Climate Change Project

Table of Contents



Administrative Law, Fall 2004

2.2.3 Defining “Liberty” - 46

Prison Cases

Key question - how many rights does a prisoner retain?

This is a major problem in LA - the Corrections Department is under a court order for running a really terrible juvenile corrections system. Decent prisons cost more money to run, so the state has an interest in getting out of these cases without really changing things for the long term.

State prison cases are mostly filed under 42 USC 1983, alleging that the state deprived them of their civil rights.

Claims divide into due process claims, such as Sandin, and "cruel and unusual punishment claims" which generally deal with conditions of confinement or medical care.

Due process claims require the plaintiff to show that he had a liberty interest in the proceeding.

Even if the court finds a liberty interest, that just lets the prisoner into court.

Assume you have been hired to develop a new set of prison regulations for Angola.

What are the tradeoffs you must deal with?

What happens if prisoners have lots of rights?

What if prisoners have no rights?

How can prisoners assert their rights?

How much latitude should outside lawyers have in asserting rights for prisoners?

Should there be different rules for juvenile prisons?

Sandin v Conner 1995 - 47

What was the punishment?

Is plaintiff claiming it was cruel and unusual?

What is the claim?

What was it about the good time credits at issue in Wolff v. McDonnell that created a liberty interest?

What did the court hold in Hewitt v. Helms that plaintiff relies on in this case?

How did Hewitt lower the burden for prisoner lawsuits?

What did the prisoners do to fill their empty hours?

What effect did this have on the federal courts?

What did prisons do to avoid these claims of improper procedure?

How did the majority (Rehnquist) opinion limit Hewitt?

What does the plaintiff have to prove to get a Wolff hearing?

What did Conner say was the proper test for whether he got due process?

Notes and Questions - 50

N1 - What rights does a prisoner retain?

Some freedom to exercise religion

Some limited right to communicate with the outside

A little bit of free speech

Quite a bit of bodily integrity

Freedom from beatings and the like through 1983 and state laws.

N2 - Stigma as deprivation of liberty

How would Roth have been different if the university had fired him because it said he was a terrible teacher?

What did Constantineau find was sufficient stigma as to justify a hearing?

What was the standard in Paul v. Davis?

How did the court distinguish Constantineau?

What did Justice Brennan say this would allow the states to do?

3 - Administrative Investigations

Hannah - No right to cross-examine witnesses in federal hearing to advise Congress and that do not recommend punishments.

Later limited in Jenkins - required some due process in situations where the committee was looking for and publishing information about criminal activity

Is the real test in administrative investigations stigma?


What would your claims be on behalf of Anna and what would Madison argue in rebuttal?

2.3 Timing of Trial - Type Hearings - 51

How many claims does SSA decide every year?

How big is the disability system (SSD)?

Why is this important background for Matthews v. Eldridge

Matthews v. Eldridge (1976) - 52

This is a termination of benefits case.

Basic Procedure drill

Get a form the office

What is the illness, the work history, the doc

SSI orders records

A doc at SSI at Disability Determination Service - run by state as contractor

DDS makes a determination

Sends to regional office

Regional office pays, QA, or denies

Ask for reconsideration

This is all done with records

At the state level, the examiner can call the patient's doc

At the fed level the expert cannot

Supposed to be bound by the patient's doc

Most problems arise because of poor documentation

The applicant can always submit additional info and get a new evaluation

Ask for a hearing before ALJ

At the hearing stage, you ask for an expedited review if the case is clear

ALJ's decision is final

How long after Goldberg?

Why does SSD require periodic review of benefits?

When does SSD provide a hearing?

What if the claimant is successful at the hearing?

How long can this take?

Why does the Court find this is less critical than in Goldberg?

Should the ruling be changed if the plaintiff can show that such sources are no longer available?

What does plaintiff want?

What data is used for making disability determinations?

Who would be the witnesses and how is their information collected?

Does the claimant's testimony matter?

How does this change the equities of Goldberg?

