Judge Dismisses Nazi Lawsuit
Menu JTA Search

Judge Dismisses Nazi Lawsuit

Download PDF for this date

A S28 million lawsuit by San Francisco Nazi Allen Lee Vincent against Geoffrey Fisher, managing editor of the San Francisco Jewish bulletin, and a number of other defendants, was dismissed last week by United States District Judge Charles B. Renfrew. The suit, filed by Vincent on Feb. 22, 1978 under the Civil Rights Act and other statutes, alleged among other things that Fisher and “the defendants committed state and federal crimes as part of an ongoing conspiracy to deprive Mr. Vincent of certain constitutional rights.” Vincent’s original complaint alleged “a conspiracy of ‘the associated Jews, the Anti-Defamation League and other groups'” to destroy Vincent’s private property.

Defendants along with Fisher were Mayor George Moscone of San Francisco, certain members of the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco, U.S. District Attorney Joseph Freitas, American Jewish Congress executive director Joel Brooks, Anti-Defamation League executive director Jim Ruderman, two San Francisco Examiner writers and Nathan Green, owner of the property at which Vincent’s National Socialist White People’s party Rudolph Hess Bookstore was located.

The bookstore was destroyed during an outbreak of violence on April l, 1977. Five San Francisco Jewish attorneys volunteered their services to the defendants associated with Jewish agencies.


In his 11-page ruling, Judge Renfrew declared that Vincent, head of the National Socialist White people’s party, and a co-plaintiff, Charlotte Magnette, “have now filed five versions of their

Wrote Judge Renfrew: “This Court deplores the acts of senseless violence which resulted in the destruction of the Rudolph Hess Bookstore on April I, 1977. But it is also deeply concerned by what appears to be the senseless destruction of precious judicial resources. This lawsuit has continued for 19 months.

“In that time this Court and all the parties have expended a great deal of valuable time energy and expense in seeking to determine whether plaintiffs would ever state – friable claim. The result of this effort has been a case filled with rambling political documents, irrelevant to any cause of action which the Court can consider, which seem designed merely to harass defendants and to give vent to plaintiffs’ political prejudices.

Plaintiffs have taken advantage of this Court’s leniency by filing such impertinent and scandalous material. They have construed the opportunities to amend as invitations to use the judicial system as forum from which to present their political and racial views.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund