Constitutional Law – State Action – Imposing Criminal Penalties to Enforce Private Discrimination

Defendants, Negroes, entered a section of a private restaurant designated to be for “White” patrons only. Although they were denied service, they refused to comply with the proprietor’s request to leave. Defendants were subsequently arrested by a police officer after declining his offer not to arrest if they would depart, and were tried for violation of the state’s criminal trespass statutes. They were found guilty of a misdemeanor. On appeal, held, sustained. Defendants have no constitutionally protected right not to be discriminated against by an operator of a private enterprise. State v. Clyburn, 247 N.C. 455, 101 S.E. (2d) 295 (1958).