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NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION v. TAYLOR (01/04/61)

January 4, 1961

NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INC.
v.
TAYLOR, APPELLANT.



Appeals, Nos. 406 and 410, Jan. T., 1960, from decrees of Court of Common Pleas No. 4 of Philadelphia County, June T., 1960, Nos. 4523 and 4537, in cases of National Baptist Convention, United States of America, Inc. v. Gardner Taylor et al., and William H. Anderson v. Leonard G. Carr et al. Decrees affirmed.

COUNSEL

Isaiah W. Crippins, with him Almanina B. Carnes, for Taylor et al., defendants, appellants.

Samuel Dashiell, with him Lawrence Prattis, Calvin T. Wilson, Charles L. Durham, and Benjamin Hooks, of the Tennessee Bar, Joseph B. Williams, of the New York Bar, for Anderson, plaintiff, appellant.

A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., with him Austin Norris, Clifford Scott Green, and Norris, Green, Harris & Higginbotham, and Belford V. Lawson, of the Washington, D.C. Bar, and Benjamin F. Wilson, of the Indiana Bar, for appellees.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Bok

[ 402 Pa. Page 502]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE BOK.

These cases arise out of a convention of five thousand or more of plaintiff's membership that was held in Philadelphia, between September 6 and 11, 1960.

[ 402 Pa. Page 503]

Plaintiff is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the District of Columbia.

In the first case the complaint in equity, filed on September 9, averred that a small faction of the Convention, including the defendants, disrupted the meetings by yelling and screaming in the aisles and not only prevented the delivery of inspiring sermons but during an adjournment caused the election of defendants to the principal offices of the Convention despite the approval by full Convention vote of 3500 to 500 of a nominating committee's slate of officers; the defendants and their cohorts then made it impossible for Dr. Jackson, President of the Convention, to continue its business. The court below, also on September 9, granted the prayer of the complaint and issued a preliminary injunction upon affidavits, enjoining defendants from obstructive conduct and requiring a bond.

No hearing was held on this injunction within five days after granting it and hence it must be deemed to have dissolved, under Rule 1531 (d) of the Rules of Civil Procedure. It also became moot when the Convention adjourned on September 12, since by its terms it was pitched to the continuation of the Convention and had no life after. See Wortex Mills v. Textile Workers' Union of America, CIO, 369 Pa. 359 (1952), 85 A.2d 851.

On September 12 defendants filed an answer and counterclaim, to which plaintiff filed preliminary objections. The court below sustained them, although it mistakenly referred to them as defendants' objections, and dismissed both the complaint, as moot, and the counterclaim, as raising a legal rather than an equitable position which in any event would involve the court in ...


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