Hansberry v. Lee

Hansberry v. Lee, , is a famous case now usually known in civil procedure for teaching that res judicata may not bind a subsequent plaintiff who had no opportunity to be represented in the earlier civil action. The facts of the case dealt with a racially restrictive covenant amongst members of a class, which would have called for excluding Carl Hansberry, the father of author Lorraine Hansberry. The defendants asserted that since Hansberry was a class member, he should be bound by the prior decision. Justice Harlan Fiske Stone held that since he didn't have an opportunity to be heard, enforcing that racial covenant would deny him his due process rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Later, the type of real property restriction, racially restrictive covenants, was held by Shelley v. Kraemer, , to be state action because the plaintiffs seeking to enforce such a covenant were invoking the machinery of the state.

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