Cases, all: Important cases (federal & state)

Case                                   State         Topic(s)                   Summary

407 U.S. 25 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-06-12
Criminal
FL
An indigent criminal defendant cannot be subjected to actual imprisonment unless provided with counsel. Specifically, the right to counsel applies if the defendant could actually be imprisoned, even for so-called petty offenses where no jury trial is required or the sentence would be less than six months.
316 U.S. 455 (1942)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1942-06-01
Criminal
MD

The refusal of a state court to appoint counsel to represent an indigent defendant at a trial in which he was connected of robbery did not deny him due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
401 U.S. 371 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1969-12-08
Civil
CT



Filing fees cannot bar access to divorce courts by the poor. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit a state from denying, solely because of inability to pay, access to its courts to individuals who sought judicial dissolution of their marriages.
373 U.S. 83 (1963)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1963-05-13
Criminal
MD


Suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused who has requested it violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution.
421 U.S. 519 (1975)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1975-05-27
Criminal
CA

The Court found that double jeopardy applies to an individual who is tried as a juvenile and is then later tried as an adult.
538 U.S. 216 (2003)
SCOTUS
Decided: 2003-03-26
Civil


IOLTA means interest on lawyers’ trust accounts. A state law requiring that lawyer client funds that could not otherwise generate net earnings for the client be deposited in an IOLTA account is not a “regulatory taking.” Because the client has suffered no pecuniary loss, there has been no violation of the Just Compensation Clause.
433 U.S. 76 (1979)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1979-06-25
Civil
MA


Held that the different treatment of men and women mandated by part of AFDC constituted invidious discrimination against female wage earners by affording them less protection for their surviving spouses than is provided to male employees, and therefore violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
402 U.S. 121 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-04-26
Civil
CA
Unemployment insurance benefits must be paid promptly after the initial hearing, and not withheld pending an employer's appeal from the initial eligibility determination.
406 U.S. 598 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-06-07
Civil
CA




A needy family is eligible for AFDC when a parent is absent because of military service, and California's regulation to the contrary is declared invalid because it denies appellees their Fourteenth Amendment rights of due process and equal protection and violates the Supremacy Clause.
414 U.S. 614 (1974)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1974-01-21
Civil
NY



Discharged federal probationary employees denied unemployment compensation by a state agency should have been informed of their "right to additional information or reconsideration and correction" of the findings.
389 U.S. 416 (1967)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1967-12-18
Civil
CA


An underlying purpose of the federal Civil Rights Act was to provide a remedy in the federal courts supplementary to any remedy any State might have, and relief under the Act may not be defeated because relief was not sought under state law which provided an administrative remedy.
397 U.S. 471 (1970)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1970-04-06
Civil
MD


A State has great latitude in dispensing its available funds for public welfare, and the State's rationally supportable regulation does not violate the Equal Protection Clause.
413 U.S. 528 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-06-25
Civil
DC


The government cannot exclude households from receiving food stamps based on whether they include a person who is unrelated to any other member of the household.
413 U.S. 508 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-06-25
Civil
DC


Food Stamp Act violates due process because a standard is not a rational measure of need and the administration of the Act allows no hearing to show that the standard is irrelevant to the need of the household.
414 U.S. 44 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-11-18
Civil


Washington State Game Department's regulation against net-fishing of steelhead trout discriminates against the Puyallup and must be changed to accommodate between between their net-fishing rights and the rights of sports fishermen.
535 U.S. 125 (2002)
SCOTUS
Decided: 2002-03-26
Civil
CA
Supreme Court reversed Ninth Circuit ruling that HUD's interpretation permitting the eviction of so-called "innocent" tenants is inconsistent with congressional intent under Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, as amended.
372 U.S. 353 (1963)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1963-03-18
Criminal
CA

There was discrimination between the rich and the poor which violates the Fourteenth Amendment because indigent defendant's sole appeal was decided without benefit of counsel in a state criminal case.
415 U.S. 651 (1974)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1974-03-25
Civil
IL