Why is the administrative decisionmaker less prone to make errors in this case than in Goldberg?

What does this tell us about the cost/benefit calculation on the due process?

Does plaintiff get his pre-termination hearing?

What are the Mathews factors?

How would you apply these factors to other administrative decisions?

Notes and Questions - 61

N1 - Emergencies - Discussed already in North American Cold Storage

N3 - Employment

Court now only requires a probable cause type hearing before firing an employee, with a trial type hearing later

How much good would such a hearing do?

N4 - How long is too long?

Do delays of a year bother you?

Why do we have such delays?

Strategic value of delay - People give up

What would we have to do to change it?

5 - Suspensions

Greater latitude to suspend without a trial type hearing, but it must follow

Gilbert v. Homar

suspended cop without pay after indictment

objective, verifiable grounds


May suspend without a hearing for public health and safety grounds

Material from Supplement

Add new paragraphs after N.5. P.62.

In American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Sullivan, 526 U.S. 40 (1999), the Supreme Court appeared to hold that no due process rights were available to an applicant for benefits (as distinguished from a person challenging a termination of benefits).

In that case, the Pennsylvania workers' compensation law entitled an employee to payment of reasonable and necessary medical expenses arising out of an on-the-job injury. However, if the employer or insurance company believed that a particular medical procedure was not reasonable and necessary, it could refuse to pay until the issue was determined through a hearing procedure. Employees argued that this procedure violated due process since they should be entitled to a hearing before being deprived of payment of the benefits (in other words, that the benefits should be paid before a hearing was provided, not after). The Supreme Court might have disposed of the case by holding that due process applied but that a post-deprivation hearing was adequate in the circumstances, as it did in Mathews v. Eldridge, 2.3.

However, the Court took a different approach. In Part III of an opinion by Chief Justice Rehnquist, it held that due process was wholly inapplicable to the decision. It distinguished Goldberg v. Kelly and Mathews v. Eldridge. "In both cases, an individual's entitlement to benefits had been established, and the question presented was whether predeprivation notice and a hearing were required before the individual's interest in continued payment of benefits could be terminated. Respondent's property interest in this case, however, is fundamentally different. . . . [Pennsylvania] law expressly limits an employee's entitlement to 'reasonable' and 'necessary' medical treatment, and requires that disputes over the reasonableness and necessity of particular treatment must be resolved before an employer's obligation to pay—and an employee's entitlement to benefits—arise. . . . Thus for an employee's property interest in the payment of medical benefits to attach under state law . . . he must establish that the particular medical treatment is reasonable and necessary. Only then does the employee's interest parallel that of the beneficiary of welcome assistance in Goldberg and the recipient of disability benefits in Mathews. . . To state the argument is to refute it, for what respondents ask in this case is that insurers be required to pay for patently unreasonable, unnecessary, and even fraudulent medical care without any right, under state law, to seek reimbursement from providers. Unsurprisingly, the Due Process Clause does not require such a result."

Does American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance hold that due process never applies to an application for benefits? Or is the holding of the case more limited? Concurring, Justice Ginsburg wrote: "I join Part III of the Court's opinion on the understanding that the Court rejects specifically, and only, respondents' demands for constant payment of each medical bill, within 30 days of receipt, pending determination of the necessity or reasonableness of the medical treatment. I do not doubt, however, that due process requires fair procedures for the adjudication of respondents' claims for workers' compensation benefits, including medical care."

What did the Pennsylvania law require?

When could the employer withhold payment?

What was the due process claim?

Did the court follow Mathews v. Eldridge and find that a post-deprivation hearing was the proper remedy?

How did the court distinguish the property interest in this case?

When does the court say the right vests?

Why does that change the due process requirement?

How did justice Ginsburg limit her concurrence?

6 - Problem

Low income housing has one year leases and bounces tenants if they deal drugs

Plaintiff contests being bounced without getting a hearing first

Should she be able to get one first?

If Defendant loses, can it solve the problem with month to month leases that are not renewed if you deal drugs?


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