Rinaldi v. Yeager,
384 U.S. 305 (1966)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Rinaldi v. Yeager, 384 U.S. 305 (1966)

Rinaldi v. Yeager

No. 940

Argued April 21, 1966

Decided May 31, 1966

384 U.S. 305


Appellant was convicted of a criminal offense in New Jersey and sentenced to prison. At his request, the county furnished him with a trial transcript in connection with his in forma pauperis appeal. The appeal proved unsuccessful. His prison pay was withheld to reimburse the county for the cost of the transcript under a statute providing for reimbursement from the institutional earnings of an unsuccessful criminal appellant. The statute requires no such repayment from an unsuccessful appellant given a suspended sentence, placed on probation, or sentenced only to pay a fine. A three-judge Federal District Court rejected appellant's claim that the statute is unconstitutional.

Held: A state statute requiring an unsuccessful appellant to repay the cost of a transcript used in preparing his appeal which applies only to one incarcerated, but not to others, constitutes invidious discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Pp. 384 U. S. 308-311.

238 F.Supp. 960, reversed and remanded.

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