Reversing the lower court, the Supreme Court held that the Eleventh Amendment barred the award of retroactive benefits by the state of Illinois under federal-state programs of Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled.
314 U.S. 160 (1941)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1941-11-24
Criminal
CA


A statute of California making it a misdemeanor for anyone knowingly to bring or assist in bringing into the State a nonresident "indigent person" held invalid as an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce.
397 F.2d 687 (D.C. Cir. 1968) cert. denied, 393 U.S. 1016 (1969)
DC Circuit
Decided: 1968-05-17
Civil
DC

The Court held that the landlord’s right to terminate a month-to-month tenancy “for any reason or no reason at all” did not include the “right” to terminate because the tenant complained of housing code violations.
425 F.2d 953 (2d Cir. 1970)
2nd Circuit
Decided: 1970-04-29
Civil
NY


Required public housing authorities to provide hearings before evictions from public housing;
340 F.Supp. 351 (D.C. Md. 1972), affirmed 409 U.S. 904 (1972)
Dist. Ct. Maryland
Decided: 1972-01-28
Civil
MD


Neither state nor federal regulations may discriminate without rational basis against certain children whose fathers happen to be out of work because of their own misconduct which justified their discharge by their employer, or because of a labor dispute. Because the fathers are unemployed, the families are entitled to AFDC assistance.
407 U.S. 67 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-06-12
Civil
FL, PA

Certain Florida and Pennsylvania laws are invalid under the Fourteenth Amendment since they deprive private parties of property without due process of law by denying the right to a prior opportunity to be heard before chattels are taken from the possessor.
372 U.S. 335
SCOTUS
Decided: 1963-03-18
Criminal
FL
Landmark unanimous ruling that states are required under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to provide an attorney to defendants in criminal cases who are unable to afford their own.
397 U.S. 254 (1970)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1970-03-23
Civil
NY

The Due Process Clause provides the right to a full hearing before welfare benefits are terminated.
419 U.S. 565 (1975)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1975-01-22
Civil
OH


High school students were denied due process of law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment because they were suspended without hearing prior to suspension or within a reasonable time thereafter.
403 U.S. 365 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-06-14
Civil
AZ, PA


Arizona and Pennsylvania violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when they denied welfare benefits to those who are not US citizens or to aliens who have not lived in the US for a certain number of years.
361 F. Supp. 1356 (D.Me. 1972), aff'd, 412 U.S. 924
Dist. Ct. Maine
Decided: 1972-07-07
Civil
ME


SCOTUS affirmed District Court: State may not exclude a category of applicants for disability assistance on the basis of the source of a diagnosed impairment, in particular persons suffering solely from psychoneurotic disorders, regardless of severity or permanence.
351 U.S. 12 (1956)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1956-04-23
Criminal
IL

Under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, Court held that indigent Illinois convicts may not be denied the right to appeal by inability to pay for a trial transcript and are entitled to receive certified copy of the entire trial record without cost.
415 U.S. 528 (1974)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1974-03-25
Civil
NY

New York regulation permitting the State to recoup prior unscheduled payments for rent from subsequent grants under the AFDC program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
448 U.S. 297 (1980)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1980-06-30
Civil
NY



The Hyde Amendment, by denying public Medicaid funding for certain medically necessary abortions, does not contravene the liberty or equal protection guarantees of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, or either of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.
387 U.S. 1 (1967)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1967-05-15
Criminal
AZ

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to juvenile defendants as well as adult defendants.
407 U.S. 128 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-06-12
Civil
KS


Court affirmed District Court's invalidation of state civil law to recoup legal defense fees for indigent criminal defendants. Law is impermissible burden upon the right to counsel established in Gideon v. Wainwright.
402 U.S. 137 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-04-26
Civil
CA

By requiring approval by local referendum for the building of public low-rent housing projects, the California state constitution does not single out advocates for low-rent public housing and therefore does not deny equal protection.
428 F.2d 1071 D.C. Cir., denied cert. 400 U.S. 925 (1970)
DC Circuit
Decided: 1970-05-07
Civil
DC

