474 U.S. 936 (1985)

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U.S. Supreme Court

COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES v. KLING , 474 U.S. 936 (1985)

474 U.S. 936

Mary L. KLING.
No. 85-295

Supreme Court of the United States

November 4, 1985

Rehearing Denied Jan. 21, 1986.

See 474 U.S. 1097.

On petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The petition for writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is reversed. Anderson v. Bessemer City, 470 U.S. 564 ( 1985).

Opinion on remand, 782 F.2d 1510.

Justice STEVENS, dissenting.

Respondent is afflicted with Crohn's disease. Although originally accepted, her application for admission to the Los Angeles County School of Nursing was ultimately denied, at least in part, because of the school physician's opinion that the school program was "too stressful" for her. Finding of Fact No. 12, App. to Pet. for Cert. D-40. Nevertheless, the District Court concluded that respondent had "failed to show that she was denied admission to the School solely by reason of her affliction or because she had Crohn's disease." Finding of Fact No. 18, App. to Pet. for Cert. D-43. Based on this critical finding, the District Court denied respondent any relief under 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U. S.C. 794.

Page 474 U.S. 936 , 937

Justice MARSHALL dissents from this summary disposition, which has been ordered without affording the parties prior notice or an opportunity to file briefs on the merits. See Maggio v. Fulford, 462 U.S. 111, 120- 121, 2265-2266 (1983) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting); Wyrick v. Fields, 459 U.S. 42, 51-52, 398 (1982) (MARSHALL, J., dissenting).

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed. After reviewing the prior history of the case and explaining why it had previously reversed the District Court's order denying respondent's motion for a preliminary injunction, the Court of Appeals wrote:

"The trial in the district court did not produce substantially different evidence from that which we considered in Kling I. The district court's findings are clearly erroneous and in many instances are inconsistent. We find that Mary Kling is an 'otherwise qualified handicapped individual' within the meaning of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 1 and that she was denied admission to the School of Nursing solely because of her handicap. [Footnote 2] The school's physician, Dr. Crary, rejected Kling because she suffers from Crohn's Disease. He assumed that merely because of her disease she would be unable to complete the school's program. He did not evaluate her on an individual basis and even testified that had he known more about Kling's medical history, he would have been 'swayed very strongly toward acceptance.' It is precisely this type of general assumption about a handicapped person's ability that section 504 was designed to avoid. See [474 U.S. 936 , 938]

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