Sunday, May 12, 2013

Withrow v. Larkin case brief

Withrow v. Larkin case brief
421 U.S. 35, 95 S. Ct. 1456, 43 L. Ed. 2d 712 (1975)

CASE SYNOPSIS: Appellants, members of a state medical examining board, sought review of a preliminary injunction that was issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, in appellee physician's suit to enjoin appellants from enforcement of Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 448.17, 448.18 (1974). The physician alleged that the statutes violated his procedural due process rights.

FACTS: The physician successfully argued to the lower courts that Wis. Stat. Ann. §§ 448.17, 448.18 (1974) violated his procedural due process rights because the same members of the state board that conducted an investigation into allegations of professional misconduct would have also presided at his suspension hearing. On appeal, the Court reversed the grant of the injunction. The Court held that as the initial charge or determination of probable cause and the ultimate adjudication had different bases and purposes, the fact that the same agency made them in tandem and that they related to the same issue did not result in a procedural due process violation. The Court further held that the process utilized by appellants did not in itself contain an unacceptable risk of bias, as no specific foundation had been presented for suspecting that appellants had been prejudiced by their investigation, or would have been disabled from hearing and deciding the issue of suspension based upon evidence to be presented at the suspension hearing.

CONCLUSION: The Court reversed the judgment and remanded the matter for further proceedings.

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1 comment:

  1. More complete facts:

    The State of Wisconsin authorized the Examining Board to investigate certain individuals who were suspected of practicing medicine without a license and/or performing other acts of professional misconduct, and to temporarily suspend a physician’s license if there was probable cause to suspect wrongdoing.

    The Board sent a notice to a physician (The appellee) that a contested hearing would be held to determine whether he had engaged in the prohibit act of performing abortions at his practice in Milwaukee, and to decide whether his license would be temporarily suspended.

    The appellee moved for a restraining order against the contested hearing, the District Court granted the motion, and the Board (Appellants) appealed.


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