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Civil Procedure Class Notes

Civil Procedure Class Notes

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Published by: wavygirly on Sep 28, 2009
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Civil ProceduresCourse Outline –I. Introduction to the course and overview of the value of procedureA. Introduction 1. Intro to course
 2. Intro to American Courts system
 3. Art III of US Constitution
Section 1 -
Set up Supreme Court & Judge terms and allow for other courts
 a)Judicial power in US vested in Supreme Courtb)Congress can ordain inferior courtsc)Judges in any courts will hold office for life, assuming good behaviord)Judge pay can’t be decreasedSection 2(1) -
Judicial power extend to 9 types of controversies
 a)Matters in law or equity re: US Constitution, laws of USA andtreaties made under such laws’ authorityb)All cases affecting ambassadors, consuls & other public figuresc)Cases affecting admiralty and maritime jurisdictiond)Controversies to which the USA is a partye)between two or more statesf)between a state and citizens of another stateg)between citizens of two different statesh)between citizens of a same state claiming land under grantsin different statesi)between a state or citizens thereof and foreign entitiesSection 2(2) -
Supreme Court jurisdiction on points above
 a)Regarding points 2, 5, 6 and 9 -Supreme Court has original jurisdictionb)Points 1, 3, 4, 7 and 8 -Supreme Court has appellate jurisdictionSection 2(3) -
Criminal trial rules set forth
 a)Criminal trials are by jury (except impeachment).b)Such trials held in state where allegedly committedc)If not committed in a state, then Congress can decideSection 3(1) -
a)Treason defined as aiding and giving comfort to the enemy, or levyingwar against the USA.b)Can’t be convicted of treason unless two people witness same act orc)Accused confesses in Open Court.Section 3(2) -
Punishment for Treason
 a)Congress can declare punishment for treasonb)No attainder (punishment without trial) is allowed
B. Goldberg v. Kelly 1. The case Facts – (Class action)
NYC residents receiving welfare benefits under federally assistedAFDC and NYS general Home Relief program felt that the NYS and NYC officesadministering these programs terminated, or were about to terminate, their aid without priornotice or a chance for a hearing, denying them due process of law guaranteed under the 14thamendment to the US Constitution. After the suits were brought, the State and City adoptedmeasures to provide notice and post termination hearing. The P felt such measures wereinadequate with regard to due process as the new procedures did not (a) allow for personalappearance before termination, (b) allow for oral presentation of evidence and (c) allow forcross examination of adversarial witnesses.
Procedural History:
The suit was first broughtbefore the District Court for the Southern District of New York against the City and State ofNew York. The P/Ap’ee claimed they were denied the procedural due process, therebyviolating the Due Process Clause of the 14th amendment. D contended that the newprocedures sufficed for due process considerations. These procedures notified the welfarerecipient via mail. Such notification also allowed the recipient to contest via mail.Additionally, recipient could ask for post-termination oral hearing. D also would allow for a
 judicial review if the welfare recipient did not prevail at the post termination hearing. Finally,D also contended that pre-termination would not be cost beneficial. The District Court foundfor the P/Ap’ee, holding that only a pretermination hearing would satisfy the constitutionalrequirement under 14th amendment. D.C. also held that the cost benefit argument does notoverride the concerns of the individuals. The Commissioner of Social Services for NYC(Goldberg) appealed (State did not appeal).
 Issue –
Was the District Court correct in holding that the City of New York needed to holdpre-termination evidentiary hearings with welfare recipients in order to satisfy the citizens’14th amendment rights to due process?
 Holding –
Ct considers welfare $ = property to fall under 14th Amend. Must balance thenature of gvt interest and private interest, and here private interest of pp deserving welfarewrongfully terminated and reduced to starvation far (brutal need) outweighs
in gvt costs ofproviding preterm hearing as opposed to post term hearing. The fundamental requisite of dueprocess is the opportunity to be heard (meaningfully). Written submissions are unfair to thosew/ lacking education, credibility of witnesses never tested... Must have timely and informativenotice. Must have pretermination hearing but it does not have to be a judicial proceeding-- just has to have the opportunity to be heard in a meaningful manner (here, orally w/ counsel)w/ opportunity to confront and cross-examine State's witnesses. Must also have the ability toappeal. Ct worried about false-; but decision will
false+. (Ct weighs #1 + #3 of Matthews)
 Rule – resulting minimum due process requirements
:1)Some kind of NOTICE-statement of reasons and support for action being taken (w/o this respondingwould be meaningless)-appeal rights-TIMELY2)Right to be HEARD-timely-ability to respond in a meaningful way (depending on sit, may be written or oral)-take account for biases of witnesses (credibility issue -rt to cross-examine)3)Decision-impartial decision maker-inform in meaningful manner (reasons for decision so can appeal meaningfully)4)Responding/Appeal-judicial review of some kind (must at least be potential to go to ct at end of line)
 Rationale –
