Forrester v. White Case Brief

Facts of the Case

Under Illinois law, the position of a particular state-court judge gave him the authority to hire adult and juvenile probation officers, and to remove such officers at his discretion or pleasure. After the judge first demoted and then, discharged a female probation officer whom he had hired, the female officer alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,, andof the Civil Rights Act of 1871,or, more specifically, that her demotion and discharge constituted discrimination on account of her sex, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Federal Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. Although a jury awarded the officer about $82,000 in compensatory damages on herclaim, the District Court then granted the judge’s motion for summary judgment, on the ground that the judge was entitled to judicial immunity from a civil damages suit. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed, expressing the view that the judge was entitled to the defense of judicial immunity for the demotion and discharge of the probation officer, where, under the circumstances, the functions performed by the officer were inextricably tied to discretionary decisions that had consistently been considered as judicial acts. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari review.





Case Information

Citation: 484 US 219 (1988)
Argued: Nov 2, 1987
Decided: Jan 12, 1988
Case Brief: 1988