Civil Procedure

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CAREY v. PIPHUS
Chapter 2: The Rewards and Costs of Litigation-- Of Remedies and Related Matters Page: p. 64-73 Section B: Post Judgment Remedies 1. Damages WHAT KIND OF DAMAGES SHOULD BE AWARDED TO COMPENSATE P FOR VIOLATION OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS? COMPENSATORY (FOR PROVEN INJURY) OR PRESUMED DAMAGES (PRESEUMED TO FLOW FROM CERTAIN KIND OF DEPRIVATION SUCH AS DEMFAMATION WHICH IS INJURIOUS PER SE, ARE BY THEIR NATURE LIKELY TO CAUSE MENTAL/EMOTIONAL DISTRESS). EXAMPLE OF A CONSTITUTIONAL TORT CLAIM. NAME: CAREY V. PIPHUS FACTS: • SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES 1978

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Piphus was caught smoking on school property, and principal accused him of smoking pot. Brisco was caught wearing an earring. Principle believed practice denoted gang involvement. Both P's were suspended from school without investigation of their alleged infractions of school rules. P’s did not provide proof that they were actually injured by the deprivation of due process procedure. P’s argued: 1.) It is immaterial whether they were actually injured by deprivation of rights because constitutional rights are valuable in and of themselves and there is a need to deter violations of constitutional rights. 2.) Even if purpose of law is to compensate persons for injuries caused by deprivation of constitutional rights, every deprivation of procedural due process be presumed to cause some injury. So, they shouldn’t have to prove that D’s deprivation caused injury.

PROCEDURE: P''s and their mothers sued their respective schools in Federal District Court, charging that their sons had been suspended without procedural due process of law in violation of the 14th Amendment (deprivation of right without due process of law). P's sought declaratory relief (P's had right to due process) and injunctive (halt suspension) relief, as well as actual and punitive damages. P's cases were consolidated for trial. Federal District Court held that both P's had been suspended without due process but failed to order injunctive and declaratory relief. Additionally, Court declined to award any damages for constitutional violation because P's did not quantify their injuries, and dismissed case. Federal Court of Appeals reversed Federal District's decision not to award damages and remanded question re: damages back to District Court. Court of Appeals ordered lower court to consider evidence by P's re: the pecuniary value of missed school time, but told lower court that P's are only entitled to recover these damages if suspension was unjust. Additionally, Appeals Court held that if DC found that suspensions were justified, they were entitled to recover substantial "non punitive" (presumed) damages because they had been denied procedural due process, regardless of whether there was proof of actual injury. ISSUE: Whether in an action under Title 42 U.S.C. of Civil Rights Act (every person who subjects another citizen to the deprivation of Constitutional rights shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law) for the deprivation of procedural due process, the plaintiff must prove that he actually was injured by the deprivation before he may recover substantial "non punitive" (compensatory) damages. HOLDING: To recover substantial non punitive damages for the deprivation of procedural due process, a plaintiff

Civil Procedure ]
must prove that he actually as injured by the deprivation: .In the absence of proof of actual injury, a plaintiff is entitled to recover only nominal damages REASONING: • The purpose of a Title 42 U.S.C. of Civil Rights Act damages award (damages for a violation of constitutional rights) is to compensate persons for injuries caused by the deprivation of constitutional rights. The cardinal principle of damages in tort law is compensation of injury caused to P by D's breach of duty. Wood v. Strickland recognizes applicability to violations of constitutional rights. Why not award damages for violation of procedural due process (presume injury flows from violation) in same way as in other constitutional violations such as defamation? Rules governing compensation for injuries caused by deprivation of constitutional rights should be tailored to interests protected by the particular right in question. Defamation is injurious per se (defamatory statements are by their nature likely to cause mental and emotional stress, injury to reputation, and this kind of injury is difficult to prove, which is why courts allow for recovery of compensatory damages without evidence of actual loss). Deprivation of procedural due process is does not cause mental and emotional distress per se (and distress could be about deprivation of right vs. procedural deficiency, so ambiguity in cause of distress. Also, person may not know procedure was violated until they seek counsel). Therefore, P's must prove that they were injured by the denial of due process procedures It is not particularly difficult to produce evidence that the denial of procedural due process caused distress.

Therefore, P's must prove that they were injured by denial of procedural due process if they are to be awarded compensatory damages. The right to procedural due process is absolute: it is important to organized society that these rights be observed. Therefore, the deprivation of such rights, even without proof of actual injury, should be awarded a nominal sum of money. • The right to procedural due process is absolute: it is important to organized society that these rights be observed. Therefore, the deprivation of such rights, even without proof of actual injury, should be awarded a nominal sum of money.

DISPOSITION: Judgment of Court of Appeals reversed, case remanded for further proceedings consistent with judgment of Supreme Court. DISSENT: INSERT BRIEF DISCUSSION OF ANY DISSENTING OR CONCURRING OPINION. CLASS NOTES RULES & In cases of violation of constitutional rights that aren’t injurious per se, substantial damages should be ELEMENTS: awarded only to compensate actual injury unless the violation is injurious per se or in the case of punitive damages, to deter or punish malicious deprivations of rights. In cases where procedural due process is denied, cannot presume damages. P must prove that he was injured as a result of the violation of due process procedure.

Civil Procedure ]
Our legal system's concept of damages: "The cardinal principle of damages...is that of compensation for the injury caused to plaintiff by defendant's breach of duty... [damages are available for actions] found to have been violative of constitutional rights and to have caused compensable injury." Thus, just as tort law requires actual injury for compensation to be merited, violation of constitutional rights requires actual injury for damages to be merited. TESTS FOR INSERT TESTS FOR HOW WE KNOW ELEMENT IS SATISFIED PROVING ELEMENT RATIONALES: INSERT THE RATIONALE OR PUBLIC POLICY REASON GIVEN BY THE PROFESSORLEGAL THEORY RE: WHY WE HAVE PARTICULAR RULE HYPOS: INSERT HYPOTHETICALS POSED BY YOUR PROFESSOR “NUGGETS”: INSERT PERSONAL INSIGHTS GIVEN BY THE PROFESSOR

CASE SUMMARY: EXPLAIN RULE? MODIFY RULE (I.E. NEW EXAMPLE OF SOMETHING THAT IS ALSO WHAT DOES IT BATTERY), OVERTURN A RULE OF LAW SHOW US RE: A RULE OF LAW?

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