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Civil Rights Legend Claudette Colvin will file a petition in the Montgomery Juvenile Court associated with her 1955 Arrest

 Montgomery, AL - Today, civil rights Legend Claudette Colvin filed a petition in the Montgomery Juvenile Court associated with her 1955 arrest. 

 At age 15, Claudette Colvin was arrested on March 2, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama for violating bus segregation ordinances -- nine months before Rosa Parks. Ms. Colvin was made a ward of the State and placed on indefinite probation. Now 82 years old, her probation technically ended when she became of legal age and the juvenile court no longer had jurisdiction.  But because she was placed on “indefinite probation” her family was always fearful for her and they did not realize that the probation ended. The court never informed them that the probation was over. Ms. Colvin and her family have lived all of these years thinking she was still on probation. 

Along with her legal team—which consists of Phillip Ensler, Gar Blume, and Leah Nelson—Ms. Colvin filed a motion to have her record expunged, which would formally clear her name and provide her with a sense of justice and closure. 

Ms. Colvin was joined in support by Mayor Steven L. Reed, District Attorney Daryl Bailey, Fred D. Gray who served as her attorney in 1955, and other supporters, family and friends. 

Ms. Colvin is one of the two survivors of the Browder v. Gayle United States Supreme Court Case and is known for her significant role in desegregating buses in Montgomery Alabama in 1956. She is one of the four black female plaintiffs, including Aurelia Browder, Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith, who filed a lawsuit against segregated bus seating in Montgomery, Alabama. Their attorney was Fred D. Gray. The case was successful, thus impacting public transportation throughout the United States including trains, airplanes, and taxis. 

Juvenile proceedings, including motions for expungement, are typically shielded from public view to protect the identity of the minors involved. Due to the unique public interest and historical significance of her case, she is making the expungement petition and related documents available to the public. 

"I want us to move forward and be better," Colvin said. "When I think about why I'm seeking to have my name cleared by the state, it is because I believe if that happened it would show the generation growing up now that progress is possible, and things do get better. It will inspire them to make the world better."