Why is the case important?
“In conjunction with a civil action for assault and battery against Brian K. Doehr (Respondent), John F. DiGiovanni (Petitioner), submitted an application for an attachment in the amount of $75,000 on Respondent’s home in Meridan, Connecticut. Respondent challenged the constitutionality of the attachment statute, the General Statutes of Connecticut, Section 52-278(e) (1991), under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari to resolve the conflict in authority between the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s ruling that the statute was unconstitutional and the District Court’s decision to uphold the statute.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Prejudgment attachment without prior notice and an opportunity for a hearing violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
Facts of the case
Whether a state statute that authorizes prejudgment attachment of real estate without prior notice or the opportunity for a hearing, without extraordinary circumstances, and without the requirement that a person seeking attachment post a bond satisfies the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment?
“No. The judgment is affirmed and remanded for further proceedings. Prejudgment attachment provisions that fail to provide prior notice or preattachment hearing without some showing of exigent circumstances violates the requirements of due process. In order to determine what process is due when the government seeks to deprive an individual of their property, the following three step analysis must be completed: 1) the private interests that will be affected
The U.S. Supreme Court held that even the temporary or partial impairments to property rights that attachments and similar encumbrances entail were sufficient to merit due process protection and that any significant taking of property by the state was within the purview of the due process clause. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-278e(a)(1) , which allowed for an attachment without notice or a hearing, was therefore in violation of the due process clause. Therefore, since the attachment of respondent’s property was a one-sided determination which did not afford him notice or an opportunity to dispute, the Court remanded the case for further proceedings.
- Case Brief: 1991
- Petitioner: Connecticut
- Respondent: Doehr
- Decided by: Rehnquist Court
Citation: 501 US 1 (1991)
Argued: Jan 7, 1991
Decided: Jun 6, 1991