Thursday, May 23, 2013

Gilbert v. Homar case brief

Gilbert v. Homar case brief
520 U.S. 924, 117 S. Ct. 1807, 138 L. Ed. 2d 120, 12 IER Cases 1473 (1997)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Defendant state university appealed the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which reversed the district court's determination that it was permissible for the university to suspend plaintiff employee without pay without first providing a hearing.

FACTS: Upon learning that employee, a university police officer, was arrested on drug charges, a state university suspended him without pay. After the charges were dropped, the employee was demoted and given back pay at the lower rate. Employee filed a 42 U.S.C.S. § 1983 action against the university, alleging that the university's failure to provide him with notice and an opportunity to be heard before suspending him without pay violated due process. The district court entered summary judgment for the university, the court of appeals reversed, and the Court granted certiorari and reversed. The Court found that the employee's due process rights were not violated because his private interest in receiving pay was not significant where he could receive a prompt post-suspension hearing, the state had a significant interest in immediately suspending employees in high profile positions when felony charges were filed against them, and the risk of erroneous deprivation was low where an independent third party had determined that there was probable cause to believe that the employee committed a serious crime.

CONCLUSION: The Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded.

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