Monday, December 23, 2013

Gerstein v. Pugh case brief

Gerstein v. Pugh case brief summary
420 U.S. 103 (1975)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner state attorney sought review of a judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, affirming a ruling that held that the practice of arresting and holding a person for trial on an information without a judicial determination of probable cause for detention was unconstitutional.

CASE FACTS
Respondents were arrested in Florida and charged with offenses under a prosecutor's information. One respondent was denied bail and the other respondent was unable to post bond. At the time of respondents' arrest, a person charged by information could be detained for substantial period without opportunity for judicial determination of probable cause. Respondents filed a class action, in which petitioner was one of several defendants, claiming a constitutional right to a judicial hearing on probable cause.

DISCUSSION

  • The district court's ruling that the practice of arresting and detaining a person for trial on an information, without a judicial determination of probable cause, was unconstitutional, was affirmed by the circuit court. 
  • The district court ordered an adversary determination of probable cause. 
  • The court held that U.S. Constitutional Amendment IV required a judicial determination of probable cause as a prerequisite to extended restraint of liberty following an arrest; however, the Constitution did not require an adversary determination of probable cause. 
  • The judgment was affirmed in part and reversed in part.

CONCLUSION
The judgment was affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court agreed that U.S. Constitutional Amendment IV required a timely judicial determination of probable cause as a prerequisite to detention; however, the court did not agree that U.S. Constitutional Amendment IV required the determination of probable cause to be in the form of an adversary hearing.


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