Ward v. Village of Monroeville,
409 U.S. 57 (1972)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Ward v. Village of Monroeville, 409 U.S. 57 (1972)

Ward v. Village of Monroeville

No. 71-496

Argued October 17, 1972

Decided November 14, 1972

409 U.S. 57


Petitioner was denied a trial before a disinterested and impartial judicial officer as guaranteed by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment where he was compelled to stand trial for traffic offenses before the mayor, who was responsible for village finances and whose court, through fines, forfeitures, costs, and fees, provided a substantial portion of village funds. Tumey v. Ohio, 273 U. S. 510. A statutory provision for the disqualification of interested or biased judges did not accord petitioner sufficient safeguard, and it is of no constitutional relevance that petitioner could later be tried de novo in another court, as he was entitled to an impartial judge in the first instance. Pp. 409 U. S. 59-62.

27 Ohio St.2d 179, 271 N.E.2d 757, reversed and remanded.

BRENNAN, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BURGER, C. J., and DOUGLAS, STEWART, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, and POWELL, JJ., joined. WHITE, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which REHNQUIST, J., joined, post, p. 409 U. S. 62.

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