Friday, November 15, 2013

United States Parole Commission v. Geraghty case brief

United States Parole Commission v. Geraghty case brief summary
445 U.S. 388 (1980)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioners, United States Parole Commission and others, challenged the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, holding that the district court erred in refusing to certify respondent's action challenging parole guidelines as a class action and in granting summary judgment, and remanding the case for evaluation of proper subclasses and factual development.

CASE FACTS
Respondent was denied parole and challenged the parole guidelines as inconsistent with the Parole Commission and Reorganization Act, 18 U.S.C.S. §§ 4201-4218, and the U.S. Constitution, and sought certification as a class of federal prisoners eligible for parole. The district court denied class certification and granted summary judgment to petitioners. Respondent was released before appeal, but the court of appeals held that the case was not moot and that the district court erred in refusing to certify and in granting summary judgment, and remanded the case for evaluation of the proper subclasses and for factual development.

DISCUSSION
The Supreme Court, on certiorari, held that the court of appeals properly heard respondent's challenge even though his personal claim had expired, limiting its holding to ruling that a case or controversy still existed, and remanded for the district court to determine whether respondent was the appropriate person to represent the class.
The court held that the court of appeals' remand was proper, except for its direction to the district court to construct subclasses, because this was respondent's burden, and so the judgment was vacated and remanded as modified.

CONCLUSION

The court of appeals' remand was proper because a case or controversy still existed, even though respondent's personal claim expired before the filing of the appeal, when his prison term expired and he was released. However, the court vacated the judgment and remanded for the district court to determine whether respondent was the appropriate class representative, with directions to respondent to construct appropriate subclasses.

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