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Pacht (Jerry) papers
LSC.0568  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Title: Jerry Pacht papers
    Creator: Pacht, Jerry
    Identifier/Call Number: LSC.0568
    Physical Description: 4.6 Linear Feet (7 boxes, 1 carton, and 1 flat box)
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1998
    Abstract: Jerry Pacht, born on January 24, 1922, was a Municipal and Superior Court judge in Los Angeles, CA. He was known for being an activist and particularly for his ruling in favor of Angela Davis against the UC Regents. The collection mostly consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, court documents, and photographs, and covers his involvement in the Angela Davis trial, Congressional campaigns, and court rulings. A significant portion of the correspondence is composed of hate mail he received during the Angela Davis trial.
    Language of Material: Materials are in English.
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

    Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Property rights to the physical objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Jerry Pacht papers (Collection 568). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Judith Pacht; Gift; 1999.

    Processing Information

    Samantha Silver, under the supervision of Charlotte Brown, 2001. Additions processed by Krystell Jimenez in the CFPRT, under the supervision of Angel Diaz, 2018. The collection was processed at the box level.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5118600 

    Biographical / Historical

    Born Mendel Jerome Pacht in Los Angeles on January 24, 1922, Judge Jerry Pacht served on the California Superior Court. He was known for being an activist and particularly for his ruling in favor of activist and professor Angela Davis against the UC Regents. The son of a judge, Pacht earned a bachelor's degree from UCLA and a law degree from USC in 1949. He was named to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1965 and elevated to the Superior Court in 1966. He ran twice for Congress as a Democrat in 1960 and 1962, and was chairman of the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee. Pacht also served on the statewide Commission on Judicial Qualifications, reviewing complaints about judges' behavior, and headed the ACLU's legal committee and the NAACP's legal defense fund in Los Angeles.
    He was known for his rulings in favor of civil rights and his most well-known ruling was striking down the University of California's policy against hiring Communists and forbidding the UC Board of Regents from firing Angela Davis in 1969. This led to an attempt to recall him the following year, which failed due to a lack of adequate signatures for the petition. In 1966 he dismissed charges of public drunkenness against a defendant on the basis that alcoholism was a disease, not a crime. In 1971 Pacht invalidated a 90-year-old claim and delivery law that permitted law-enforcement officers to seize personal property when a debtor fell behind on payments, arguing that debtors have a right to contest seizure of property in court. He upheld the right of the Los Angeles Times to caricature Mayor Sam Yorty during an election campaign in 1969. Pacht also came under the scrutiny of the Los Angeles Police Department's Public Disorder Intelligence Division when he was assigned to preside over an ACLU case against the police department. The division monitored his activism and kept a file on him.
    He passed away on April 1, 1997 in Los Angeles at the age of 75.

    Scope and Contents

    The bulk of the material in this collection covers Pacht's involvement in the lawsuit against the UC Regents following Professor Angela Davis's dismissal, Congressional campaigns, and court rulings. There are also materials related to his personal life, education, writings, political involvement, Congressional campaigns, legal decisions, and book reviews. The collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, books, photographs, notes, transcripts of judicial proceedings, depositions and briefs, public documents, reports, sheet music, campaign literature and posters, and political ephemera. Personal materials include his writings and papers as an undergraduate and law student. Other materials include newspaper clippings gathered by Pacht that cover his rulings or news related to cases he oversaw. A significant portion of the correspondence is composed of hate mail he received during the Angela Davis trial.

    Arrangement

    The collection has been organized by the following topics:
    • Angela Davis trial, 1969-1970, 1998
    • Trials and professional activities, 1958-1978
    • Los Angeles Police Department Public Disorders Intelligence Division, 1966, 1984
    • Worldwide Church of God, 1978-1980
    • Congressional and political campaigns, 1954-1988
    • Correspondence, 1963-1988
    • Biographical materials, 1937-1997
    • Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings, 1940-1986

    Related Materials

    UCLA University Archives. Collected materials about Angela Davis (Record Series 815).  Available at UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Judges -- California, Southern -- Archives.
    Worldwide Church of God
    Civil rights -- 1960-1970
    Davis, Angela Y. (Angela Yvonne), 1944-