A 1929 deed which conveyed land from private individuals to a city provided: “. . . In the event said lands . . . shall not be kept and maintained as a park . . . for use by the white race only . . . , the lands hereby conveyed shall revert in fee simple . . .” In 1955 a declaratory judgment was sought to determine the validity of the restriction and reverter clauses. Held: the operation of such language created a fee simple determinable with a possibility of reverter. Since such reversion would be automatic and would not require any judicial enforcement by state courts, Negroes who desired to use the park facilities would not be deprived of equal protection of the laws by state action.
The instant case is of interest not only because of the court’s holding; but also, because of the presence of two other problems which the court does not discuss. First, is the maintenance of the park by the city an action of the state which is within the proscription of the Fourteenth Amendment? Second, is the restriction illegal?
Constitutional Law—Equal Protection—Determinable Fee,
35 Neb. L. Rev. 136
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