service of the order to show cause, which contained the temporary restraining order, was made on those who had occupied the lounge. They left the Library Administration Building but returned at 7:15 p.m. and at that time the "sit-in" began in earnest and was to last until May 7.

After hearing voluminous testimony by Kurt Schmeller, President of Queensborough Community College, his assistant, Miss Eleanor Pam, and testimony by many members of the faculty and many of the defendants, I make the following findings which are material and necessary on the question of whether an injunction should issue.

I find that those who "sat in" on the fourth floor of the Library Administration Building remained there after the normal closing hours of the building even though they were requested to remove themselves and that their motivation for sitting in in the building was their being informed that an English professor, the defendant Donald Silberman, would not be reappointed for the following year.

I find that during the "sit-in", the students used loud amplification systems, played guitars and generally disrupted the work being carried on in the other offices on the fourth floor, which included the President's office, the ...


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