MLK’s Children Sue Mississippi TV Anchor Over Mom’s SCLC Papers, Lose In Federal Court

Source: AP /

JACKSON, Miss — A Mississippi television anchorman can keep documents and other materials tied to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., that the civil rights leader’s estate sued to obtain, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday.

King’s estate sued WLBT-TV’s Howard Ballou in September 2011 in U.S. District Court in Jackson. The estate wanted possession of documents, photographs and other items that Ballou’s mother got while working for King.

Maude Ballou worked as King’s secretary from 1955 to 1960 and kept documents during the time King led the Montgomery Improvement Association and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the lawsuit said.

U.S. District Judge Tom Lee dismissed the estate’s lawsuit on March 23, saying there was nothing to contradict Maude Ballou’s testimony that King gave her the material and that the statute of limitations had passed.

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