Sunday, November 24, 2013

Curtis v. Loether case brief

Curtis v. Loether case brief summary
415 U.S. 189 (1974)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner, a Negro woman, sought review from a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which held that respondent landlords were entitled to a jury trial in an action for damages under § 812 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C.S. § 3612.

CASE FACTS
Petitioner filed suit pursuant to § 812 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C.S. § 3612, seeking injunctive relief and actual and punitive damages due to respondents' refusal to rent an apartment to her because of her race. Respondents requested a jury trial, which was denied by the district court. The court of appeals reversed, holding that respondents were entitled to a jury trial.

DISCUSSION

  • On certiorari, the court affirmed. 
  • The court held that a damage suit under 42 U.S.C.S. § 3612 was an action to enforce "legal rights" within the meaning of theSeventh Amendment. 
  • Petitioner's action under the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was a tort action; therefore the Seventh Amendment applied to preserved respondents' right to a jury trial, where the statute created legal rights and remedies, enforceable in an action for damages in the ordinary courts of law. 
  • Moreover, the relief sought, actual and punitive damages, was the traditional form of relief offered in the courts of law.
CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the judgment.

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