The court determined that if the premises become uninhabitable, the tenant is freed from their obligation to pay rent. SCOTUS affirmed.
406 U.S. 535 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-05-30
Civil
TX

Although not overruling earlier cases, Jefferson seems to eliminate the possibility that reducing the size of the welfare rolls and denying otherwise eligible persons assistance is a relevant factor in determining the validity of a procedure.
417 U.S. 628 (1974)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1974-06-19
Civil
IL



The Social Security Act, by deeming certain illegitimate children ineligible for disability insurance benefits, contravenes the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the equal protection of the laws guaranteed thereby.
392 U.S. 309 (1968)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1968-06-17
Civil
AL


AFDC cannot be withheld because of the presence of a "substitute father" who visited a family on weekends. The issue before the US Supreme Court involved how the states could determine how to implement a federal program. The court used the term "co-operative federalism."
452 U.S. 18 (1981)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1981-06-01
Civil
NC

The Constitution does not require the appointment of counsel for indigent parents in every parental status termination proceeding. The decision whether due process calls for the appointment of counsel is to be answered in the first instance by the trial court, subject to appellate review.
414 U.S. 563 (1974)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1959-06-08
Civil


The failure San Francisco schools to provide English language instruction to approximately students of Chinese ancestry who do not speak English, or to provide them with other adequate instructional procedures, violates the Equal Protection Clause by denying them a meaningful opportunity to participate in public education.
531 U.S. 533 (2001)
SCOTUS
Decided: 2001-02-21
Civil
NY


Funding restrictions imposed by Congress prohibiting LSC attorneys from representing clients attempting to amend (or challenge) existing welfare law violated First Amendment guarantees of free speech because LSC's regulations were viewpoint-based restrictions of private speech.
397 U.S. 552 (1970)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1970-04-20
Civil
CA

AFDC aid can be granted under the Social Security Act only if "a parent" of the needy child is continually absent from the home, the term "parent" including only a person with a legal duty of support.
405 U.S. 56 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-02-23
Civil
OR


One part of the Oregon Forcible Entry and Wrongful Detainer (FED) Statute relating to landlord-tenant relations violates the Equal Protection Clause. Two other parts do not violate the Equal Protection or Due Process Clauses.
405 U.S. 538 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-03-23
Civil
CT



State law that allows creditor summary pre-judicial garnishment of debtor's savings account violates the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.
424 U.S. 319 (1976)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1976-02-24
Civil
NC

Individuals have a statutorily granted property right in Social Security benefits, and the termination of such benefits implicates due process but does not require a pre-termination hearing.
411 U.S. 164 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-03-27
Civil
AZ


State of Arizona has no jurisdiction to impose a tax on the income of Navajo Indians residing on the Navajo Reservation and whose income is wholly derived from reservation sources.
444 F.2d 1353 (7th Cir. 1971), vacated, 406 U.S. 914 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-04-30
Civil
IL


Expanded prior Supreme Court holding that exhaustion of administrative remedies was not required to bring a case in federal court challenging state welfare laws.
327 F.Supp. 759 (D. Or 1971), aff'd, 404 U.S. 803, rehearing denied, 404 U.S. 961
Dist. Ct. Oregon
Decided: 1971-05-03
Civil
OR

A state may not impose a condition of eligibility for AFDC benefits unless that condition is authorized by the Social Security Act. SCOTUS affirmed.
384 U.S. 436 (1966)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1966-06-13
Criminal
AZ
Under the Fifth Amendment, any statements that a defendant in custody makes during an interrogation are admissible as evidence at a criminal trial only if law enforcement told the defendant of the right to remain silent and the right to speak with an attorney before the interrogation started, and the rights were either exercised or waived in a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent manner.
431 U.S. 494 (1977)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1977-05-31
Criminal
OH



Grandma gets jail time and fined for living with her son and grandchildren. Supreme Court rules for Grandma, reverses lower court in one of the decisions that established "a constitutional right to family integrity."
411 U.S. 356 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-04-24
Civil
FL

