Dillard v. Industrial Commission of Virginia

RESPONDENT:Industrial Commission of Virginia
LOCATION:US Circuit Court for the Ninth Circuit

DOCKET NO.: 73-5412
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)

CITATION: 416 US 783 (1974)
ARGUED: Mar 26, 1974
DECIDED: May 15, 1974

J. Robert Brame, III – for The Aetna Casualty & Surety Co
John M. Levy – for appellants
Stuart H. Dunn – for Industrial Commission of Va. and others

Facts of the case


Media for Dillard v. Industrial Commission of Virginia

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument – March 26, 1974 in Dillard v. Industrial Commission of Virginia

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement – May 15, 1974 in Dillard v. Industrial Commission of Virginia

Lewis F. Powell, Jr.:

Dillard against the Industrial Commission of Virginia is an appeal from a three-judge court in the Eastern District of Virginia.

The appellants there have been receiving workmen’s compensation benefits as approved by the Industrial Commission of Virginia.

Their benefits were suspended pursuant to a rule of the commission upon a showing of probable cause that the disability had terminated.

Although, the suspension order was ex-parte and without notice, the rules of the commission assured a full administrative hearing on the merits prior to any final termination of benefits.

Appellants claim a denial of procedural due process with respect to the interim suspension.

In our consideration of this case, it appeared to the Court that persons aggrieved by such a suspension, need not await the full administrative hearing, but may obtain prompt enforcement of the original award by going directly to the appropriate court.

If this reading of the Virginia law is correct, it’s unnecessary to address the Federal constitutional question presented to us.

Accordingly, the judgment is vacated and the case remanded to the District Court for reconsideration.

Mr. Justice Douglas has filed a dissenting opinion.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Mr. Justice Powell.