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Remedies (Law)


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Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics (US 1971)
Represents a situation where there is an unquestionable right, yet the courts power to construct a remedy is not so clear. Defining a remedy is an exercise of judgment and discretion. In bivens a cause of action for damages was created. - Confirmed a citizen’s right to bring a suit against the government for violation of their constitutional rights by federal agencies.
Schweiker v. Chilicky (US 1988)
The Supreme Court, Justice O'Connor, held that improper denial of disability benefits, allegedly resulting from due process violations in administration of continuing disability review program, did not give rise to claims for money damages against government officials that administered program.
v. Four-part Test:
1. Was the statute enacted to benefit a class, of which the P is a member?
2. Did the legislature intend to create a private right of action?
a. Comprehensive regulation is meant to cover the entire field and be preemptive
3. Is the implication of a private right consistent with the legislative scheme?
4. Is this an area of law traditionally left to state control?
Under the agency, there is already a remedial setup, unlike Bivens.
Mt. Healthy City School District Board of Education v. Doyle (US 1977)
Just because constitutionally protected conduct (talking to radio show) played a substantial part in the not rehiring, it did not amount to a constitutional violation meriting a remedy.
. Lower court needed to determine whether the school board could show by a preponderance of the evidence that they would have reached the same decision even in the absence of the protected conduct once P has shown that his conduct was constitutionally protected and it was a motivating factor in the board’s decision not to rehire him.
Traditional rule of Adequate remedy
Plaintiff is entitled in all cases to the most complete, practical, and efficient remedy.
If legal and equitable remedy are equally complete practical and efficient, the legal remedy shall be used.
Modern rule of adequate remedy
The court weighs the practical merits of legal and equitable relief.
Brown v. Board of Education (1955) BROWN II
a. Brown had sued the Bd. of Education contending racial segregation violated equal protection. Supreme Court agreed in Brown I. Court heard a second argument as to what the remedy should be.
b. Supreme Court holds that the primary responsibility for desegregation is with school authorities with overview/monitoring to be done by the local district courts, reasoning that local parties would best understand the individual needs and problems facing the schools. Plus they will be more likely to comply if they help fashion the remedy. Court balanced the equities by deferring to the local parties.
c. Court used by equitable principles characterized by flexibility and reconciling public and private needs.
This case mandated (1) the dismantling of dual school systems; and (2) the admission of al children to unitary schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis.
Tennessee Valley Authority v. Hill (1978)
a. P sought an injunction to prevent completion of the dam project because of endangered fish who’s habitat would be destroyed under the Endangered Species Act prohibition to federal agencies and departments from taking actions that would jeopardize the continued existence of an endangered species.
b. Supreme Court holds that the plain intent (evidenced by the language, history and structure of the Act) of Congress was to make endangered animals a higher priority and thus grants the injunction. Congress has already done the balancing so the Court doesn’t have to.
i. The “hardship” exceptions included in the Act do not apply here and show that Congress did not intend an exception here.
c. Court interprets Hecht Co. as saying courts almost always have the power to balance the equities but here they don’t so Hecht Co. doesn’t apply in this case.
d. Dissenters disagree arguing that under Hecht Co. the courts always have the discretion to balance the interests. If Congress had not wanted the courts to balance they should have explicitly said so.
Prophylactic Injunctions
To prevent future harm to the plaintiff, but it seeks to safeguard the plaintiff's rights by ordering behavior that is not otherwise required by law.
The approach of a prophylactic injunction is to direct the defendant's behavior so as to minimize the chance that wrongs might recur in the future.
de Jure segregation vs. De facto segregation
De Jure = segregation due to official acts or policies.
De Facto = segregation due to other factors (such as Swann where segregation occurs due to segregated neighborhoods)
Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg BOE (1971)
School segregation
b. Supreme Court held that the district court had broad discretion as long as there has been a constitutional violation; their power is tied to the violation. The nature of the violation determines the scope of the remedy.
Held that only de jure segregation gives rise to liability, but called for "the greatest possible degree of actual desegregation".
How far beyond the rightful position the injunction may take plaintiffs and push defendants is a question without a specific answer.
Sought to thwart the resistance to Brown by making clear that the school boards had to take real action.
Missouri v. Jenkins (Jenkins III) (1995)
2nd School Segregation case
g. Court concludes that the district court has gone too far with the compensatory remedy and the district must be returned to its local autonomy/court get away from being involved in supervising the district.
d. Also that this involved, according to the district courts findings, an intra-district violation so an inter-district remedy (goal of attracting nonminority students from surrounding districts) is inappropriate. “White flight” due to alleged de jure segregation cannot serve as a justification. The SSD were involved even they weren’t found to have been part of the discrimination.
b. Supreme Court held that the magnet school orders sought a goal that was beyond the scope of the violation, the across the board salary increases for teachers and staff was beyond the scope of the district court’s remedial authority, and using national testing norms is not an appropriate test to determine whether the school district has achieved unitary status.
L.A. Memorial Coliseum Comm'n v. NFL (9th Cir 1981)
Preliminary Injunctions
1. combination of probable success on the merits and possibility of irreparable injury, or
2. that serious questions are raised and balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor.
Dataphase System, Inc. v. CL Sys Inc. (8th Cir 1981)
Preliminary Injunctions 2nd case
Dataphase Test
7. FOUR PART TEST - Whether a preliminary injunction should issue involves consideration of
a. the threat of irreparable harm to the plaintiff;
b. the state of balance between such harm and the injury that granting the injunction will inflict on other parties litigant;
c. the probability that plaintiff will succeed on the merits; and
d. the public interest.
Schiavo Cases (11th Cir 2005)
Preliminary Injunctions 3rd Case
Traditional Test!!
a. whether the movant has established:
i. a substantial likelihood of success on the merits
ii. that irreparable injury will be suffered if the relief is not granted;
iii. that the threatened injury outweighs the harm the relief would inflict *1226 on the non-movant; and
iv. that entry of the relief would serve the public interest.
Injunction types and differences
Temporary Restraining order preliminary injunction.
A temporary (preliminary) injunction is issued at the beginning of a lawsuit and is designed to last during the pendency of the suit. By contrast, the TRO is an emergency injunction that is designed to preserve the status quo for a very short period of time -- usually no more than 10 days -- so the court can decide whether to grant the preliminary injunction.
Writ of mandamus
an order to a public or coporate officer to perform a ministerial duty
Writ of Prohibition
an order to a judge to refrain from unwarranted conduct
Writ of habeus corpus
an order to someone who detains another person to bring that person to court and justify the detention or relinquish it
an order to the sheriff to put the P in possession of real estate by, if necessary, ejecting current possessors and removing any physical obstacles.
an order to the sheriff to put the P in possession of chattels

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