The "Four Installment Rule" of Regulation Z is a valid exercise of the Federal Reserve Board's rulemaking authority under the Truth in Lending Act. In imposing a disclosure requirement on all members of a defined class to discourage evasion by a substantial portion of that class, the challenged regulation does not create a conclusive presumption violative of the Fifth Amendment.
411 U.S. 619 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-05-07
Civil
NJ

Limiting public benefits to households in which the parents are ceremonially married and have at least one minor child of both, the natural child of one and adopted by the other, or a child adopted by both, denies equal protection to illegitimate children.
413 U.S. 405 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-06-21
Civil
NY


For recipients of federal AFDC benefits, federal work rules do not generally pre-empt state work rules. Unusually, post-enactment congressional legislative debates in reaction to the lower court decision influenced the Supreme Court. (Opinion was for two bundled cases.)
422 U.S. 563 (1975)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1975-06-26
Civil
FL


A State cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.
527 U.S. 581 (1999)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1999-06-22
Civil
GA


People with disabilities have the right to receive support in the community rather than in institutions when three conditions were met: (1) the treating medical professionals determine that a community setting was appropriate; (2) the person with a disability does not object to living in the community; and (3) the provision of services in the community is a reasonable accommodation.
262 Ore. 375, 498 P.2d 757, affirmed, 410 U.S. 656 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-03-05
Civil
OR



That indigents seeking to appeal in state court an adverse welfare decision must pay a filing fee does not violate the due process or equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
442 U.S. 584 (1979)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1979-06-20
Civil
GA



A parent or a guardian can commit a minor to a mental institution if a staff physician certifies that the minor should be committd, even if the minor strenuously opposes their decision. The Court specifically rejected claims that commitment of a minor by a parent or guardian without an adversary hearing is a deprivation of the minor's liberty without due process of law.
402 U.S. 637 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-06-01
Civil
AZ

A state law suspending a driver's license was unconstitutional due to its conflict with the federal Bankruptcy Act under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.
421 U.S. 707 (1975)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1975-06-09
Civil
VT



A state may not deny ANFC assistance because the unemployed fathers are merely eligible for unemployment compensation. A state regulation cannot be applied so as to conflict with the construction of the federal statute.
409 U.S. 413 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-01-10
Civil
NJ

Under the Supremacy Clause, a State may not recover benefits retroactively paid to a beneficiary.
457 U.S. 202 (1982)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1982-06-15
Civil
TX


Under the Equal Protection Clause, the Court struck down both a state statute denying funding for education to undocumented immigrant children and a municipal school district's attempt to charge an annual $1,000 tuition fee for each student to compensate for lost state funding. (Two cases bundled together.)
287 U.S. 45
SCOTUS
Decided: 1932-11-07
Criminal
AL

Under the Sixth Amendment, counsel must be provided to all defendants charged with a capital felony in state court regardless of that defendant's ability to pay.
318 F. Supp. 289 (N.D. Ill. 1970), affirmed, 403 U.S. 901 (1971)
Dist. Ct. N.D. Illinois
Decided: 1970-09-23
Civil
IL


AFDC payments must be made within 30 days of application, absent fault of applicant, in accordance with federal HEW regulations. Plaintiffs' complaint may continue as class action.
397 U.S. 397 (1970)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1970-04-06
Civil
NY


Neither the doctrine of primary jurisdiction nor that of exhaustion of administrative remedies precludes federal court jurisdiction of an action brought by welfare recipients seeking to determine whether a state law was inconsistent with the requirements of the federal Social Security Act.
411 U.S. 1 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-03-21
Civil
TX



A State public school taxing system that results in interdistrict spending disparities among local school districts is consistent with the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause as long as the system satisfies the rational basis standard of review and is, thus, rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest.
5 Cal.3d 584 (1971)
California Supreme Ct.
Decided: 1971-08-30
Civil
CA



California's public-school, general-fund financing structure violates equal protection and is invalid because education is a "fundamental" right under the California and US Constitutions, and because the "wealth" of a school district is a "suspect classification".
394 U.S. 618 (1969)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1969-04-21
Civil
CT, DC, PA




