Primary Resource

Notice of Appeal (October 3, 1924)

R. G. Shelton, on behalf of Carrie Buck, appeals Buck's sterilization order to the Amherst County Circuit Court. Buck was an inmate at the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded in Madison Heights, near Lynchburg. Shelton's appeal, at the behest of the colony's superintendent, A. S. Priddy, was designed to test the legality of a Virginia law authorizing such sterilizations. The appeal was eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell (1927).

Transcription from Original

In Circuit Court of Amherst County
Notice of Appeal and Præcipe for Transcript of Record—
Filed October 3, 1924

To A. S. Priddy, superintendent, and the members of the special board of directors of the State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble-Minded, and to Emma Buck, mother of Carrie Buck:

Take notice that the undersigned R. G. Shelton, Guardian for Carrie Buck, and the said Carrie Buck, by the said R. G. Shelton, her guardian and next friend, hereby appeals to the Circuit Court of Amherst County from the order of the said Board entered on, to-wit, September 10, 1924, providing for the operation of salpingectomy upon the said Carrie Buck, and for grounds of the appeal assign, among others:

(1) The evidence does not support or warrant the said order.

(2) The Act of the General Assembly of Virginia entitled An Act to provide for the sexual sterilization of Inmates of State Institutions in certain cases, approved March 20, 1924, Acts 1924, page 569, under which the said Board undertook to proceed in this case, is unconstitutional and void, its provisions being contrary both to the Constitution of Virginia and of the United States in that, among other things,

(a) it does not provide due process of law.

(b) It denies to appellant and other inmates of said institutions the equal protection of the laws.

(c) it imposes a cruel and unusual punishment.

[fol. 16] It is, therefore, prayed that a copy of the record of the said proceedings be forthwith certified to the Circuit Court of Amherst County and forwarded to the Clerk of said Court without delay, and that pending such appeal all proceedings under the said order be suspended.

Respectfully, R. G. Shelton, Guardian for Carrie Buck, and the said Carrie Buck, by R. G. Shelton, Guardian and Next Friend.

— page 8 —

Legal service of the above notice is accepted this 22nd day of September, 1924.
A. S. Priddy, Superintendent. H. M. Davis, Member of the Special Board of Directors.
Oct. 2, 1924.

I hereby certify that I delivered a true copy of the within notice of appeal to Emma Buck, the mother of Carrie Buck.
I. P. Whitehead.

Sworn to before me the 3rd day of Oct. 1924. W. E. Sandidge, Clerk Amherst Cir. Court.
[File endorsement omitted]