D argued two points. 1) The pre-termination written correspondence followedup by the option of a post-termination face-to-face meeting met the due processrequirements. 2) The cost to the government, that is, to society, would outweigh the benefitsprovided to the recipients.To the first point, the S.C. held that pre-termination hearings are required in order to ensurethat such citizens have the opportunity to continue to subsist on a daily basis until such timeas they have exhausted all avenues afforded them under the 14th amendment. Due processincludes the ability to cross-examine adverse witnesses (as ordained in the 6th amendment)(
Greene v. McElroy 
). Given the fundamental needs that welfare provides, such opportunityshould be provided before termination of benefits, not after. Specifically, a written noticedoes not allow the recipient the opportunity to discuss the issues, to determine what, exactly,the issues are. Moreover, the written process does not allow the recipient to question theCity and ask what the nuances of the issues were that gave rise to the preliminary decision toterminate the rights. Finally, as a preliminary decision to terminate is made by a case worker,no one is available to be an advocate for the recipient at the time the decision is made.To the second point, the S.C. noted that such approach does not hinder the nation as awhole (as opposed to what effect it has on the individuals in question), but rather helps thenation as the continued benefits until due process is exhausted better ensures that thoseindividuals who meet the requirements can continue receiving welfare, which program guardsagainst the possibility that those less successful will give up on society and seek anothermeans of surviving. The S.C. further did not agree with the D’s claim that such points,though salient, are overridden by the fact that the great majority of terminations are not
contested, that, therefore, this pre-termination process, would be costly to the government,and yield little change to the recipients at the end of that process. D’s contention in thisregard is overridden by the D.C.’s points on societal advantage of the welfare program.The Supreme Court also noted that the need to determine what procedures are required tomeet the due process requirements are a function of the governmental function and individualneeds. The extent to which procedural due process must be afforded the recipient isinfluenced by the extent to which he may be “condemned to suffer grievous loss” (J
oint Anti- Fascist Refugee Committee v. McGrath 
Cafeteria & Restaurant Workers Union v.McElroy 
echoes this sentiment.
 Dissent (Black) –
1) The cost to the government, to the people, would be onerous, would outweigh the benefitsderived therefrom.2) Some people who are on the rolls fraudulently would continue to receive such benefitswhile due process worked its way through the system.3) He doesn’t think that the Constitution is the place to address such issues, but rather theHouse. He feels that carrying out new experiments in welfare s/n/b frozen into theconstitutional structure, but rather left to the legislature.4) Is afraid that this decision sets a dubious precedent, that the Supreme Court could beginto make regulatory policy decisions under the auspices of of DPC. He says that the judges sitting at any particular time could simply decide what s/b the law, citing the DPC.5) In this case, the P is getting “minimum” due process. He fears that, by hypothesis, futurePs could ask for full judicial review on all cases, citing DP protection, and could thereforetie up the Court’s and various regulatory bodies’ time while people who deserve andrequire welfare don’t receive it as the administrators are too busy fighting term cases.6) He also made an argument that welfare receipts for individuals who fraudulently acceptsuch benefits do not deserve the protection accorded to property rights owners in the14th amendment.
Michelman article – Value of Procedure
: - Two ways to evaluate procedural system:a. Outcome oriented (if outcome good, then procedure good- Lawr Grandma)Does it could accuracy of results? Come up with hypo where outcome is not theissue. Housing question - should the lease person have a right to a hearing?Foster child question - find cases where outcome is not at stake. Then findwhat Michelman helps us do in terms of determining what procedures arerequired.b. Non outcome oriented ways in which to measure a procedural system:Four values of Michelman:a. Generally accepted reasons for litigating. He takes those reasons and thinksof them in terms of values (end, interests, purposes) that are furthered byallowing one to litigate. (His article in response to Sup Ct. decision to notallow certain people to be able to litigate (as filing fees would not allow themto do so).c. The four values:
Dignity Values 
: concern for humiliation/loss of self-respect if denied opportunity tolitigate; most clearly offended when person formally charged w/ wrongdoing andprevented from responding or forced to respond w/o help.
Participation Values 
: As derived for 1st Amend "access"
litigation is a way toparticipate in society
Deterrence Values 
: means of effecting or modifying behavior.
Effectuation Values 
Rights only exist if there's a way to enforcethem; litigation is that way.Hypo: Litigation deciding whether child in foster care should be returned to birth parents.Foster parents want to speak, but they have given all info to social services and theirtestimony will in no way change the outcome of the case, they will contribute nothing tothe accuracy of the result. Should they be allowed to testify?1)Dignity Values: foster parents might be humiliated if can't testify2)Participation Values: Foster parent have an emotional interest, not an outcome

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