Absent a compelling state interest, state laws that impose residency requirements to obtain welfare assistance violate the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the 14th Amendment. Such laws also violate the constitutional right to travel by inhibiting migration by needy persons into the state.
416 U.S. 251 (1974)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1974-04-23
Civil
CO
In reducing AFDC benefits to the working poor, a State may not set a maximum on work-related expenses deducted from income because such limit discourages them from working, in violation of the Social Security Act.
405 U.S. 645 (1972)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1972-04-03
Civil




Under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, fathers of children born out of wedlock have the same fundamental right to their children as do married or divorced fathers.
466 U.S. 668 (1984)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1984-05-14
Criminal
FL

To prove that assistance of criminal counsel was so ineffective as to deny the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, a defendant must show that counsel's representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and prejudiced the defense so as to deprive the defendant of a fair trial. The court must indulge a strong presumption that counsel's conduct falls within the wide range of reasonable professional assistance.
493 U.S. 521 (1990)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1990-02-20
Civil
PA


The regulations governing eligiblity for child disability issued by the federal Department of Health and Human Services are inconsistent with the statutory standard of comparable severity. Children are not given the same opportunity as adults to show their functional impairment in the late states of the determination process.
401 U.S. 395 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-03-02
Criminal
TX

It is a denial of equal protection to limit punishment to payment of a fine for those who are able to pay it, but to convert the fine to imprisonment for those who are unable to pay it.
404 U.S. 282 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-12-20
Civil
IL



Under the Supremacy Clause, the states do not have the option of denying AFDC benefits to needy dependent children between the ages of 18 and 21 who attend a college or university while granting these benefits to those who attended high school or a vocational training school.
564 U.S. 431 (2011)
SCOTUS
Decided: 2011-06-20
Civil
SC


Court held that a parent jailed for civil contempt due to failure to pay child support is not categorically entitled to counsel under certain circumstances. The court also determined that there is not a presumption in favor of counsel when physical liberty is at stake. However, the Court did hold that the state must provide four safeguards to ensure due process.
409 U.S. 434 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-01-10
Civil
NY




Bankruptcy protection is not a fundamental right, therefore the court denies neither due process nor equal protection to require even indigent debtors to pay a filing fee which bears a rational basis to sustaining the bankruptcy court system for its users.
412 U.S. 441 (1973)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1973-06-11
Civil
CT



The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment does not permit a state to deny an individual the opportunity to present evidence that he is a bona fide resident entitled to in-state rates, on the basis of a permanent and irrebuttable presumption of nonresidence, when that presumption is not necessarily or universally true in fact, and when the State has reasonable alternative means of making the crucial determination.
133 F.Supp. 2d 549
6th Circuit
Decided: 2002-05-15
Civil
MI


(1) Medicaid is not a contract between the states that participate and the federal government. (2) Sovereign immunity does not bar an action against a state official who did not comply with Medicaid regulations. (3) A Plaintiff does have a private right of action under to enforce rights provided under Medicaid.
397 U.S. 280 (1970)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1970-03-23
Civil
CA

Procedural due process requires a pre-termination evidentiary hearing before welfare payments may be discontinued or suspended.
350 F.2d 445 (D.C. Cir. 1965)
DC Circuit
Decided: 1965-08-11
Civil
DC


Where the element of unconscionability is present at the time a contract is made, the contract should not be enforced. The case is remanded to the lower court to determine whether the contract was unconscionable.
400 U.S. 309 (1971)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1971-01-12
Civil
NY



The home visit required by a state in connection with the AFDC program is a reasonable administrative tool and does not violate any right guaranteed by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
434 U.S. 374 (1978)
SCOTUS
Decided: 1978-01-18
Civil
WI

Because the right to marry is of fundamental importance, it is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendmen for a state law to bar marriage by noncustodial parents unless a court order finds that the child support is not in arrears and that the child(ren) will not become dependent on the State.