Preiser v. Newkirk - 422 U.S. 395 (1975)


U.S. Supreme Court

Preiser v. Newkirk, 422 U.S. 395 (1975)

Preiser v. Newkirk

No. 74-107

Argued January 20, 1975

Decided June 25, 1975

422 U.S. 395

Syllabus

After being transferred, without explanation or hearing, from a medium security to a maximum security prison in New York because of his involvement in a conflict among inmates concerning a petition for a prisoners' "union" at the former prison, respondent brought suit under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343(3) and (4) and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against petitioner prison officials, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The District Court, granting relief in part, ruled that the transfer violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because it was made without any explanation to respondent or opportunity to be heard. The Court of Appeals affirmed with some modification, holding, inter alia, that the suit was not mooted by the fact that respondent was returned to the medium security prison prior to the District Court's ruling. Respondent was later transferred to a minimum security prison, and will soon be eligible for parole.

Held: In light of respondent's return to the medium security prison and later transfer to a minimum security prison, the suit does not present a case or controversy as required by Art. III of the Constitution, but is now moot, and must be dismissed, since, as to the original complaint, there is now no reasonable expectation that the wrong will be repeated, and the question presented does not fall within the category of harm capable of repetition, yet evading review. Pp. 422 U. S. 401-403.

499 F.2d 1214, vacated and remanded.

BURGER, C.J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, STEWART, WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed a concurring statement, post, p. 422 U. S. 404. DOUGLAS, J., filed a dissenting statement, post, p. 422 U. S. 404.

Page 422 U. S. 396



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